I recently reduced my work schedule from five days a week to four days a week due to mental burnout and feeling like I never get away from my computer screen (yes, I am typing this on my computer). This affords me the time to get up out of my uncomfortable secondhand store chair and out into great outdoors. I'm slowly building my hiking abilities back up again. There's nothing like a desk job to decrease physical stamina and increase lethargy.
I'm taking the month off from traveling internationally or out of the state because I needed the extra time for my personal life. This has led me to explore the area around my current home of Ventura. Last week, I decided to hike around the Santa Barbara front country in Mission Canyon.
Originally, I wanted to hike to Seven Falls on the Tunnel Trail, but I got lost. The trails aren't well marked around here probably because the locals know where they're going. It's a popular area for runners, walkers, and mountain bikers, so I see no problem with recommending solo hiking. Just watch out for rattlesnakes and bring plenty of water; it can get hot when you're not in the shade.
Instead of hiking to Seven Falls, I hiked the Tunnel Trail to Inspiration Point which affords views of the entire city of Santa Barbara and the channel islands. You can also reach Inspiration Point on the Jesuisita Trail.
Plenty of water flowed in the creek on the trail. I definitely would recommend coming here in late winter or early spring. It seems like the type of place that would get too hot for a comfortable hike in the summer.
The trail is 3.5 miles round trip and you gain about 800 feet in elevation. It took me about an hour and forty-five minutes with constant stopping to take pictures and a detour up an incredibly steep hill that I did not need to take.
On the hike, you're rewarded with views of the surrounding craggy peaks. Recent rains brought new growth to the recently burned area.
I definitely would recommend Inspiration Point as a relatively easy morning hike if you're in the Santa Barbara area. Definitely beats shopping at overpriced boutiques any day.