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Matias Potrero Loop

 3.0 (5)
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10.0 Miles 16.1 Kilometers



1,397' 426 m


-1,399' -426 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (13°)

2,006' 611 m


995' 303 m


Shared By Kevin Fox



Getting forecast...

Another great intermediate ride in the Santa Ynez River area

Kevin Fox

Dogs Off-leash

Features -none-

An adventure pass is needed to park at the trailhead.


This loop links up a few shorter trails and part of one fire road to make one sweet loop. Nice views mixed with some fun singletrack make this a great intermediate ride.

Need to Know

The south side of the Santa Ynez River, near Rancho Oso ( is heavily used by horses especially on weekends. Please ride in control and use a bell to alert horses to your presence.


This trail ride starts and ends at the lower Oso parking area. Find the bathroom and head south following the obvious trail into the river bed. Look for the path of least resistance, or least water, to get you across to the south side of the river. When the river is flowing you'll need to get your feet wet here. It is advisable to bring a light pair of sandals for the crossing. Alternatively you can take the paved Paradise Road for 0.7 miles to where Arroyo Burro road begins at a locked gate on the right.

Once across the river turn left heading east and follow the obvious worn trail. This trail meanders, and sometimes branches right or left. If you take the path that looks like it has seen the most traffic you should be in good shape. The trail is smooth with some sandy sections and a few cobbles in the way. After about a mile you'll encounter a short but steep uphill and be dumped in the lower end of the Rancho Oso Campground. Keep a low profile as you continue to head east and onto the Arroyo Burro Road.

Once you find the dirt road, make a right and begin heading uphill. The road is consistently uphill but never steep in this section. Wind your way up and enjoy the views of the valley and river below. In about 2.5 miles you'll see the sign for the Matias Potrero Trail on the left.

The Matias Potrero trail begins just above 1800' on the Arroyo Burro Road. The trail heads east descending at first then slowly climbing as it winds through a series of "potreros" or meadows. At about one mile in you'll reach a high point marked by a large boulder on the left. Hang on for a great ride of twisting and occasionally rocky singletrack. Another short climb takes you to the junction with the Matias Potrero Connector Trail. Turn left here to continue on this loop.

The Matias Potrero Connector packs in the best mile yet. From the trail junction the trail heads down what was once an old road bed. Alternating between smooth twisty sections and jumbled rock gardens you're kept on your toes the whole way down. If you have the chance glance to the left into a cool little tight canyon. The fun ends too soon as you reach the paved Paradise Road.

Turn left on Paradise Road and spin for 3 miles back to your car parked back at Lower Oso. Alternatively, after the first river crossing, you can find the river trail on the left and take this back to where you began.


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Your Check-Ins


Apr 20, 2018
Darryl Dimond
Lots of ticks!! I was brushing them off my legs during the ride. Make sure you do a full tick check-over after the ride and when you get home. 10mi — 4h 00m
Jan 27, 2018
Steve Giddings
Jan 14, 2018
Bede Pittenger

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Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 5 votes


  3.0 from 5 votes
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in California


45 Views Last Month
1,695 Since Nov 4, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Very nice ride, but trail is a little washed out in places and damaged from horse use while muddy. Would be good to get this trail in better shape to have another great trail in the area. Jan 27, 2018
If your looking for gnats, black flies, poison oak, and 40+ ticks on a rutted, washed out hell ride - Matias Potrero Loop is a dream come true! Apr 15, 2018
Did this loop before reading Ben's comment. Toss some tweezers in your first aid kit. The ticks are out of control. I was brushing them off my legs during the ride and had to remove a few when the ride was over. Make sure you do a few tick check-overs after the ride and bag your gear before tossing it in your car. Later that same day, we ending up finding ticks in our car!! We started this loop at Arroyo Burro trail junction due to what appeared to be a very deep river crossing. Apr 22, 2018

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