On the weekdays, the Blue Canyon Trail is one of the most isolated you'll find with a rural feel and sense of nature like no other trail can provide. The canyon is pretty close to Santa Barbara, making it a popular hike on the weekends. If you do go on the weekday, you and Fido will enjoy plenty of time alone together to explore the natural area which boasts creeks, rivers, high ridges, and wildflowers in the spring and summer.
Starting at the northern end of the trail, you'll find parking along the road next to the Santa Ynez River in Rose Canyon. The trail immediately starts to follow a low grade upward, traveling along the river and coming close to the riverbed. The path is pretty covered throughout the entire length along the river, with shaded spots and areas to sit by the river to swim or fish. One of the major obstacles of the trail is that it crosses over the river with no bridge, and can be tricky due to slippery rocks. After crossing, you'll continue your hike into Blue Canyon, no longer following the river, and getting an even better sight of the nearby forests and mountain peaks that make up Los Padres National Forest.
The trail follows along a small creek, which offers refreshing water and breeze that follows along with it. Hikers will pass through three different campgrounds, known as Cottam Camp, Blue Canyon Camp, and Upper Blue Canyon Camp, all named for the blue and green serpent-like creeks that cut through the valley. The trail is surrounded by overhead alders, oaks and sycamore trees, with meadows every couple of miles to show off the spring wildflowers that bloom here.
After Upper Blue Canyon Campground, you'll come to Blue Canyon Pass and to the end of the trail along Romero Camuesa Road, where there is a large parking area on the side of the road. When you and Fido take a trek through this valley, you'll find a complete sense of aloneness, with will give you and Fido the perfect chance to spend time together and explore just how you want!