The Cold Spring Trail is a four-and-a-half-mile trail in the Santa Barbara Ranger District of the Los Padres National Forest. This trail offers hikers a lot of natural splendor including several small pools, a waterfall, creek, alder trees and chaparral vegetation at the higher elevations along the trail. The best part is that you can bring your pooch along. although you must be aware of sections of the trail where you have to keep your dog on-leash or off-leash.
To get to the trail, find US 101 and travel southbound then get on the Olive Mill Road and exit this road to the left and keep driving. The road eventually becomes Hot Springs Road. Keep driving and turn left at East Mountain Drive. Travel about a mile-and-a-half and park near the stream crossing at the Montecito Trails Association sign.
Right next to the parking area Cold Spring Trail starts off as a gentle shaded incline along a creek. After a gentle quarter-mile incline, you will get to a bench by the creek where you can rest and clear your mind amidst the sound of a small waterfall. You can then decide whether you and Fido should press on. The first one and a half miles of the trail are a relatively easy hike, while the remaining three-and-a-half-miles are fairly steep and more strenuous.
Cold Spring Trail is mostly in good condition and has several key milestones to soak in along the way, including some bedrock pools where you can sunbathe at the three-quarter mile mark. You will also find the Montecito Overlook at the one-and-a-half-mile mark, the Montecito Peak at the three-and-a-half-mile mark, and finally the Camino Cielo at the four-and-a-half-mile mark.
There are rules posted along the trail to indicate on-leash and off-leash areas of the track, and you should keep your pup under voice command in off-leash areas. Additionally, make sure that you protect and respect the habitat and wildlife along the trail.
The Cold Spring Trail has access to a mountain
crest and pawrific views of the coastline, which makes it well worth the
challenge to explore with Fido
This half of the trail is also quite strenuous, and you can expect to come across mountain bikers coming down the trail so maintain caution.