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Where to run in Santa Barbara

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  • Hot Springs Trail
    Starting point is the Hot Springs Trail head off of Mountain Drive. Run up the single track about a mile which crosses a creek and than turns into a fire road be sure to stay right on the fire road (there is a point where you come to a Y) it's a pretty steep section for about a quarter mile but as you make the turn towards the top, you'll have amazing views of Santa Barbara and the Islands (the climb up is well worth it.)... it's especially clear late summer and fall and winter. You'll stay on the fire road which will drop you back down as you go through a gate be looking to your right, it's a couple hundred yards, you'll take that right single track trail it crosses over the creek and starts making it way up a series of switch backs be sure to stay on the main trail you'll crest the top, at that point you'll see a stone bench to your left over looking Santa Barbara, take a break here... it's worth taking it all in. The trail continues up, but you'll stay left which will drop and traverse over and back to the fire road this is about a mile long, when you hit the fire road go left and that drops you back to your car. Distance is roughly 6 miles could take over an hour to complete. Fun hilly and full of great views...
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  • Hope Ranch
    A mountainous, winding run in upper SB
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  • Santa Barbara Triathlon Long Course | Run Rout
    A challenging out and bacK 10 miles. Starting at the Cabrillo Bathhouse [view map], head west along the park keeping on the bike path (or on the grass close to it) for the better part of 2.5 miles. As you reach Shoreline Cafe and Leadbetter Beach run along the path between the park grass and the parking lot. Now for the specifics: as you reach the end of the path, stay on the sidewalk and make the 90 degree right and then follow the sidewalk to a 90 degree left and start your push up the hill along Shoreline Park.

    Keeping along the middle section of paths in the park head to the end of the park. Just before you exit Shoreline park you will pass the Mile Three Mark. Stay on the sidewalk all they way to La Mesa Park. At La Mesa Park, turn left onto the bike path and run down the short hill and cross the metal foot bridge. This brings you to a neighborhood road and you have only one way to go, straight.

    At the end of Camino De LA Luz take a left on Oliver then a quick right on Edgewater. Follow Edgewater around and veer left as the road take you to Mesa lane. Staying on the LEFT side of the road in to oncoming traffic run to the end, where Mesa Lane meets Cliff Drive. There you make your descent about 1/3 of a mile and turnaround about 300 yards from the intersection and head back the way you came.
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  • The Mesa
    Flat, green easy run along the ocean, keep an eye out for whales!
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  • Hendrys Beach
    Beautiful sunset runs and great post-workout food!
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  • USCB Lagoon Run
    Start the run at Goleta Beach Park. To reach the park from Santa Barbara, take the 101 Northbound to Highway 217/UCSB. Exit at Sandspit Road and turn left at the stop sign. The park will be on the right. You may park anywhere along the beach. Start the run by heading towards the bluffs and UCSB (heading right if you are facing the ocean.) There are several worn paths leading up the bluff toward campus. As you reach the top, continue on the dirt path that runs along the edge of the cliffs. The path will change to a groomed path for a few hundred yards and then will spill out onto a sidewalk to the right of a parking lot. Continue straight down a gentle slope in the road and the lagoon will come into view. Head towards the bluffs and up one of the several steep paths to the top of the bluffs. At this point there are several trails that spread across the top of the bluffs; the leftmost trail will hug the edge of the bluff near the ocean, and the rightmost will be the shortest path that is closer to the lagoon. Choose either because both will lead you to the same downhill path within a few minutes of running.

    At the bottom of the first slope, you’ll see a few blue arrows painted on the asphalt from past races. Follow the arrow to the top of the slope and it should indicate for you to turn right onto a single track dirt path. Follow this path as it traces the lagoon from the top of the bluffs. After about a half mile, you’ll spill back out to the main asphalt trail and down a slope. At the bottom of the slope, hug the lagoon trail to the right. In about a half mile, you’ll follow the trail up a slope past a parking lot. Stay to your right and make a sharp jog around a fence and down a few stairs. Continue to the right onto a sidewalk and head back up to the road. Take a left and follow the trail back to Goleta Beach.
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  • More Mesa Loop
    A convenient place to park and begin this run is in the parking lot at San Marcos High School. Park in the lot that runs along Hollister, just south of Turnpike. To begin, exit the lot and take a left over to the first stoplight which will be Puente Drive. Fortunately, this stoplight should be your only stopping point during this approximately 6 mile loop. Cross Hollister and continue to run on Puente for about a half mile. Puente will turn into Vieja Drive, and will run slightly uphill. Take a left onto Mockingbird Lane which will begin with another short hill. Mockingbird Lane will dead end at an opening into More Mesa. Hop onto the trail and take this all the way towards the ocean. Once you reach the cliffs you can either stop for a second to admire the panoramic ocean views, or you can take a right and keep on running. Once you have turned right, stay along the trails that run parallel to the ocean until you naturally turn right once again and are parallel to houses. Stay on this trail until it dumps you out onto Patterson Avenue. Take a right on Patterson and follow it until you can take a right onto the bike path. At this point you can run on the bike path or take the dirt path that’s on the right. Follow the bike path all the way back to Puente Drive, and retrace your steps back to the high school. This approximately 6 mile loop should take you anywhere from 40–75 minutes, ENJOY!!
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  • West Camino Cielo
    From Santa Barbara drive up highway 154 and turn left on West Camino Cielo Rd. Take Road to the top (Gun Club) and park on the side of the road. Run up that same road a little further and you will drop down on a hill. The downhill lasts for the first mile and then the uphill starts. The run is all on dirt and consists mainly of a steady uphill for as long as one would want to run. Usually this location is perfect for a steady paced 90 minute to 2 hour run, or mountain bike ride. The views are spectacular especially after about the 45 minute mark there is a great view of all of Santa Barbara to one side and Lake Cachuma to the other. The run is tough, but the views are worth it. The hardest part is the last mile climb on the way back. It is usually warmer up there and drier so bring water and food for after then run. I would also suggest camping up there the night before, to get both the night time and morning panorama of our beautiful city.
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  • Santa Barbara International Marathon & 1/2 Marathon Course
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  • Nite Moves Course
    Leadbetter Beach Park to Elise Way and back. A challenging up hill drag to start along the center sidewalk in Shoreline Park. Stay on the left bike lane to view oncoming traffic Pass La Mesa Park on your way to Elise Way. When you come to the first main entry drive way make a U-turn and start the fast downhill back to the finish. The 5k finish is past the start at the top of the park (La Marina and Shoreline Dr) down the hill just past the end of the parking lot and grassy pic nic area.
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  • Carpinteria Salt Marsh
    Terrain: Maintained, flat. Distance: 1.42 miles. Quiet, rarely busy, nature. Carpinteria's Salt Marsh Nature Reserve is mostly is closed to public access, but this trail is open to the public and includes information plaques about the reserve and viewpoints to look at the marsh, creeks, animals, and ocean.
  • Carpinteria Bluff Trails
    Terrain: dirt, rough. Distance: 2.77 miles. Rarely busy. The trail starts at Viola Fields, where you can park your car. Start at the maintained trail at the back of the park towards the bluffs and start down a slow decline. This trail follows the bluffs, with sections maintained. After a quarter of a mile, the maintained trail will end and you'll cross the railroad tracks. Continue on the rugged trail along the top of the bluffs with scenic ocean views, past the Harbor Seal Rookery, back onto a short maintained trail, into the partially forested Tar Pits Park, turning around at the Carpinteria Beach State Park. The view is breathtaking and with the ocean breeze, the air is always cool. Head back along the cliff trails. For an added workout, after crossing the railroad tracks, head left along the flower farm trail, turn right onto the maintained trail, and head up the hill back towards the park.

  • Via Real and Running Path Hills
    Terrain: paved bike bath, maintained trail. Distance: 4.36 miles. Vehicle traffic, crossing streets. Start at the Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve, where you can park your car, head north along the trail down the sloping hill. This trail is maintained until you pass the TeeTime Golf Course, then becomes a paved bike path. Cross Carpinteria Ave at cross walk by Albertson's shopping center, and head south along bike path. Follow onto the cool, shady path to Carpinteria Creek Park, and up the path on Via Real's long, steep slope. Return along same route for more hills and distance, or cross Bailard Street overpass to Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve