California

Montecito Hot Springs (Hot Springs Canyon) - Hot Springs in the U.S.

Montecito, California, where Prince Harry and Meghan have their mansion.

Did you know there is a hot spring near the upscale residential area?

Popularity under Pandemic

It takes about one and a half hours from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara via Route 101.

One town before Santa Barbara is Montecito, where is the very exclusive residential area where Prince Harry and Meghan have their residence.

Hot Springs Canyon Trailhead 2

I heard that there was a hot spring in the mountains behind it, so went there.

I started hiking from Hot Springs Canyon Trailhead.

Hot Springs Canyon Trailhead 1

There is a free parking lot here, but it only has nine spaces.

Parking was once available along the adjacent Riven Rock Road until March 2021.

Hot Springs Canyon Trailhead 3

However, the pandemic has overheated the popularity of hot spring trips, and now street parking is no longer allowed in most places.

The trail, which is less than three miles round trip, is always crowded with hikers.

Trail 1

This road is named Hot Springs Road, and it leads to historic remains in the mountains.

Stream Crossing 1

It is recorded that soldiers visited the area in 1846 during the Mexican-American War, and by that time it was already a thriving hot spring resort.

Later, resort development proceeded, but it was destroyed by a forest fire in 1964, and there was no one to take over the business.

Water Supply 1

The trail eventually became a series of steep hills.

Water Supply 2

The second half of the trail was lined with water conduits along the trail.

This was not hot spring water, but fresh water for drinking.

Final Crossing 2

At the end of the path, I crossed a mountain stream on the left and climbed a steep hill.

The water in this stream was cold and opaque.

Final Crossing 1

It seemed to be related to hot springs.

Horizon

I have reached a very high point.

Go to the Pool at the Top

When I see the sign, I have arrived at the hot spring.

From Downstream 1

Just like the water in the mountain stream earlier, it was cloudy but warm here.

From Upstream 3

Around the mountain path, water temp was lukewarm, but the further upstream I went, the higher the temperature became.

From Downstream 2

The stream is separated by stair-stepped rock baths.

From Upstream 1

The color of water became clearer at the top.

The spring water oxidized and turned cloudy after gushing out, and had a distinctive sulfur smell.

Hottest Pool 2

Hot water was flowing out of an iron pipe stuck in the rock wall.

Water Outlet 1

Further upstream, a dry wash continued, and here a hot spring suddenly sprang up.

Water Temp

This pool was as hot as 111 degrees F, so not too many people tried to dip in.

Capybara
You'll get attention from people around you.
Not that much.
Alpaca

Water Outlet 2

Clothing is optional, but as this is a very popular hot spring, you need to be considerate of surroundings.

Hottest Pool 1

Summary

Montecito Hot Springs (Hot Springs Canyon), Montecito, California, U.S.

Rating

  • Style
    Undeveloped
  • Rule
    Clothing optional
  • Chlorination
    No
  • Water Temp
    Up to 111 degrees F

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