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Level: Advanced
Length: 6 mi (9.7 km)
Surface: Fire Road
Configuration: Other
Elevation: +1,350/ -1,389 ft
Total: 38 riders

Mountain Biking Romero Road

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#153 of 1,003 mountain bike trails in California
#2,135 in the world

A popular Front Country trail used by bikers, hikers, and equestrians. The Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers has placed boxes at the upper and lower trailheads stocked with bells. Please take and wear one on your downhill return as it alerts other trail users of your presence and prevents surprises and conflicts.

Romero is a fire road with singletrack options. The most popular route is to ride the approximately 6 mile fire road up to Camino Cielo, return that route and about halfway down finish your descent on the Romero Canyon singletrack. The fire road climb is a sustained climb with some decent grunts along the way. The Romero Canyon singletrack is classic Santa Barbara with good size drops, technical rock gardens, and stream crossings. It is do-able on a hardtail but not recommended.

The climb up Romero is fairly straightforward. About halfway up you'll notice the turnoff for Romero Canyon on your left. If time is an issue you can opt not to climb all the way up, choosing instead to begin your descent at this point. From the very top, though, you can access other Front and Backcountry trails off Camino Cielo. There is a water tank at the top that makes for a great resting spot.

Please be courteous and yield to all other trail users and ride under control. It is a great challenge to keep Santa Barbara's Front Country trails open to mountain bikes. Many trails are already closed and just few remain. Therefore, the loss of just one would be huge. Be cool, be friendly, and have fun!

First added by rsmarg on Jul 19, 2008. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Santa Barbara take the 101 fwy south towards Montecito. Exit Sheffield Drive (note: the exit is on the left side of the freeway). At bottom of ramp, go left. At stop sign turn right onto Jameson Ln. Follow as it curves left, stay left as it turns into Sheffield Dr.. Follow to intersection with E. Valley Rd./Rte.192, go left. Take immediate right onto Romero Canyon Rd. At "Y" intersection stay right staying on Romero Canyon. Twist uphill to intersection with Bella Vista. Go right staying on Romero. In about 1/4 mile there will be dirt pullouts on right. Park here for trailhead. Ride a couple hundred feet, crossing a seasonal stream across the road, trailhead on left.
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Romero Road Trail map

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GGR Girl WendyE (on Mar 21, 2020)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Sep 8, 2019)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Santa Barbara, California

Beginner | 5 mi
| 4 mi
Intermediate | 2 mi
Advanced | 7 mi

Rider questions

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  • jsph_custer

    My favorite "home" trail. This is one of the best trails I've ever ridden because it's so well rounded. The uphill is a great workout with wonderful views. It also connects to Camino Cielo making it a great starting point for really long epic rides. The downhill is a blast. The lower section has been groomed and filled a bit in the last several months, but it's still a challenge. It used to be pretty tough to ride the whole thing down without getting off (aside from the couple river crossings), but now it's completely ridable for an intermediate rider. The upper single track isn't that great, but who cares? just shoot back down the "road" you came up, which is more like a singletrack these days anyway, and then connect with the lower DH section for the rest of the ride down.

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  • Copealish

    Fast and at times rocky single track down the gut of the canyon. Full suspension suggested for a more enjoyable ride. The climb up Romero fire road is pretty easy with killer views. I suggest riding road back down if you are a beginner rider. Trail is in good shape on weekends there are a lot of hikers. A little more difficult downhill than surrounding trails like Jesusita and Girard.

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  • Gawin

    A great climb and scenery

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  • Jared13   ✓ supporter

    A fire road that turns into singletrack the higher you get. The entire trail resembles a figure eight if you take the road up and the steep singletrack down. It's just over six miles up alms right around four miles down. The road going up has a few technical sections which are pretty fun. The singletrack descent starts out a bit loose and after you pass the intersection the rock gardens start to come into play.

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  • Jared13   ✓ supporter

    Nice singletrack that dumps out on Camino Cielo higher and closer to San Ysidro. Mostly smooth, climbing singletrack that has a few rock obstacles. I highly recommend this trail when linking Romero Road and San Ysidro.

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  • Lalo23

    When mtn. biking Romero, remember that like almost all of Santa Barbara County, you must go uphill steeply and then keep doing it till you turn around and go back downhill the way you came. Romero starts off as a fire road and turns to some nice semi techical and technical single track. But if you are not in great shape, you will be too tired to enjoy the downhill return. If you want Nor Cal style mixed riding, you may have to go all the way down to Chesbro instead.

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  • rsmarg

    The climb up via the service road is still pretty tame since the entire thing was dozed for the fires two years ago. The Romero Trail, though, is still as fun as ever. The service road climb used to turn to singletrack about 1/3 way up with some nice challenging, technical sections, but that's all gone. After the road was dozed some technical features remained, but those have been removed. The good news, though, is that you can see the trail is starting to get reclaimed. The descent on Romero Trail is still great. Its pretty dry and dusty, although the creek is running nicely.

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