Summary: This hike starts out as an relatively easy uphill climb. At one point, the trail forks and splits off. The way to Tangerine Falls starts to the right. This part of the trail becomes somewhat rocky, and some scrambling is required. Watch out for Poison Oak!
The trail is very nice and mostly shady. The creek running through the length of the trail is very nice also. Towards the end of the hike, there is a little waterfall to the right. This is not Tangerine Falls, but still a very nice little waterfall.
When it seems difficult to go any farther, keep going! The trail turns into a moderate rock climb, but no special equipment is required at all. Keep looking to the right for Tangerine Falls.
When you finally get to the Falls, you will come upon a big boulder. The rock is climbable, but it takes some doing. After standing there for a few minutes, I finally found some satisfactory footholds. Look closely, and be creative, but careful. You will find your way up.
Trailhead: - From Santa Barbara Mission (Los Olivos and Laguna St.)
- Get on Highway 101 South by taking Los Olivos St.to State St. Turn right on Mission St. Get on the Southbound onramp to 101
- Take the Olive Mill Rd. Exit. Turn left.
- The road becomes Hot Springs Rd. at some point without turning
- At East Mountain Dr., turn left.
- Drive about a mile and a half and park just before, or just after the stream crossing on the road.
- The trailhead begins on either side of the stream, but is best started before the stream crossing at the Montecito Trails Association sign. (Lat:34.45587 Lon:-119.65318)
Trail Guides for Tangerine Falls:
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: California state parks 805-968-1033
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Ori Wheeler
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by GNV on 4/17/2012
One of my favorite hikes to do in Santa Barbara. Not too hard but not easy as well. The views are sensational and lots of nature to keep you occupied for hours. Fun to do with kids as well, if they like the outdoors at least. I try and do this hike every time I travel to town which is fairly often! I just have to recommend the South Coast Inn (www.goleta-hotel.com). Actually relatively close to this trail and just a really nice place to stay in the area!
Reviewed by Roy on 10/7/2010
I hike the Cold Spring Trail West to Tangerine Falls regularly and it is a favorite. 1. Find trailhead. 2. 1/3 of a mile up you see the rusted metal West Fork sign and a memorial bench. Turn Left, cross the creek. 3. 2/3 of a mile more (2000 steps from trailhead) a trail descends sharply to the right, take it. 4. Cross the creek bed, climb the bank, and follow the pipe. 5. 50 yards from the creek, the trail forks: left goes to the top of the falls. Straight along the pipe goes to the Falls. (20-30mins, 1/3 mile, difficult) 6. To top of falls: 1 mile, 40 mins, steep. 7. Beyond falls, 700 steps, right fork is trail to Camino Cielo, ubersteep, cool views, 2mi. 8. Beyond Falls, 1500 steps, delightful swimming holes, End trail&old we
Reviewed by JD on 3/29/2009
Just took my girl up there. Directions to trail head very good. Trail sort of hard to follow. The trick really IS to follow the pipe. If you lose sight of the water pipes for more than a few seconds then you are going the wrong way. It's very easy to take a wrong turn and head up and around the falls and miss them. Though the trails further up were nice, we got too exhausted trying to find the falls to care to back track once we were heading back down the mountain. Otherwise, very beautiful trail. I recommend hiking there in spring rather in summer though, as it can get pretty hot, though if your goal is to swim in the pool, then spring would make the water too cold.
Reviewed by Nicole on 4/14/2008
Spectacular falls!!! Worth finding (we followed a couple of different directions and still found it to be a little tricky at a couple of spots). There was a chalk mark on the ground where the trail makes a "Y". Go right. (Left will take you up the ridge which gets challenging and takes you away from the falls). Cross the creek up a small embankment and head to the right. Key is following the big water pipe. Hike was beautiful, following clear pools of water. Not very far and once to the falls, WOW! This time of year is great because plenty of water! Highly recommend the experience and bring a swim suit!!
Reviewed by Lisa on 9/15/2007
One of my friends took me on this hike and told me to wear a bathing suit! I'm so glad that I did! When we got to the top we showered in the falls. It was the best experience possible. So, be sure to bring one!!!
Reviewed by Tricia on 8/20/2007
Although I tried my best to follow Dennis' directions, I'm not so sure we did. We ended up climbing up an unshaded mountain towards the end that was very steep. This hike really wore me out, first time I couldn't make it to the top. Very dry too. I didn't see very much water. Nevertheless, it's pretty. Make sure you bring a lot of water if you come in the summer and plan on climbing that mountain.
Reviewed by Spencer on 1/13/2007
Novice, good hike, dennis' directions below are a MUST to get to the top. Wasn't very difficult except for a few big rocks. Also, it was BEAUTIFUL at the top- the 100 foot waterfall and the view of the channel islands. I'd recommend to anyone.
Reviewed by ER on 3/19/2006
Just did this one last weekend - during a downpour on the way up! A slippery and dangerous trail when wet, I am sure all you would have to worry about is the poison oak forest that lines the trail in some parts on a sunny day. I lucked out and the sun came out as I almost made it to the top, so I sprinted up and was able to get some great photos . . . I review hikes here: outdoor-weblog.com
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Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, Santa Barbara County Hiking, Santa Barbara County Trails, Santa Barbara County Hikes