Known for its beautiful landscapes and great weather, Santa Barbara provides mountain bikers with a variety of trail options. With the Santa Ynez Mountains on one side and the vast Pacific Ocean on the other, Santa Barbara boasts a unique topography. The steep Santa Ynez mountains make for some of the best mountain biking experiences you can find in Southern California. And, with the Pacific Ocean close by, cooling off in the ocean after a MTB ride is a great reward. From beginner or an expert, this guide will help you find the best places to mountain bike in Santa Barbara.

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Best Places in Santa Barbara to Mountain Bike

Elings Park

Located on the Mesa, Elings Park is 230 acres and offers panoramic views of the ocean with miles of winding single-track trails. The park has a variety of trails to cater to different skill levels from the easy cruisers to the challenging climbs and descents. Beginners can try the 1.5-mile beginner trail, while experienced riders can hit the gnarly Goat and Ridge trails. The BMX park also has pump tracks, jumps, and drops for experienced riders.

Romero Canyon Trail

A challenging ride that rewards you with stunning views of the Pacific coast, the Romero Canyon Trail is 9 miles long. There are plenty of switchbacks, rocky sections, and steep technical climbs and descents. The climb is tough, but the descent is worth it, with riders reaching speeds of up to 30 mph on some of the fun and flowy sections. The trailhead is located at the end of Bella Vista drive, and parking is available.

Cold Springs Trail

This trail is a must-ride for intermediate and advanced riders. The Cold Springs Trail is 8 miles long from the trailhead to the bottom, with several short trails that branch off. The trail has sections that are rocky, steep, and technical, and requires a decent level of fitness and skill to complete. Riders will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the ocean, the Channel Islands, and the Santa Ynez mountains.

West Camino Cielo

A fire road that offers stunning panoramic views of Santa Barbara and the Pacific coast. The West Camino Cielo road is 9.5 miles long, making it an easy ride for beginners and families. It also has several trails that lead off into the mountains for those looking for a more challenging ride. The best time to ride is during sunset, as the views are simply stunning.

Jesusita Trail

This is a popular trail that is accessible from various locations in Santa Barbara. The Jesusita trail is 6.5 miles long with moderate climbs and fun descents. The trail is great for intermediate riders, and beginners can try the first 2 miles up to the creek crossing. During the ride, you get breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding mountains.

Finding MTB Riding Buddies

I’ve lived in Santa Barbara on-and-off for about six years. During this time I’ve been able to explore some of the best MTB trails in the area. While living in SB it is easy to connect with other local riders and always have someone to shred with. When visiting Santa Barbara, it can be difficult to find people to ride with. This is why we create The Klubb App.

Using The Klubb App, you can connect with other athletes in the area and join in on rides. If you’re looking to get outside more, create an account and let us know what you think!

Planning an Athletic Vacation in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a paradise for mountain bikers. Regardless of your skill level, there’s always a trail that’s perfect for you. The best part is that you get to ride with breathtaking views of the Pacific coast and the Santa Ynez Mountains, adding a unique twist to your mountain biking adventure.

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