White Rock Trail -

The Best Santa Barbara Mountain Biking

Ride Log
On the Ride


Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult • Paved or Dirt: Dirt Path • Mileage: 6.5
Elevation Gain: 1600 ft. •

The trail begins a quarter-mile down the East Pinery, leading down to the right and along another pine-covered ridge to an old chromium mine, with much of its equipment still in place. The beautiful white rock formation nearby is worthy of exploration, though it isn’t as easy to get to as you might wish. The trail leads to Sunset Valley Road, a half-mile below Cachuma Saddle. 

Ride Details

  • Use Fees : An Adventure Pass is required if you park within the Figueroa Mountain Recreation area.
  • Length : .25 miles to start of trail; 1.25 to old chromium mine; 1.25 miles from mine to Sunset Valley Road; .75 miles up Sunset Valley Road to Cachuma Saddle; 3 miles back up to your car.
  • Gain : 1,600’ loss to Sunset Valley Road; same amount gained on the return trip.
  • Difficulty : Moderately Strenuous, with some Level 2 single track.
  • Path : Presently, the trail has several very overgrown sections that may provide some difficulty.

Find Other Similar Trails

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Points of Interests: Loop Trip

Links & Resources

Get Directions To The Trailhead

Driving Directions
Get Directions to White Rock Trail which is located at 34.731879,-119.953537.

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Access / Parking

From Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos, take Figueroa Mountain Road 16.0 miles to the East Pinery turnoff, three miles beyond Figueroa Mountain Campground. Park in the open dirt area located at the saddle on the backside of Ranger Peak. Look for the dirt road leading west.

Ride Log

Expectations for Riding the Santa Barbara Area Trails
Country trails are multi-use trails and as such are used by several thousand users each week. If you are riding downhill on these trails, expect to encounter them on your way. Your cooperation will help make everyone's experience a safe and pleasant one.

Ten things every mountain biker who rides the front country trails is expected to do:

  1. Have a bike bell so other trail users know you are approaching.
  2. Keep your speed down; practice riding techniques that minimize impacts.
  3. Good braking means never having to skid. Do not lock up your brakes.
  4. Approach switchbacks with caution and brake well before you reach them.
  5. Stay on the designated tread. The front country trails are multi-use, not a race course.
  6. Ride with other trail users in mind and enhance rather than interfere with their enjoyment.
  7. Always assume there is another trail user around each corner.
  8. Yield the right-of-way to uphill trail users. Stop and dismount if necessary to allow them to pass.
  9. When approaching equestrians, dismount and ask them what they want you to do.
  10. Be courteous. Smile and say something friendly to everyone you encounter.


On The Ride

White Rock Trail is named after the outcroppings of brilliant white sandstone a mile down the trail and just south of the historic chromium mine. This trail is the remnant of an old jeepway which once serviced the mine, though it is now overgrown enough to seem just a trail. It provides an enjoyable way to travel from Ranger Peak to Sunset Valley Road below. 

From the saddle near Ranger Peak, follow East Pinery for .a quarter-mile to the trailhead. Look carefully—it is easy to miss because it turns sharply back to the right. The route drops steeply downhill through loose Monterey Shale, across a pine-covered knoll, and then downhill again for a mile to a point where serpentine outcroppings mark the beginning of the mine tailings. There are several sections of the trail which have almost been covered over by down trees and regrowth after the Marre Fire, but a number of us plan to re-cut the upper part of the trail. It should be in good shape by the time you read this. Check the web site to make sure.

At the mine, which still has original wooden structures and camp remnants in place, the trail leads left for several hundred yards to a saddle marking the intersection of the Munch/Whiterock connector trail. It is overgrown, and you will have a tough time using it to get down into Munch Canyon.

Whiterock Trail turns sharply right and drops into Whiterock Canyon. A mile down the canyon, the trail crosses the creek and goes over a saddle, then continues down into a small unnamed creek for another quarter-mile to its end at Sunset Valley Road. From there it is three-quarters-mile to Cachuma Saddle and 3.3 miles of steady uphill back to Ranger Saddle.

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Last Updated: Sunday, August 24, 2014