Starting in downtown Santa Barbara (one of the many coffee shops are good starting points), this loop to Lake Casitas and back is approximately 65-miles with a little over 5,200 feet of elevation gain. Maximum climbing happens around the twenty mile mark at the Lake Casitas summit.
What Makes It Great
Prepare to see subtly beautiful farms along the rolling hills of Carpinteria. Once you hit Highway 150, you will begin climbing until you reach the Lake Casitas Summit. Once you catch your breath from the second hill crest (summit), the beautiful views of Lake Casitas await you. You can refill on water and take a restroom break if needed at Lake Casitas.
Many choose to head back to Santa Barbara via the Pacific Coast Highway (101/1) via Ventura instead of directly back the way they came out.
Who is Going to Love It
The 65 mile round-trip distance is a long day but one that most cyclists will enjoy. Many riders stop and relax at Lake Casitas before making the ride home. Riders who enjoy hills and rolling terrain will feel right at home, while newer riders can embrace a challenging loop that won't be overwhelming as long as they pace themselves.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Starting from downtown is the "standard" beginning to this ride, though any place you access Hwy. 150 will do.