The Jesuita Trail (which leads to Inspiration Point) is one of the most popular mountain bike trails in the Santa Barbara area. This approximately 7-mile trail features rocks, switchbacks and technical sections better suited for experienced riders.
What Makes It Great
After 1,200 feet of head-down climbing, you are treated to some really nice views of the ocean and of the Channel Islands and Santa Barbara skyline. The descent is fast and loose at the top. Hikers and trail runners also flock here because of its proximity to downtown Santa Barbara. Because of the crowded conditions, a bell is recommended for signaling around those blind corners. The route is mostly shaded. It is also open to horses. Make it an out and back or create a loop by using the Tunnel Trail. Other hikes from this trailhead include Cathedral Peak, Seven Falls, and Arlington Peak.
Who is Going to Love It
This is a great trail for intermediate to strong riders, though less experienced bikers can still have fun challenging some of the technical terrain. It's a multi-use trail, so if you lack trail manners... this isn't the ride for you!
From the Mission, corner of Laguna and Los Olivos Street in Santa Barbara...
Head up Los Olivos toward the mountains. The road makes a jag and becomes Mission Canyon Rd.
At the stop sign, turn left on Foothill Rd.
Drive 4 tenths of a mile and turn right on San Roque Rd. Pass the W. B. Cater Water Filtration Plant. Park your car where there is a large wooden sign marked "Jesusita Trail" on the left. Trailhead is here. It may be easier to park in a dirt spur on the right.