The Sierra Madre Mountains located in Santa Barbara, CA offer some of the best sight-seeing and hiking trails. Approximately 25 miles long the mountain range and wilderness area is a serene and natural space that provides a wealth of sights, sounds, and connection with nature. Some of the highest peaks within the Sierra Madre range include MacPherson Peak at 5,747 ft. (1,752mi) in elevation and Peak Mountain standing at 5,843 ft. (1,784 mi) in elevation.
The Sierra Madre Range forms the southwestern side of the Cuyama valley and is mostly located within the Los Padres National Forest. The mountains are one of the most important undeveloped habitat areas of the endangered California Condor, which have slowly been reintroduced to the region after near extinction.
All trails are closed during the fire season. Information about hiking and closure conditions is available by calling the Sierra Madre Police Department (626) 355-1414 or contact the United States Forest Service.
Hiking at Old Mt. Wilson Trail
Leave your car parked at the junction of Mira Monte and Mt. Wilson Trail, and take a much needed hike on the Wilson trails. The trail leads to the Mount Wilson Observatory founded in 1904 and the summit of Mt. Wilson. Immediate destinations include First Water and Orchard Camp. The trail moves into the Sierra Madre Historical Wilderness Area with a gradual climb through its first 1.5 miles. Next two miles to Orchard Camp are shrouded with shade and heavy timber. For advanced hikers it is an additional 4 miles to Mt. Wilson through heavy timber and switchbacks that are challenging. It is a 14 mile round trip to the summit of Mount Wilson
Hiking at Bastard Ridge
This ridge is not for the faint of heart. Beginning hikers, who have not hiked the Old Mt. Wilson trail, are not encouraged to attempt this hike. This trail ascends 1700 ft. in one mile and can feel like an uphill slog to reach the summit of Jones Peak. The distance of the trail is 13.1 miles with an elevation gain of 5002 ft. Include 5-9 hours to be able to complete this entire trail. Bastard’s Ridge is considered difficult. The ridge is steep and contains rattlesnakes. Hikers are advised to bring more water than usual for this strenuous and challenging trail.
Best Sierra Madre Hiking trails
There are other exciting hiking trails located in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Many of them are very scenic and worthwhile the hike. Hikers of all skill levels can enjoy these trails. Here are just a few of the other exciting
Sierra Madre Trails
Canyon View Nature Trail
Located 1 mile to “MacCloud Saddle” where visitors will be able to view evidence of the Sierra Madre Fault and 2.2 miles to streamside rest at the “old cabin foundations” Canyon View Nature Trail is a journey waiting to be explored. To start the trail, follow Canyon View Nature Trail to mile marker #11, and then continue to the old cabin foundations. The trail will lead further to Jones Peak, which is within the boundary of the Sierra Madre Historical Wilderness Area. Total distance is 3.3 miles.
Live Oak Nature Trail
This canyon view self-guided nature trail, begins a short distance beyond the footbridge in Bailey Canyon. The trail meanders through a scenic mountainside on a gradual incline. Eventually this amazing trail will lead to a waterfall about one half mile down the trail.
Located at 451 West Carter Avenue at Grove Street lies a nature study area with trails, plant identification and an information kiosk is Bailey Canyon. This is a beautiful canyon connected to the Sierra Madre mountain range. Permits are not required for fires in stoves but are required for use of the fire ring. The canyon is open year round from dusk to dawn, overnight camping is prohibited, however.
There are many places along the Sierra Madre range that are beautiful to visit and take a long hike. This mountain range is located in one of the most unique areas of Santa Barbara, CA. The peaks tell a story of a wonderful geologic history for