Montecito Hot Springs is a natural outdoor spa

If you want to spend some quality time in nature, but you don’t know where to go, fear not! We have a perfect idea for you!

Montecito Hot Springs or Hot Springs Canyon is the property managed by the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County, a deserted and picturesque hot springs resort from the 1800s located in the coastal mountains of San Padres. There you’ll find the only only remnants of the original hot springs resort: stone ruins and exotic fauna and flora, which are now landmarks along the trail.

The cascading aqua pools of naturally heated water are really the main attraction especially now as the winter is approaching.

There are a lot of thermal spring seekers in Santa Barbara! There are the Gaviota Hot Springs although these aren’t as warm and only really qualify as warm springs with temperatures of 80°F. While Little Caliente and Big CalienteHot Springs, offer a toasty soaking, you’ll probably be pretty hot by the time you’ve completed the arduous 10-mile hike to get to them.

So, if you’re looking for a friendlier wander up the beautiful mountainsides and the reward of a bath in rock-walled pools with water averaging about 112°F at the source, then Montecito Hot Springs is where you want to go.


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You can access the trailhead (1217 E Mountain Dr, Montecito, CA 93108) by car which is about a 15-minute drove from Santa Barbara. Unfortunately, the trail to the springs isn’t clearly demarcated, but you can follow this All Trails map—or follow the smell of sulphur.

At the end it’s all worth it because you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking, verdant scenery on your way up and at least a third of you journey is shaded, so prepare accordingly. It’s approximately a 4-mile loop and once you reach the series of vivid color pools you’ll be able to get that spa treatment you deserve. Sulphurous water has tons of healing benefits and is believed to be a great treatment for skin irritations, arthritis and a roster of internal issues. If you’re wondering about the bright blue, it’s caused by harmless bacteria.

Please respect the nature and our Mother Earth! Don’t leave the trash behind and read the signs! Be mindful where you park. Parking is limited.


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L.A. Infused
L.A. Infused
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