Seven Falls

At about the 1 mile mark you will reach the creek.  The Jesusita Trail continues straight across the creek, going up to Inspiration Point.  But you are going to Seven Falls, which means you turn right and go up the creek.

You can boulder hop all the way up the creek to Seven Falls, or you can slosh your way through the water, or both.  Sometimes, when the water is high, you'll have to do both.

You know you have reached Seven Falls when you can't go any further without some very difficult rock climbing.  To get back to your car, return the way you came.

Distance: 2.6 miles round-trip

Time: 1.5 hours

Highlights:  A straightforward trail, followed by a fun dose of rock-hopping leads to seven distinct little waterfalls and a series of swimming holes.

Similarities/Differences:  This trail heads upstream to the falls instead of downstream to Lake Cachuma, but the amount of rock-hopping and elevation change is similar.  Just like Tequepis Creek at Rancho Alegre, Mission creek can dry up in summer, so go on a warm day in spring or late autumn and wear a suit for the pools.

Elevation Gain:  800 feet

Difficulty: Easy, with moderate climbing over rocks near falls

Trailhead: From the Mission, at the corner of Laguna and Los Olivos Street in Santa Barbara, head up Los Olivos toward the mountains. The road makes a jag and becomes Mission Canyon Rd.  At the stop sign, turn right on Foothill Rd.  At the stop sign and fire station, turn left onto Mission Canyon Rd.  At the fork in the road, stay left on Tunnel Rd.  Drive to the end of Tunnel Rd. and park your car on the right shoulder.  Be careful to park with your tires completely within the line or you may be towed.  Hike up to the end of the road by the large water tank and metal gate across the road. This is the trailhead.

Directions:  From the trailhead, pass through the iron, locked gate and follow the paved Edison Rd.

At approximately 3/4 mile, cross the creek on a wooden bridge.  Around the bend the road becomes dirt.  There is a junction here.  To the right the Edison road continues up for a few miles and makes a nice walk or mountain bike ride of its own.  For Seven Falls., Stay straight on the dirt road at this junction.

Go just a little ways, maybe a few hundred yards further, and off to the right is the sign and junction for Tunnel Trail.  Continue straight, not taking Tunnel Trail, for a few more yards to the junction on the left for Jesusita Trail.

Credit: Original hike description found at

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