Among the many perks of running on Mountain Drive are minimal motor traffic, incredible views, windy rolling hills, and accessibility from downtown. In total the curvy road runs 8 miles from the Santa Barbara Mission to San Ysidro Road on the East side Montecito, near Summerland.
What Makes It Great
The best times to go are early morning or evening as there is very little shade on the road in the middle of the day. On the weekends cycling groups frequent this route, so do not be surprised to come across the occasional large peloton. As the road skirts the edge of the mountains, there are blind curves almost every 200 yards, so it is very important not to cut corners. As such, this road may not be suited for reaching high cycling speeds, but it works well for all kinds of running. Connect this route with another of our favorites like Gibraltar Road to add to your Santa Barbara experience.
Who is Going to Love It
Runners who want to eschew traffic (who doesn't?) will enjoy this 8 mile stretch. As a 16 mile out and back, it's a good setting for a quick session or a dedicated long run.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From the north side of downtown, Mountain Drive can be accessed in just a few minutes as it originates at the Santa Barbara Mission.