The coast of California offers lots of suns, beaches, and urban places to explore, but not much in the way of forests and trails. Rattlesnake Canyon Trail is pawrific as it explores one of the few parks near the coast, Lod Padres National Forest. The trail is only five miles from the coast and offers exciting views of mountains and forests not normally found here.
The trail itself is a small hikers trail, only 4 feet wide and made from compacted dirt that starts at the Rattlesnake Canyon Trailhead, adjacent to Skofield Park. Parking for the trailhead is inside the park, where hikers can enjoy access to bathrooms, picnic areas, water fountains, and clean-up stations for Fido. The trail begins in a nice shaded section of the canyon and follows along an unmarked creek. Thanks to the towering trees and cool water nearby, the areas stays pretty cool and provides a relaxing place to get outside.
Fishing and swimming are allowed in the water, with small pools offering plenty of room to get your feet or paws wet. The trail heads upward along the mountain ridge and about halfway through, you'll come across a stone arch bridge that goes over the creek. Shortly after this, you and your pup will find a clearing at the highest point along the path, where you'll see miles of thick forests and desert that make up Rattlesnake Canyon Park and Los Padres National Forest.
The trail begins its descent to the opposite end of the trail, where it ends along a gravel parking area along Gibraltar Road. The trip back up the mountain is just as easy, following over an even grade, and will lead you back to your car. An easy back and forth trail, a diverse landscape near the coast, and lots of photogenic areas to explore, what more could you ask for in a trail? Well, Fido will be begging to come back for more!