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blue Snyder Trail / Knapp's Castle

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3.6 mile 5.7 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 29' 9 m
Descent: -1,933' -589 m
High: 2,984' 910 m
Low: 1,078' 329 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 22% (13°)


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Trail shared by Bela Bauer

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Fun ride (shuttle or out-and-back) with great views over backcountry and the Santa Ynez valley.

Bela Bauer

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Most people do this as a shuttle ride from Camino Cielo down to Paradise Road. The fire road at the top starts at a metal gate on Camino Cielo, a few miles east of the junction between Camino Cielo and Painted Cave Road. It can also be done as an out-and-back ride by starting at the parking lot on Paradise Road (Adventure Pass required).

The climb is tough, but almost completely rideable if you have strong legs. The downhill is really fun and very fast. The top section is wide-open with a few jumps. In the middle section there are a few tight switchbacks and some rocks, but nothing scary. Towards the bottom, it gets narrow and steep in a few places, only to meet a fireroad and get wide-open again at the very bottom.

I recommend taking the short side-trip to Knapp's Castle, if just for the views.

Be sure to get a bike bell, distributed by the Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers. The bells help other users on the trail be aware of mountain bikers. Also, please stay on the main trail and don't use the shortcuts!


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May 12, 2019
Meredith Miraglia
Aug 5, 2018
James M
Jun 20, 2017
Eddie Scipio
definitely need a shuttle. very fast as well
Jun 11, 2017
Bede Pittenger
Trail looks fine. Uphill is tough, especially the first two miles...

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Trail Ratings

  3.4 from 12 votes


  3.4 from 12 votes
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in California


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4,117 Since Aug 26, 2013
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Anonymous User
Anonymous User  
The Snyder Trail can be ridden as a long loop in one of 2 ways starting at the trails' junction with Paradise Road. 1) Follow the paved Paradise Road west toward the Paradise Store. Shortly after passing the store take a left onto Stagecoach road. Follow Stagecoach Road up past Cold Springs Tavern and take a left on Camino Cielo. Cross 154 on Camino Cielo and follow until the turnoff for Knapps is reached. Or 2) Head east on Paradise Road to the gated Arroyo Burro Road. Take arroyo Burro up to the ridge where you'll meet Camino Cielo. Turn right and head west to the Knapps Castle parking area Nov 15, 2013

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