The trail is accessed via Tunnel Road, in a congested but tidy neighborhood in the hills above Santa Barbara. Parking is available on the street, but be sure to keep your tires inside the painted white lines or risk being ticketed or towed. The local constabulary are very serious about this rule to preserve emergency access to the neighborhood.
Once you've parked and made the short walk up the hill to the gate at the end of Tunnel Road, you'll need to hike another 1/2 mile on a gentle incline to the trailhead. From here, there are 2 routes to the falls: take a small, sun-exposed trail on the creek's north side of the creek, then drop down for the final approach; or, walk straight up the shaded creek, sloshing and rock-hopping if the water is flowing, or just rock-hopping if it is not. The falls feature seven connecting pools for swimming and splashing. You'll know you've reached the end because the imposing solid stone monolith rising at the back of the falls would require some serious rapelling to overcome.
Snakes, salamanders and many species of birds live near the trail, and you're likely to hear the scurrying of small mammals. The trees overhanging the creek and wildflowers growing out of the rock are delightful companions on your hike as well.
While this hike is a challenging one, it's short and the rewards are sweet for you and your loyal pup.
Rattlesnakes live in the area around this trail and they may make an appearance. Give them lots of room, and don't poke or approach them. Poison oak is also a resident here. Wearing long pants helps. Some sections of the trail have sudden drop-offs to the creek bed below so be sure to keep Fido securely in hand.