- Tuesday, October 03, 2023
Southern California Trails
Romero Canyon - #RomeroCanyon
Socal - Santa Barbara County - Montecito NickNames: #RomeroCanyon
From Santa Barbara head south on hwy 101 and exit 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.
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- Last update
- Trail UpdateRomero Bulldozed - Pics-I came accross these bulldozed pics of the romero fire road on another form... http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=332918&highlight=romero
THAT SUCKS ... I figured everyone would like to know.
- Trail UpdateI rode Romero about two week ago and it is the same as it has been for years. No signs of bulldozing. The lower fire road is kept fairly well maintained and the trail is in great shape although its a little more rocky and dusty due to the lack of rain.
- Trail UpdateBulldozed?-I was planning a trip from LA. I want to do Romero, but I heard that it was completely bulldozed and is now a wide uncovered fire rode... CAN ANYONE CONFIRM THIS? Is this worth riding anymore?
- Trail UpdateRomero Trail Rocks!-I haven't ridden Romero Canyon trail in 10 years. But for anyone thinking of checking it out...be prepared for some of the best of all type of trail riding you can get into one hell of a ride with incredible views of my home town, which I miss so much! Romero was my official training ride back when I was racing XC. I owe a lot to Romero Canyon, it is close to town and includes great climbing (both single track and fire road, and technical bike handeling practice on the way up and down. I hope to visit soon and expect to find some suprise changes over the years, I do remember after rains the trail will change some and have a whole new naturally made trail to conquer.
huisurf a 40 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Trek - Fuel EX 9.5 from San Diego
- Trail UpdateTotally Fun!-I rode the trail last weekend while up for a wedding. You guys are lucky to have such a great network of trails right in your backyard! We took the Romero Trail to the "water tower" where we just chilled with some fellow riders and gabbed about how great the days ride had been. The trail is a challenge to climb but the grade doesn't offer any especially tough pitches, just a few fun little land features both natural and man made that beg you to go back and try again! If you get tired there are plenty of spots to chill and checkout the views of SB and the ocean along the way! Thanks to Tony and Hugh from the North Ranch Mountain Bikers who showed us out of towners a great time! Oh yeah, and thanks again for encouraging us to check out the "creek trail" on the way back, it was a blast! If this is a dose of what SB has to offer, all I can say is you guys are lucky! In San Diego we've got Lake Morena and Nobel Canyon which are super cool but we've got to drive 50 miles to get there! Enjoy this ride, I can't wait to come back for more!
ICPAYDIRT a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz Superlight from Pacific Beach .com
- Trail UpdateNew Character-The recent storms brought a new personality to Romero cyn. Slides and rocks bring a fresh new look to this already fun trail. The singletrack above the three way junction (mile 4 if you start on the fireroad)is a great workout if you like rocky climbs. The singletrack connector between the three way junction and the fireroad below is in great shape.
Don't forget to use a bell when you use the front country trails to alert other users of your presence.
Andres a 33 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz Heckler from Santa Barbara
- Trail UpdateRomero-I cannot believe this trail has not been updated in years! I ride this all the time but have not since teh rain. I am going to ride it and update it this week. I do know that after the first round of terrential pouring that the upper section had a rather large rut running down the center which is very hrad to avoid. I planted the front wheel in this crevace and endoed right onto my thick head breaking my helmet for the first time in 12 years of mtn biking.
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: ? Elevation change: 2500 + -
Johnny Rider a 38 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Santa Cruz Blur from ventura
- Trail UpdateI rode this trail for the first time today (first time on any of the trails in SB) and it is a blast. Even the climb up is pretty fun, once it turns into singletrack. The climb is just technical enough to make it interesting and fun, but not so technical that you are forced to hike-a-bike. I climbed all the way to the top. There was some hike-a-bike after that to get to the upper singletrack. It's easy to find. Not sure if it's worth it though. It's steep. Very loose, exposed, with some ruts. Some switchbacks with ruts right in the middle. The lower half of single track is where the fun really begins. Though I think it's a bit short.
I would like to say though that I had a surprisingly pleasant encounter with two sets of hikers. I say surprising because after reading all the hiker/mountain biker problems going on up there, I was a little concerned. I purposely planned on riding on a weekday, starting the ride at 6 a.m. just to minimize any encounters with hikers in the area. The first set of hikers I encountered while going down the lower singletrack. They were coming up. 3 very, very nice looking, slightly older (40'ish) yuppy ladies. I have to say they were very hot and quite nice to me, playfully joking around with me as I stopped to let them by on the trail. The second set I encountered was another group of ladies while I was packing up and getting ready to leave...same story as the first. One even waved to me as I was driving away.
Really I was quite surprised at how nice all these ladies were.
Anyway...good ride. Lotsa fun. I can't wait to go back and try some of the other trails in the area.
- Trail UpdateRomero Canyon...-went up romero on mon. morn and i don't think there could ever exist a more perfect day for riding. hardly anyone on the trail and the few that were appreciated my trusty bell. i love this climb. there are a few technical sections near the top that may require a dismount or two but advanced climbers shouldn't have any problem. at the top there's a watertank and a paved road and over to the right you can see a snaking, swithchbacking singletrack that looks steep and fast. it's easy to get to. just follow the singletrack to the right of the watertank that goes WAY UP and you'll soon meet up with it after about a 1/4 of a mile. the first half is steep, loose and fast. the second half is poundingly rocky. this is serious saddle-lowering fat tire stuff here. it reminds me of an abridged version of noble canyon in san diego. fabulous stuff...
Singletrack=80% Dirt Road=20%
Andy a 33 year old Die-hard Enthusiast
- Trail UpdateXTRA Caution On Sat. 11/30-This Saturday (tomorrow) the 9 Trail Run will be happening on our front country trails. If you are out on the trails anytime on Saturday, please take extra extra caution by scanning the trail ahead of you, wearing a bell, and stopping for runners/other trail users well in advance.
- Trail UpdateSanta Barbara Trail Information:
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
- Trail UpdateRomero To The Top-Rode this on Saturday, April 27, 2002. Perfect conditions. Rode to the top, hung a left on the paved road, then descended San Ysidro Canyon. That was perfect too. The connector trail from the bottom of San Ysidro to Romero, under the power lines, is a grunt of a climb. Do the road if you are at all tired at this point.
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: 17 Elevation change:
Singletrack=75% Truck Trail=25%
Chase a 34 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Foes FXC from Northampton, MA
- Trail UpdateRomero Singletrack-Rode there yesterday for the first time. The fireroad up is pretty bumpy, but kinda keeps you interested in what you're doing rather than the typical fireroad snooze climb. There's a great lookout point a few miles up where you can see the entire coast and the mountains to the S and SE. The fireroad then turns to singletrack about 2/3 of the way up. It's kinda tricky in a few spots and there are spots that have seen a few landslides, but all rideable and fun. We reached the 3 way fork and took Romero Canyon S/T back down. Smooth and luge-like in the beginning and then the rock gardens and small dropoffs begin appearing. This is December 9th and in the late afternoon, so we have low light and there is a thick blanket of fallen, but beautiful leaves hiding the rocks which makes for a more technical ride. Overall, very fun, kinda short, but well worth the easy climb to get too it.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 13 miles Elevation change: 2500ish
Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50%
Matt90272 a 29 year old Racer riding a Cannondale Jekyll from Pacific Palisades
- Trail UpdateRomero Canyon-A bunch of us did the ride described by Endo below Sunday. Great day weatherwise allowing views of the Channel Islands. I'll say one thing when you park on Bella Vista a little east of the gate and look up at the peak it looks imposing. The climb however really isn't brutally steep at any part of either the fireroad or singletrack. The first 2-2.5 miles of fireroad are moderate with some rocky stretches. The trail than changes over to singletrack and a few rocks start popping up than some more but nothing really technical. There are some really nice lush sections especially as you cross a running creek near a cement drainage area. Past this things are sweet but than you come up on a stretch with a lot of broken shale. Following this is almost a relentless run of rocky stretches until the last half mile to the saddle. There are only 2-3 real difficult spots to make if you are good at riding through loose rocky areas. Parts of this stretch reminded me a little of going up Chumash in Simi and at times Dead Cow in Westlake Village (but not nearly as steep as the Cow).As I'm grinding up this area on my old Giant hardtail thinking of that sweet Intense Tracer I'm getting next month I see a group of 3 bikers with full body armor coming down the trail on Intense M1-SL'S--I was wondering why weren't they heading down Cold Springs or Tunnel? Anyway, make sure on your return back down Romero you turn right at the I/S with the canyon trail--very nice and technical. As for Romero Endo is right about it being best for full suspension as it's a chore on a hardtail coming back down.
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: 13 miles Elevation change: 2300'
Singletrack=65% Dirt Road=35%
Dan from T.O.
- Trail UpdateShweet!-First off, sorry for the skinny Mac post.
What an amazing ride!! We arrived in Santa
Barbara late in the afternoon and decided to climb
Romero and see how much time we had when we
got to the top before deciding whether to go down
Cold Springs or back down Romero. This climb is
beautiful! If you like climbing and have full
suspension then you'll be in heaven. It's rocky but
nothing our Superlight and FSR couldn't tame. We
left at 5:20 and 2300' later reached Camino Cielo
at 6:40pm, too late to spend time on Cold Springs,
which we've never done. So back down Romero to
the singletrack intersection. We hung right and
sunk our teeth into what's basically the El Prieto
trail in the San Gabriels, but on steroids!! The s.t.
twists and turns as it follows a flowing creek. It's
dark, lush and scary fast (but watch for hikers).
Along the way are switchbacks, exposure and
technical rock gardens to challenge most riders,
but they were very fun technical rock gardens! We
were nothing but grins. If it wasn't so late when we
got back to the fireroad we would have climbed
back up for more. This one goes way up on my list
Ride rating: Advanced
Singletrack=70% Dirt Road=30%
Endo Verendo a Die-hard Enthusiast riding a FSR Enduro from Studio City
- Trail UpdateNO MORE SECRETS??-Why would us SB riders want to have all the OC and LA ampers up here to crowd up our trails???!!! My opinion is, if you can find em, ride em and we will show you respect. But I'll be darned if we are going to give away all the best secrets to out of towners.
- Trail UpdateRomero Canyon-This was my first time on this trail and I was somewhat burnt from the hot weather on my Little Pine Mtn ride the day before. Therefore, my friends and I decided to ride an out-and-back on the main Romero Canyon Rd/Trail. From the trailhead it is about 6.5 miles to the saddle. There are various trails that split off to the left (a steep singletrack and a fireroad) but we stayed to the right. After 2 miles the fireroad narrows to a sweet singletrack. From here to the top there are just enough short technical spots to keep your focus. You can't just relax and spin on this climb. However, the entire route is rideable. The trail climbs through a nice shady section up to an intersection with another singletrack. I continued straight up to the saddle. From here there are many options (including a nice shaded singletrack that continues straight through a wooded covering. However, a short ride was enough for this day. So, after a short break in the shade, we turned around and cruised down the main trail all the way back. Even though it was a Sunday afternoon and this trail is located close to population, there wasn't much traffic on Romero (probably because of the heat). I took advantage of the situation and bombed down the trail at a good clip. This is one of my new favorite trails. If you pick a good line, you can fly (since the grade is not too steep) without feeling out of control. I'm definitely coming back here for more exploration. Overall, I would say this trail is more technical than San Juan but less technical than Noble Canyon (although the main trail is only half their length).
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 13 miles Elevation change: 2000
Singletrack=70% Dirt Road=30%
SS a 32 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Catamount from OC
- Trail UpdateJust Like Bizmarke...-...this climb has no rythym. None. It starts with a standard socal fireroad grind, similar in initial pitch to Trailer Canyon in the Santa Monicas, but levels, then climbs at a lesser pitch, then levels, then climbs... you get the idea. Very beautiful sweeping views of the ocean and flatlands you are rapidly leaving below. The fireroad gives way into a singletrack, which keeps you honest- lots of rocks to negotiate. Continue to the left-hand turn that drops quickly into Romero Canyon (a very fun rock garden similar to Jesusita or lower Cold Springs). Either turn left (lots of bang for the buck), or continue straight to connect (eventually) with East Camino Cielo, which is the drop off point for San Ysidro, Cold Springs, and if you are into climbing for a while longer, Tunnel.
Before you think, "Oh, that's easy. I hate climbing Gibraltar, and this sounds like a piece of cake. Let's go!", you should know that upper Romero kicked the living crapheesh out of me. It isn't steep, but the rocks are placed *perfectly* to break any sort of spinning rythym you can pray for. This is a very technical climb, near the cieling of my ability due to the length and obstacles that it throws your way. There are several sandy rockslides that cover the trail, which mercilessly sucks any momentum you have fought for right out from underneath you. DP the rockstar had an easier day of it than I did, because the punk-ass has a Superlight that ate the small rocks up completely. So while he was sitting enjoying the view, I was getting tossed around like a ragdoll on my Homegrown. It was very demoralizing, but DP loved it, and thought that the climb was much better than Gibraltar. So the moral of the story is, get full suspension if you are going to climb this mother to the top.
Once on E. Camino Cielo, hook a left, and let your legs remember how to spin again on pavement. Very few cars, not so bad. The fun stuff lies ahead to the left.
Be the ball.
Ride rating: Advanced
Singletrack=75% Dirt Road=25%
El Santo riding a Homegrown and a sore ass
- Trail UpdateRomero Canyon-Rode Fire Road up - moderate grinder all the way up and around the backside. Turns into singletrack about 1/3 of the way up. Lot of loose fist sized rocks to get over. View is incredible.
1/2 way up after an hour and 1500' ele gain you hit a hiking trail. Take the left downhill, wind thru a set of tight switchbacks and then the fun begins. Lots of techno drops for excitement.
Definitely the only techno stuff I have seen in SB so far. I have hear the tunnel trail is even narlier and more fun!
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 6 miles Elevation change: 1500 ft
Singletrack=70% Dirt Road=30%
gaping wound a 34 year old Weekend Warrior riding a specialized hardtail from santa barbara, ca
- Trail UpdateNO MORE SECRETS!-Has anyone besides myself noticed that there are only 3 trail descriptions under S.B. county? It appears that our brothers to the north have been holding out on us...well not anymore. I went up there about 6 months ago for a wedding and bought a trail map but didn't have chance to ride. But I did notice that the map was flaunting TWICE the elevation and TWICE the trail miles as the S.M. mountains! That's right, the Santa Ynez mountain range has some peaks well over 6000 feet...and that is from sea level. Anyway the descpription below should give you a taste, but I strongly suggest going up there, buying a map and doing this ride as well as the 'Tunnel to Jesusita' ride I will also post.
The ride from the gate starts as your typical fire road ascent along a ridge. Continuing for a couple miles the trail very suddenly turns into singletrack and cuts into very green vegetation. Follow this for another couple miles until you come to a signed intersection. There is a trail heading down to your left, a trail continuing straight heading up, and a trail to your right heading STRAIGHT UP! If your looking for a 3.5 hour cardio challenge head straight to the water tower(3 more miles) and descend the much steeper trail on the right back to the intersection. For the 2 hour version just head down into the canyon like we did. This section is top 10 on my list for beauty, skill check, and ease of access(fire road climb is cake). It starts with typical ridgeline drop into the canyon. Then it is speed shoot into creek crossing into speed shoot into rock garden into creek crossing into rock garden into speed shoot. Get in your car and get up there...Good luck to you.
Dusty Bottoms a 28 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a trail that the locals don't want me on.