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Tequepis Trail

 3.8 (11)
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7.8 Miles 12.5 Kilometers



2,325' 709 m


-2,324' -708 m



Avg Grade (6°)


Max Grade (16°)

3,576' 1,090 m


1,252' 381 m


Shared By Bela Bauer


Minor Issues 14 days ago
Some Mud - Lower portion creek running pretty good but cross able. Follow the red pin flags and it will lead you to the trail entrance. History

Getting forecast...

A long climb to a blazing-fast descent.

Bela Bauer

Dogs Off-leash

Features -none-


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.


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.


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Your Check-Ins


Mar 10, 2019
Kevin A
Hero dirt after the rain! Beautiful ride and great scenery on the way up. Creek cross able. Follow red pin flags and leads to trail. Fun ride today. 8.4mi — 2h 31m
Oct 21, 2018
James M
Aug 4, 2018
James M
Sep 12, 2017
Jason Jensen
Closed to public due to recent fires. Trail is pretty blown out and covered with debris and rocks from heavy rains after the fire. 4mi
Apr 6, 2017
P garcia
Mar 19, 2017
Mike Moore
Mar 2, 2017
chris allen
Dec 28, 2016
Chris Lucas
Some debris (small to medium rocks) from recent rains 8.2mi

Stewarded By

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 11 votes


  3.8 from 11 votes
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in California


110 Views Last Month
8,966 Since Oct 27, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Sophia Dentzel
Santa Barbara
Sophia Dentzel   Santa Barbara
Riding down this trail is very fun and very beautiful. Riding up is definitely work. I actually had to push for the majority of the time... I went was pretty hot but doable becasue there is a good amount of shade this time of year. I think one could ride up like 90% of the trail, there were a couple steep spots that you'd probably need to push up. It is totally worth the work to do the ride down. The ride down is flowy with a few rocky spots, but no fully rock saturated trail scections like those found in nearly all SB frountcounry riding. Check this trail out it's nice, I'll be back, but I'd recomend riding in the morning or evening, not midday.. at least on hot summer days :). Happy riding! Jul 17, 2016
The trail is technically still open to mountain bikes, it's only closed to motor vehicles. The camp that you have to go through to access the trailhead is closed, which creates some problems. There was a security guard that was carrying a pistol who gave me some trouble when I pulled up to the parking lot outside the camp. After he tried to intimidate me, he eventually let me through the gate. Sep 17, 2017
James M
Santa Barbara, Ca
James M   Santa Barbara, Ca
Lots of gnats and poison oak at the bottom portion of the trail. Both thin out as you ascend higher. A few downed trees early in the camp area. Pretty steep trail, can be narrow, with a bit of vertical exposure and soft downhill shoulder. Be careful. When I rode it midday, it was about 100F out - so bring sunscreen too. Aug 4, 2018

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