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Welcome to the Arroyo Quemado Trail on the Baron Ranch!

By Apr 08, 2021

Baron Ranch is located along the Gaviota Coast, approximately 25 miles west of Santa Barbara. The Ranch is comprised of 1,083 acres owned and managed by the County Public Works Department, Resource Recovery and Waste Management Division.

A public trail has been constructed on the Ranch and is managed and maintained by the County Parks Department in cooperation with the Santa Barbara Trails Council. The trailhead is located at the Calle Real frontage road that parallels the north side of Highway 101. The trail consists of a 6-mile loop into the northern portion of the Ranch, as well as a connection to the West Camino Cielo Trail in the National Forest.

The only area of the Ranch open to the public is the designated trail.  Public access is prohibited in other areas of the Ranch.  These areas, including areas immediately adjacent to the trail, are used for native plant restoration, wildlife conservation, and agriculture.  

  • Click here to learn about plant and animal species at Baron Ranch.

    • Baron Ranch provides important habitat for federal and state listed sensitive wildlife species including the California Red-Legged Frog (Rana draytonii), the Least Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus), the Southwestern Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata pallida), and the Two-Striped Garter Snake (Thamnophis hammondii). Sensitive plants also found at the ranch include Santa Barbara Honeysuckle (Lonicera subspicata var. subspicata), Plummer’s Baccharis (Baccharis plummerae ssp. Plummerae) and Hoffmann’s Nightshade (Solanum xanti var. Hoffmannii).Threatened and sensitive species are protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act, California Endangered Species Act, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations. Violations are subject to civil and criminal penalties and closure of the trail.

      Other wildlife present at the ranch include: black bear, coyote, mountain lion, rattlesnake, bobcat, deer, raccoon, migratory birds, frogs, turtles, and several species of raptors. Please respect their habitat; you are a visitor to their home.

  • Click here for trail rules.

    • Stay on the marked trail.

      Please do not disturb the Arroyo Quemado Creek corridor and other native plant habitats. Keep all activity on the designated trail. Sensitive species are present in habitats adjacent to the trail.

      Do not bring plants or wildlife onto the ranch.

      Animals not native to the ranch, such as bullfrogs, and non-native plants can seriously harm native species and are difficult and costly to remove once introduced.

      Dogs or other pets are not allowed.

      Sensitive species are present on the ranch. Dogs can damage egg masses if they enter the creek, harass frogs and turtles, and/or chase birds.

      Do not remove plants or animals from the ranch.

      If you are fortunate enough to encounter wildlife during your visit, for your safety and theirs do not approach, touch, startle, or feed the wildlife. Take photos instead of collecting flowers or plants.

      Protect the soundscape.

      Speak softly. Keep your music to yourself. Wildlife, especially during their breeding seasons, is sensitive to loud noises.

      Pack out what you bring in.

      No littering or dropping food scraps.

      Do not disturb the soil, geological formations, and archaeological artifacts.

  • Click here for trail safety information.

    • Baron Ranch trails fall under the enforceable provisions of Santa Barbara County Code - Chapter 26. Violations are subject to fines.The trail is open from 8:00 a.m. to sunset.

      Cell service may be limited or not available.

      The trail is in a high fire hazard area. No smoking or fires.

      Due to the remote nature of the trail, visitors should not hike/bike/ride alone.

      Poison oak, ticks, stinging nettles and other natural hazards are present throughout the Ranch.

      Vehicles may be present on the trail/roads at any time in association with restoration, conservation and agricultural activities.

      If there is an emergency, dial 911.

      The trail may be temporarily closed. Observe all posted signs.