Hiking Inspiration Point above Santa Barbara

During my mother’s visit last week, we hiked the Inspiration Point Trail above Santa Barbara.

It was an enjoyable 3+ miles, though more strenuous than any of us expected based on the trail descriptions we read. Nonetheless, we had a great time!

I tracked our efforts with MapMyFitness: http://www.mapmyfitness.com/workout/1343364587.

High above Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez River

I took a drive into the Los Padres National Forest above Santa Barbara yesterday, hoping to escape the June Gloom and check out a possible hiking trip that would include a visit to the Gibraltar Reservoir and dam. Driving CA 154 west from its junction with US 101, the road climbs quickly into the mountains, allowing one to escape the low cloud cover rather quickly.

The first photo looks out over Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean. Visible are the clouds characterized as June Gloom, and in the distance, the peaks of Santa Rosa island just barely make an appearance.

The second photo looks over the Santa Ynez River as it flows from Gibraltar Dam towards the Pacific. Since the flow is controlled (Gibraltar Reservoir provides drinking water for Santa Barbara), much of the river basin below the dam is a recreation area and includes swimming holes, campsites, and hiking trails.

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