RV Rental Rattlesnake Canyon Park, CA

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Sitting in the southern portion of Los Padres National Forest, and just a stone's throw away from some of California's most populous cities, Rattlesnake Canyon Park has become a popular haunt for travelers heading down the Pacific Coast as well as locals from cities such as Los Angeles. Unlike the rest of the forest that envelopes the park, Rattlesnake Canyon Park is relatively easy to access thanks to routes 154 and 192 that run along its southern and western boundaries.

Despite its slightly misleading name, the park is not home to its poisonous namesake - the rattlesnake. Instead, it owes its name to the winding hiking trail and wild surroundings, which also happen to be one of the reasons why people choose to book an RV in Santa Barbara County. Although there is just one main hiking trail in the park, it provides the perfect introduction to the vast Los Padres National Park that sits just moments away.

Discover Rattlesnake Canyon Park

Getting Outdoors

Rattlesnake Canyon Park is a must-visit for any hikers renting an RV in the area and looking for a challenge. Best suited for those with a good level of fitness, the trail winds through some of The Golden State's most picturesque countryside for around 4.5 miles (round-trip), gaining an elevation of more than 1,300 feet. As such a popular trail for both locals and travelers, the path is very well maintained, with several shady picnic spots along the way as well as clear signage to the top. Along the way, hikers will be treated to vibrant displays of wildflowers during spring, trickling waterfalls during summer, and fantastic birdlife all year round! It's worth taking note that, unfortunately, bikes are strictly prohibited on this trail but are welcomed on any other trails in the area.

In fact, the entirety of the Los Padres National Forest is a haven for experienced mountain bikers camping near Rattlesnake Canyon Park. Luckily, there are plenty of trails located just moments away from Santa Barbara, that climb to the top of mountain peaks and provide unbeatable views out over the Pacific and surrounding ranges. One of the most popular in the area is the seven-mile Jesusita Trail, where bikers are challenged by rocky paths with plenty of technical turns and even a few switchbacks. Walkers share this trail, so do keep a lookout for other users on the path during your adventures.

When you rent a camper near Rattlesnake Canyon Park during the winter, you'll be able to witness something truly spectacular – Santa Barbara with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. As you can imagine, these snowy landscapes attract cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and snow-sledgers from all over the state. For the best conditions, make a beeline to Mount Pinos, which has a better snowsureness than the rest of the park due to its higher elevation of 9,000 feet.

Camping at Rattlesnake Canyon Park

Motorhome camping near Rattlesnake Canyon Park is easy, thanks to two handy RV parks in Santa Barbara, less than a twenty-minute drive away. The closest of the two is the Earl Warren RV Park. Its convenient location offers easy access to Rattlesnake Canyon Park as well as to the bars, restaurants, and the famous beaches of Santa Barbara. This RV park caters to every type of traveler with full hook-up sites, free WiFi, ADA-accessible amenities, along with hot showers and modern restrooms.

On the other side of town, a little further from Rattlesnake Canyon Park, is Santa Barbara Sunrise RV Park. Each of the RV-friendly sites is equipped with 30-, or 50-amp electric, water, and sewage hook-ups, as well as excellent cable and WiFi signals. Those who aren't traveling in a self-contained RV rental are also accommodated for, with modern washroom facilities and a coin-operated laundry room.

Exploring the Area

Beyond its fantastic beaches and breath-taking mountain ranges, Santa Barbara has a lot to offer those who are RV camping at Rattlesnake Canyon Park. Animal lovers should not miss the chance to visit the Santa Barbara Zoo. Home to around 150 species of animals, the zoo is regularly named as one of the best small zoos in the state, if not the country. Families with little ones might want to consider jumping aboard the Zoo Train, which runs around the perimeter of the grounds and allows guests to see as much of the park as possible during their visit. However you decide to spend your time at the zoo, don't forget to be on time for the giraffe feeding hour, where you'll be able to get up close to one of the only known giraffes with a crooked neck!

When you camp in an RV near Santa Barbara, it's worth checking out the city's unique botanical gardens. The gardens were established in 1926 and now encompass just under 80-acres of native flora, including 1,000 species of rare species. Backed by looming mountains, it's easy to get lost on one of the many trails here, no matter whether you choose to explore the desert, canyon, or meadow section, or perhaps the teahouse garden.

For the final stop on your whirlwind visit of Santa Barbara, try out the Maritime Museum for size. Spread across two floors, visitors can learn all about the city's maritime history, from the early explorers to the current efforts to roll-out sustainable fishing. As well as historical and informative displays, the museum also features a small art gallery, displaying works from local artists centering around the sea.

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Popular nearby hiking trails and campgrounds

  • Hiking TrailLocation
  • La Cumbre Vista Point, CALos Padres National Forest, CA
  • Gibraltar Road to Gibraltar Dam, CALos Padres National Forest, CA
  • Seven Falls Trail, CALos Padres National Forest, CA
  • Tunnel Trail, CALos Padres National Forest, CA
  • Cathedral Peak Trail, CALos Padres National Forest, CA
  • Inspiration Point, CARattlesnake Canyon Park, CA
  • Rattlesnake Canyon Trail to Tunnel Trail, CARattlesnake Canyon Park, CA
  • Rattlesnake Canyon, CASanta Barbara, CA
  • Arroyo Burro Trail, CASanta Barbara, CA
  • Jesusita Trail, CARattlesnake Canyon Park, CA

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