Socal - Santa Barbara County - Santa Barbara NickNames: #ColdSpringsTrail
From Highway 101 get off at Salinas Drive and head toward the mountains(NW). Take Salinas and turn right on Sycamore, left on Stanwood, right on El Cielito, left on Mountain, and right on Gibraltar road. Take Gibraltar up about 8-10 miles to the mountain ridgeline and turn right on E. Camino Cielo. Take this another 4 miles or so and look on your right for the metal trailhead sign, get on your bike and begin your amazing descent.
To loop this trail I suggest accessing as you would for Romero Canyon...Exit Highway 101 on Sheffield Drive. Take Sheffield about 1.5 miles to East Valley Road and turn left. Turn right immediately on Romero Canyon Road and take it for 1.5 miles. Then turn right on Bella Vista Drive and follow it for .3 miles to the red trailhead gate. From here climb up to E. Camino Cielo(road at the top) and take it over to the top of Cold Springs.
Submitted by Dusty Bottoms
The Santa Barbara front country trails (Tunnel, ColdSprings, etc.) are in danger of being closed to mountain bikes. Recent events, which include irresponsible trail use by mountain bikers and the sabotage or booby trapping of trails by a group of anti-bicyclists are the grounds for these closures. Both of these events have gained the attention of the Forest Service and the media.
If you ride here in Santa Barbara, there are some responsible use guidelines that we need you to follow. Your actions are judged by the other trail users and your actions will either help keep the trails open or help shut down your privilege to ride them.
Trail Use Guidelines:
- The Santa Barbara trails are Public Multi-use recreational trails. Be aware that there are other users on the trail. The SB trails are NOT race courses, do not treat them or ride them like race courses.
- Always yield to other trail users. This means that you must come to a complete stop when encountering another trail user. Ask the other trail user to pass by or allow you to pass when it is safe for them.
- Always use a bike bell. The purpose of a bike bell is to alert other trail users to your presence and take the surprise factor out of your encounter with them. The bell does not give you "right of way" or the license to race. Bells are available in the bell box at the top of Tunnel trail, at local SB bike shops, and at your local hardware or feed store.
- Stay on designated trails. Do not shortcut switchbacks. Someone in the hiking community has been damaging our Los Padre Forest resources by cutting and opening illegal trails. Do your best to stay off these trails. The trails at the end of the powerline road off of ColdSprings and the trail off of the lower right hand switchback of ColdSprings are examples of illegal trails.
- Allow trails to dry for a few days after rain. Riding wet or muddy trails may enhance and exaggerate the erosion caused by water.
- Strengthen the trails that you ride and use, volunteer for trail maintenance events. Find upcoming maintenance events on the www.sbmtv.org website.
* This may sound like a lot, but it only takes a little effort…
!The trails are being sabotaged!
For the last number of months, someone has been rolling large boulders onto the trails. Now in addition, 2' to 3' high rock walls are being built across the trail. Both the boulders and the walls seem to be placed on the trail with intent to injure mountain bike riders. We are worried that these booby traps may escalate to wire or more dangerous traps. Be careful going into blind corners as one of these booby traps may be set there for you. Be sure to scan the trail bed ahead for these traps. A small number of riders have already been injured.
The Forest Service has called together a "Front Country Working Group" to address these issues. SBMTV is cooperating with the other user groups in this process to develop solutions for increased user safety and the reduction of user conflicts on the Santa Barbara trails.
VP Trails, SBMTV
*Your posts to these trail review sites are being reviewed by the anti-bicyclist crowd. How do I know? Because they are using direct quotes from these reviews as ammunition in the push to ban bikes on SB trails…
Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers from Santa Barbara, CA
As far as hikers go, usually only the second part down do you hit hikers. The first section if there are any hikers are usually working out, speed running up the hill. There are some traps here and there with small rock walls. We try to move them out of the way when we are riding. Too bad hikers don't realize that it is a type of manslaughter that they are doing trying to roadblock bikers. All in all not bad, wear a bell, say "thank you" to any hikers (I just say it to say it, afterall they are moving out of YOUR way) and have fun.
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: 4 Elevation change:
Singletrack=15% Truck Trail=15%
chris a 20 year old Weekend Warrior riding a joyride, shivers, hayes hydro's, king, raceface from santa barbara
This trail is 90% rocks. I don't mean little rocks, these are big rocks. Plus all the hikers we ran into made for okay ride.
I am gonna try Sycamore soon in T.O.
Ride rating: Expert
Ride distance: 3-4 miles Elevation change: Alot
First I do romero, then I fall off cliff. Not clipless, but poor riding skills. This trial smooth bottom then rocky top. Watch out near top, that where I fall. My seat get messed up and takes 20 minutes to fix up. Maybe I need trainy wheels?
I go down Coldsprings and it load of fun. We clean most all drops no problem. I even bunny hoped switchbacks. This trail way better than nobles.
Then we ride back to base of Romero to cars. many people tired so Iboy take truck away and leave us with only suv. We want tunnel, but how we shuttle now? This I tell you how.
We drive to base of jibalter and drive to top then we go down tunnel. It gets very late so we bomb down not many stop and not retry we get done fast probably fast as DH'ers then go back to jibalter. Lots of yeehaw yell factor high. I promise to go to top and get suv while others wait. They too tired but I am mutant remember so I ride on.
DT flags down these hayseeds in old truck and make me hitch ride. These hayseed live most of way up jibalter and take me to tunnel head. I like this as they are good folks. Need more folks like this in US.
Anyway these two trials tunnel/coldspring awesome trials and I do again. Probably best techno around for length of trial. probably I do again both shuttle then I do romero and san yescdro shuttles too. 4 shuttle one day would not that be cool?
I never write so long, but I get break and like to trade stories to get others to bike these awesome trial.
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: lots of miles Elevation change: 3500 ft two time
Singletrack=60% Paved Path=25% Truck Trail=15%
Chirs a 33 year old riding a Superlight-XT from French
Like all other SB trails, very few MTBers and lots of hikers to dodge. Its amazing that LA-OC people don't get up here...just the same, all the better, leaves them for me!
Tunnel and Coldsprings indeed are the jewels of SB county, add that it with some bandages, good grub and babes on State Street and you get the quintessential socal experience!!!
Ride rating: Expert
Ride distance: 5 miles Elevation change: 2500
Gaping Wound a 34 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Specialized Hardtail from Huntington Beach
I know I keep blabbing about the Tunnel trail but these 2 are very similar. Cold Springs is slightly easier simply because it gives little breaks here and there. Where Cold Springs DOES set itself apart from Tunnel is that you can climb dirt from the Romero side to the top, where as for Tunnel your climb is the paved grueler known as Gibraltar. The other plus for Cold Springs is that there is NO EXTRA CLIMBING between the top and bottom sections. There is a climb between Tunnel and Jesusita.
Your 2 day Santa Barbara bike trip consists of...
Day #1-Climb Romero, drop Cold Springs
Day#2-Climb Gibraltar, drop Tunnel and Jesusita.
Good luck to you.