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San Ysidro Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.4 (5)

Hike this trail through San Ysidro Canyon to catch a glimpse of San Ysidro Falls while gaining over 3,000ft of elevation.


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Map Key

4.5

Miles

7.2

KM

Point to Point

3,468' 1,057 m

High

446' 136 m

Low

3,022' 921 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (7°)

32%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Swimming · Waterfall

Need to Know

Re-opened after the December 2017 the Thomas Fire Closure. Use caution around loose soils, rolling rocks, and unstable portions of the trails. USFS staff continue to work with local groups and partner organizations to repair damaged sections of trails. Check USFS website for the most up-to-date information.

Description

From the trailhead, the San Ysidro Trail parallels a residential driveway for a while before becoming a dirt road. 4/10 of a mile into your hike, you'll come across a junction for the Old Pueblo Trail and the McMenemy Trail 1/10 of a mile later. Avoid taking either of these diverging trails and continue straight to follow the San Ysidro Trail. 1.4 miles into the trail, you'll reach San Ysidro Creek, which features a small waterfall and a large pool here.

The trail then continues to climb and after 2 miles of being on trail, you'll cross San Ysidro Creek. Shortly after the creek crossing, there will be a path curving to the right and one that goes straight. Stay on the straight path to continue following the San Ysidro Trail and you'll quickly reach San Ysidro Falls, which are the highlight of the hike. At 60 feet tall, the San Ysidro Falls make for a stunning sight.

Once you've had your fill of the falls, you'll follow the steep and rugged trail up the canyon wall, utilizing the long switchbacks in place. After 2.5 miles and roughly 1,700 ft. of elevation gain, you'll finally reach the trail's end as it hits East Camino Cielo.

Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store.

Flora & Fauna

Bougainvillea, sea fig, and numerous other exotic plants can be found along the start of the San Ysidro Trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

John McKinney with improvements by Kirsten T and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes

#1

in Montecito

#7701

Overall
  4.4 from 5 votes
5 Star
60%
4 Star
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20%
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#1

in Montecito

#676

in California

#7,701

Overall
35 Views Last Month
4,484 Since Jul 27, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

San Ysidro Canyon with the clouds covering Santa Barbara from a mile above San Ysidro Falls
Mar 13, 2022 near Montecito, CA
The final zigzags on the San Ysidro Trail
Mar 13, 2022 near Montecito, CA
San Ysidro Falls in early March.
Oct 26, 2017 near Montecito, CA
Morning clouds in San Ysidro Canyon
Mar 13, 2022 near Montecito, CA
As you gain elevation, the views of Santa Barbara get very far reaching
Mar 13, 2022 near Montecito, CA

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Check-Ins

Aug 7, 2021
Tilman Giese
May 10, 2020
KSRT Rose-Thomas
Mar 15, 2020
Elizabeth Arnold
Mar 9, 2020
Shane Bandy
Feb 23, 2020
Melissa Stern
With Sarah Whitney in montecito - so pretty! Very much up the first half, kinda tough. But good!
Feb 15, 2020
Christiane Franca
Nov 7, 2019
Shane Bandy
Aug 30, 2019
Shane Bandy

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