San Ysidro Trail - Waterfall
Hiking Distance: 4.4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 650 feet
The San Ysidro Trail waterfall
hike is relatively easy and is shrouded in trees most of the way which is
great for hot days. If you are hiking the right time of year you will see a
dozen pools, small waterfalls and a large waterfall at the end of your hike.
Directions to Trail Head
From the 101 freeway exit San Ysidro Road
which is just south of Santa Barbara.
Turn north towards the mountains and drive 1.0 miles to East Valley Rd (a
stop light). Turn right on East Valley Road and drive 0.86 miles to Park
Lane. It can be difficult to see the Park Lane sign so look carefully. Turn
left on Park Lane and drive 0.39 miles to Mountain Drive. Turn left on
Mountain Drive. As soon as you turn left on Mountain Drive you will see a
trail head sign for Wiman Trail which is the WRONG trail head. Instead
continue driving 300 yards to the end of Mountain Drive. The San Ysidro
Trail head will be on your right.
Trail Notes & Photos
Welcome to the San Ysidro Trail head.
The trail is shady nearly the
entire way. This a great hike for hot, sunny days
Soon after your hike begins
you will encounter an interesting looking house on your left.
Several parts of the trail
have hand rails/fences.
0.12 miles - The trail ends at
a road. Go left on the road.
0.26 miles - You will
encounter a private road/no parking sign on the road. Ignore it and keep
walking up the road.
0.28 miles - You will see a
trail sign where the dirt trail begins again
0.35 miles - The trail will
reach a road again. Keep left and the paved road becomes dirt about 100 feet
away and stays dirt trail the rest of your hike.
0.39 miles - Here is the El
Pueblo trail which goes off to the right. Stay to the left on the San Ysidro
0.50 miles - Here is a fork
in the trail. Unfortunately the San Ysidro trail sign points right down the
middle of the fork so it is not clear which direction to take. Stay to the
right. The Mcmenemy trail goes off to the left and crosses the creek.
0.63 miles - There is a gate
blocking the road here. Just go around it. Everybody else does!
0.69 miles - There is a a
huge cactus plant here. Looks kind of cool.
0.88 miles - There is a dirt
road off to your right here that goes behind you and up a hill. Just ignore
it and keep going straight.
0.96 miles - There is a fork
in the path here. A dirt road goes straight and there is a trail that goes
up hill to the right. Follow the trail to the right.
1.39 miles - This is your
first close approach to the creek. If you come the right time of year you
will see a small waterfall on your left.
1.45 miles - If you come the
right time of year you will see a couple of small pools on your left.
1.47 miles - There is a short
path down to the creek here on your left. If you come the right time of year
you will see large pool and small waterfall.
1.60 miles - If you come the
right time of year you will see a large pool and small waterfall.
1.66 miles - A section of
trail with a pipe railing and steep sides begins here.
1.99 miles - If you come the
right time of year you will see a small waterfall in the distance off to the
2.05 miles - There is an interesting rock formation to your left on the
opposite side of the canyon. You can see where the previously-horizontal sea
bed sediments have been pushed vertical due to plate tectonics.
2.09 miles - Most of this
trail is shrouded by trees. In this spot, however, you have a nice view of
2.14 miles - Here is the
first creek crossing and, if you come the right time of year, a nice large
2.20 miles - There is a fork
in the trail here with no signs directing you which way to go. One trail
curves up a steep hill here off to the right and one goes straight. Go
straight to the main waterfall a hundred feet ahead of you.
2.23 miles - You have arrived at the large waterfall for which this trail is
named. If you come the right time of year you will see a large waterfall
gushing down the hillside. Much of the year it is dry. Today there was just
a small amount of water flowing over the fall.