Make a weekend of it and head out to the Rancho Oso Resort in the Santa Ynez Mountains. Tucked between the Los Padres National Forest and the Santa Yrez River, you'll find plenty of RV and tent campsites on this scenic 310-acre plot of land. There are cabins as well.
What Makes It Great
The trails around the resort make for some excellent trail running and hiking options. Expect to see horseback riders on the trails, including on the Matias Trail, which takes you up from the resort to Angostura Pass, and on the Arroyo Burro Trail. These are backcountry trails, so expect backcountry conditions ranging from loose rocks to stream crossings. You will likely encounter wildlife on the trails, and you should especially be aware of ticks and Poison Oak. You can also start at the Live Oak Picnic area if you just want to make a day of it.
Who is Going to Love It
Rancho Oso is a good place to establish a base camp, then get out and run! It's a fun weekend destination, where runners can combine forays into the backcountry with relaxation at a local cabin or tent site.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Take Highway 101 north to the Highway 154 exit. Follow the signs for Highway 154 and go 12 miles to Paradise Road (Look for the Santa Ynez Recreation Area sign just before the right turn onto Paradise Road). Turn right on Paradise Road and drive 5.5 miles to the Rancho Oso entrance, on your right. (Note for RVs: Highway 154 winds uphill for 8 miles. There are passing lanes and turn-outs. Paradise Road is one mile past the vista point and is an abrupt DOWNHILL right turn.) Please exercise caution on the narrow entry road.
The physical address is 3750 Paradise Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105.