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Girard Loop -


Overview
Access
On the Trail
Gallery

Overview

Difficulty: Easy • Mileage: 3.1
Elevation Gain: 1000 ft. • Location: Front Country, Santa Barbara
Features: Canyons, Creeks, Viewpoint, Sunset, Benches, Loop Trip
User Type: Hiking, Equestrian Trail, Mountain Biking, Dog Walking, Trail Running


Highlights

From the McMenemy Trail, the Girard connector takes off from an open meadow near the bench on the upper trail. You should be able to spot where it begins to curve around the hillside without too much difficulty. If you are coming from the Edison Catway, the connector drops down and around the canyon from the top of the catway road near the towers. There are two of the hikes made possible by using the Girard Trail: a longer loop hike from Hot Springs Canyon heading east on the McMenemy Trail out to the bench, continuing up the Girard Trail to the catway, and returning via the Saddle Rock ridge trail; or a shorter loop via San Ysidro Canyon and up the Edison Catway followed by a return trip down the Girard and McMenemy trails.

The Basics

  • Length : .9 miles to trail intersection where road crosses the creek; 1.4 to top of ridge and intersection with Girard Trail; 1.9 to McMenemy bench; 3.1 miles back to Park Lane
  • Gain : 400’ to trail intersection where road crosses the creek; 1000’ to top of ridge and intersection with Girard Trail; 350’ elevation loss to McMenemy bench; 650’ elevation loss from bench back to Park Lane.
  • Difficulty : Moderate to strenuous.
  • Path : Native soil with several creek crossings.
  • Season : All season.
  • Restrictions : Multi-use; expect to encounter bikes.
  • Canine : OK for dogs off-leash.

Things to Look For

  • Points of Interest : Canyons,Creeks,Viewpoint,Sunset,Benches,Loop Trip


Find Other Similar Trails

Difficulty: Easy
Points of Interests: CanyonsCreeksViewpointSunsetBenchesLoop Trip
User Types: HikersEquestriansMountain BikersDog WalkerTrail Runners
Locations: Front CountrySanta Barbara
Sub Regions: San Ysidro Canyon

Links & Resources

Gallery

Hike Details



  • Length : .9 miles to trail intersection where road crosses the creek; 1.4 to top of ridge and intersection with Girard Trail; 1.9 to McMenemy bench; 3.1 miles back to Park Lane
  • Gain : 400’ to trail intersection where road crosses the creek; 1000’ to top of ridge and intersection with Girard Trail; 350’ elevation loss to McMenemy bench; 650’ elevation loss from bench back to Park Lane.
  • Difficulty : Moderate to strenuous.
  • Path : Native soil with several creek crossings.
  • Season : All season.
  • Restrictions : Multi-use; expect to encounter bikes.
  • Canine : OK for dogs off-leash.

Access / Getting There

 

  1. Take the San Ysidro exit off of Highway 101.
  2. Turn north on San Ysidro Road and continue on it a mile to East Valley Road.
  3. Turn right and follow East Valley another mile to Park Lane. Look for the eucalyptus-shrouded entrance to this narrow road just after crossing San Ysidro Creek.
  4. Turn left onto it, and then after a half mile bear to the left on Mountain Drive. Follow it several hundred yards to the trailhead.
  5. McMenemy Trail begins a half mile up the San Ysidro Canyon Trail. As you crest the hill leading past the huge estate there is a trail sign marking the Old Pueblo Trail near a locked gate. Look for the McMenemy turnoff on the left, a few hundred yards beyond the Old Pueblo turnoff.
  6. To reach the Girard Trail head up the McMenemy Trail to the high point on the trail where a great stone bench is located. The Girard Trail begins there.

 

Things to Know

Background

Trip Log

On The Trail

When Bud Girard finished hiking down the Cold Springs Trail on his 70th birthday he got a present from his daughter he would never forget; a new trail named in his honor. With the help of other family members his daughter, Mia, has raised more than $10,00 to make this a reality. The half mile connector winds down around the west side of San Ysidro Canyon and links the Edison Catway with the McMenemy Trail.

The toughest part wasn’t getting the funds though; it was securing the 15-foot easement though a patch of private property on the lower end and convincing the Forest Service to do the needed work on their end. Currently, the trail has been roughed out and it is walkable, though there isn’t much of a tread and there are plenty of stumps to trip those who are too busy admiring the great views. This will change once the final details have been ironed out and the trail work is done, which should be by the end of 2000.

From the McMenemy Trail, the Girard connector takes off from an open meadow near the bench on the upper trail. You should be able to spot where it begins to curve around the hillside without too much difficulty. If you are coming from the Edison Catway, the connector drops down and around the canyon from the top of the catway road near the towers.

Here are two of the hikes made possible by using the Girard Trail: a longer loop hike from Hot Springs Canyon heading east on the McMenemy Trail out to the bench, continuing up the Girard Trail to the catway, and returning via the Saddle Rock ridge trail; or a shorter loop via San Ysidro Canyon and up the Edison Catway followed by a return trip down the Girard and McMenemy trails.

As you reach the halfway point along the Girard connector look for a trail dropping down a series of steps to a small overlook area. You'll not only spot a unique stone slab bench that Bud’s son Daniel built that looks out over the city but another facing the mountains that is just as impressive. The first time I came up after Bud's Bench was completed it offered a very nice place to sit for a bit and was a perfect complement to the warm afternoon. As I gazed out over the long coastline stretching into the infinity of the southern horizon and took a sip of the cool brew I boruhgt with me I thought, Bud, this Bud’s for you.

If you would like to help support this or other local trails you can do so by joining the Montecito Trails Foundation. MTF's mail address is P.O. Box 5481, Santa Barbara, CA 93150 or you can look them up online.

On The Bike

On The Run

On The Walk


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Last Updated: Thursday, March 26, 2015