North of Santa Barbara in the Los Padres National Forest, the relatively lush eastern slopes of the Santa Ynez Mountains provide ample opportunities for hiking adventures. A cool loop starting from the Lower Oso Picnic Area combines trail with fire roads on the way to Gibraltar Reservoir and Redrock.
To reach the trailhead from Santa Barbara, follow US 101 north to SR154 (San Marcos Pass Road). Head northwest on SR154 over the pass. Turn right heading south onto Paradise Road. Continue for about 8 miles to the Lower Oso Picnic Area. Continue hiking up Paradise Road for 0.8 miles to the White Oaks turnoff. Turn right across the river and up Arroyo Burro Road for 2.8 miles. Turn left onto the Matias Patrero Trail for 6 miles to the reservoir. Return north via Paradise Road past Redrock turnoff.
Overall, Gibraltar / Redrock Loop is the 11th most popular hiking trail of all 88 hikes in California.