Hot Springs Canyon is a beautifully unique area of 462-acres where trails, wildlife, and sensitive creek habitat overlap in a quiet neighborhood. One of the last undeveloped, private properties in the Santa Barbara foothills, Hot Springs Canyon was protected in 2012, though it’s been a local recreation favorite for decades. Due to its popularity, please take extra care to leave no trace when visiting this sensitive and unusual natural resource—the creek and hot springs provide rare habitat for many species, some endangered, for whom water quality is vital.
When the last owners, the McCaslins, decided to sell the property in 2011, they approached the Land Trust to protect this special place. Soon after, the Land Trust launched a fast-moving and successful campaign to raise $7.8 million dollars—all from generous local individuals, families, and foundations. In 2013, the Land Trust conveyed the 422 acres of land in Hot Springs Canyon to Los Padres National Forest for long-term stewardship. The Land Trust continues to own and manage a 40-acre parcel approximately half a mile from the trail entrance.
Visiting Hot Springs Canyon
Trail rating: Moderate, Alltrails info
Hours: Sunrise to sunset daily
Parking and accessibility: Parking is extremely limited, consider carpooling and have a backup trail location in mind. This trail is not wheelchair accessible. Please note that the hot springs pools are not on Land Trust property and they are not maintained.
Directions to the trailhead: From U.S. 101 in Montecito, exit Olive Mill Road, which, after intersecting Alston Drive, continues as Hot Springs Road. Three miles from U.S. 101, you’ll reach Mountain Drive. Turn left and proceed 1/4 of a mile to the trailhead, which is on the right side of the road and is marked by a Montecito Trails Foundation sign.