Those seeking the wilderness close to downtown will find just that at Skofield Park and Rattlesnake Canyon trail. Access is via Las Canoas Road with parking either along the road or at Skofield Park. Both parks feature a natural landscape of oaks, sycamores, chaparral, and Mission Creek.
Skofield Park was originally private land, owned by Ray Skofield, a founder of the local men’s riding group called Los Rancheros Vistadores in 1930. Ray built a road and other facilities on the 35 acres, and the Rancheros first used portions of the land as a camp in 1937. When the surrounding area started getting more developed, Los Rancheros sold the land to the City for a park. Shortly after, the Rattlesnake Canyon area was sold to the City as well. Today, the open space is there for all to enjoy and is the City’s only reservable camping area.
Features of this park include a perimeter road of almost a half mile, picnic tables, boulders, oak groves, creek access, birding, and more.
Rattlesnake Canyon Park – 5 miles round-trip to Gibraltar Road or 3.5 miles round-trip to meadow
Rattlesnake Canyon trail moves north and eastward for 2.6 miles up Rattlesnake Canyon ending on Gibraltar Road at an elevation of 2,475 ft. This trail features beautiful views of Santa Barbara, Montecito, and the islands, creek access, birding, wildflowers and more. This trail is very popular, so please be respectful of others and pick up after your dog. This trail is also the only trail in the front country trail system to prohibit the use of bikes.