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Tequepis Trail

 3.8 (8)
Trail Mapped Wrong?


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



All Clear 25 days ago
The trail is reopened as of May 2018. History

Getting forecast...

A long climb to a blazing-fast descent.

Bela Bauer

Overview [Suggest Changes]

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.
Features: -none- [Add/Remove]

Need to Know [Suggest Changes]

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 [Suggest Changes]

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


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
Nov 22, 2016
Oli Stevens
Nov 8, 2016
Marcel Mijares
Mar 17, 2016
Fred Gibson

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Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 8 votes


  3.8 from 8 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
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1 Star


in California


255 Views Last Month
7,707 Since Oct 27, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

One word: GNATS! Gnats, gnats, gnats! This ruined the ride for me, the first time in 25 years I aborted a ride due to insect problems. This is mountain biking...we have to deal with the elements, but this was extraordinary. I had to constantly swat them or they would go into my eyes and ears. It was particularly bad when I needed to focus on technical sections of the ride and could not swat them away. After inhaling a few gnats and falling a couple times, I simply stopped trying to climb anything that required technical focus (there are many sections). I just walked those. I continued on in hopes that I would climb above the problem. After about 1,200ft of ascent they thinned a little, but didn't go away. I was so exhausted from riding with one arm at this point that I really lost all interest in continuing. I climbed to about 2,900 ft. (1,700 ft. ascent) and then turned around. Perhaps the gnats aren't as bad other times of the year. As for the trail, it would have been pretty fun otherwise (that's why I gave it 3 stars when I really felt like giving it zero). Intermediate riders, just be aware that this is NOT an intermediate ride. Although many sections are smooth, there are lots of steep loose/rugged sections that most riders will struggle with, unless at the advanced++/expert level. A couple of the downhill sections are simply reckless to attempt. Also note that the grade is deceptively steep in sections and the shoulder is VERY soft in sections. If you go in August, bring bug spray if you are willing to use it.... Aug 6, 2015
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

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