Some come to Santa Barbara for leisure, others come for pure adventure. If you count yourself as part of the latter, don’t miss spending a day climbing the beautiful mountains of these coastal foothills. Here’s our guide to the best routes to explore on your next vacation:
Lizard’s Mouth is one of the more famous spots in Santa Barbara for its vastness and stunning panoramic views of the ocean. Long-known for being the number one place to go for a sunset, today it is a climber’s paradise. Located slightly north of the city, you just take Highway 54 to West Camino Cielo Road to get there.
The Painted Cave climbing spot is great for many reasons; with a range of levels, easy access, and historical significance in Santa Barbara, this is the perfect place to include on your travel itinerary. Only about 15-20 minutes from town, this is one of the oldest bouldering areas around. Be sure to check out “Trojan Boulder” and “Hallway Boulder” for the opportunity to practice your technique.
If you come to Santa Barbara a novice of rock climbing, head to Gibraltar Rock to practice one of many beginner routes. It is a popular place for first-timers, is rope-friendly, and is even the meeting point for several local classes. The spot is actually a family of rocks, so there are satisfying routes of more experienced climbers as well.
San Ysidro is one of the best climbing spots in SB. With more than a dozen routes in a range of difficulty, the spot is extremely popular amongst locals and is prime all year round. Although the it is not for beginners, if you are a sports enthusiast and experienced climber, this is worth putting on the schedule. It is easily the most beautiful rock formations in town.
Again for the beginner, Skofield Park is the perfect place to go on your next visit to Santa Barbara to practice your bouldering skills. Unlike the typical, maintained park, this spot is rampant with boulders that, although small, offer plenty of opportunity to have fun. In addition, because it is not too far out of town, this would be an easy and quick diversion in the middle of a busy afternoon.