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A long climb to a blazing-fast descent.


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Map Key

7.8

Miles

12.5

KM

90%

Singletrack

3,576' 1,090 m

High

1,252' 381 m

Low

2,325' 709 m

Up

2,324' 708 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Allowed

Features Views

Overview

This is an out-and-back trail up to Camino Cielo just below Observation point. You get great views over the Santa Ynez Valley and Lake Cachuma all along, and at the top you're rewarded with even more breathtaking views of the frontcountry and the ocean!

This is a challenging, but almost completely rideable climb of just over 2300 feet. It's all singletrack beyond the first few hundred yards. There are no major technical difficulties, but a few sections are somewhat rocky and the climbing is consistently steep. The descent is wide-open and blazing fast, though!

In the summer, this area gets very hot. An early start is advisable.

Need to Know

The trail is accessed from Hwy 154. Coming from Santa Barbara, you want to keep going on the Highway until you see Lake Cachuma on your right. There will be a number of turn-offs to your left; the one you're looking for is the last one before the Recreation Area on the right - watch for the sign indicating the Recreation Area in 3/4 mile, and then take the next to the left. There is a turning lane and a number of signs indicating camps ("Circle V Ranch Camp", "Rancho Alegre", "Camp Whittier"). Coming from the other direction, this will simply be the first exit to the right after the Lake Cachuma Recreation Area.

Once you've turned off Hwy 154, follow the dirt road to the left and just keep going for about a mile or two. You'll eventually reach the camp; park on the right just before the camp. To get to the trail, ride the road through the camp, keeping left. The road will eventually turn into Tequepis trail.

Description

After passing the camp, there's a bit of a fire-road section to a dry creek crossing, followed by a few short steep and technical climbing sections. The trail then opens up again and goes through a forested area, climbing fairly gently. After a very short loose section you start the long switchbacks that will lead almost all the way to the top. Most of the trail isn't too steep, but this has a few sections that are rocky and are challenging to climb, but certainly doable. At least you get great views from this entire section! After a few long switchbacks the trail gets a little more flat and less technical. About 15 minutes before you reach the top it gets wider and more forested again.

From the top, return the same way you came up. This will be really fast and flowy! Beware of hikers, though, especially since you can get really fast on this trail. Be sure to get a bike bell, distributed by the Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers.

Contacts

Shared By:

Bela Bauer with improvements by James M and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 27 votes

#733

Overall
  4.3 from 27 votes
5 Star
56%
4 Star
26%
3 Star
11%
2 Star
4%
1 Star
4%
Recommended Route Rankings

#106

in California

#733

Overall
38 Views Last Month
13,140 Since Oct 27, 2013
Difficult Difficult

0%
0%
12%
15%
65%
8%

Photos

Tequepis Trail downhill.
Jul 19, 2019 near Santa Ynez, CA
Looking towards Santa Cruz Island from the top.
Jun 4, 2023 near Isla Vista, CA
Give me another one of these! 2300 ft of smooth fast downhill.
Apr 17, 2022 near Santa Ynez, CA
Starting the Tequepis descent.
Oct 27, 2013 near Isla Vista, CA
Hero dirt on the Tequepis Trail!
Jan 10, 2017 near Santa Ynez, CA
View from Tequepis trail over the Santa Ynez valley and Lake Cachuma.
Oct 27, 2013 near Santa Ynez, CA
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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Unknown
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jun 4, 2023
Trevor Broesamle
Very little overgrowth- recent trail work has been done. 4 creek crossings early (amazing how much water is still flowing!) 8.8mi — 1h 50m
Apr 2, 2023
Flora Kraus
Long and brutal uphill with three creek crossings early on that will put your balancing game up for a challenge. Very exposed but high reward! 8.7mi
Jun 10, 2022
Ken Steele
Aug 8, 2021
Justin Ooms
3.5mi — 0h 45m
Mar 26, 2021
Andrew Perkin
Tree down over the trail near the top 8mi — 1h 20m
Feb 15, 2020
majid haj
Sep 28, 2019
Alex Hernandez
May 9, 2019
Jared N
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