Hiking to the top of Inspiration Point

Yesterday I declared 2019 to be the year of the hike, and I jumped off the lily pad.

One of the best reasons to share my intentions with you is I’m then motivated to see it through. Thank you for that.

So in the spirit of putting my money where my mouth is, John and I went on a hike up Inspiration Point.

If you ever visit Santa Barbara, I highly recommend this hike.

The last (and only other time) I climbed this peak was five years ago when my oldest son turned 30. We set out as a family to hike to the top with a couple little ones along for the ride.

Family hike
Along for the ride
Brothers at the top! Dec. 30, 2013

It was a great way to celebrate a milestone birthday, and I’m not sure why I hadn’t been back since. It was time to rediscover this trail.

To get there, you’ll need to take Tunnel Road off Foothill over near the Botanical Gardens. As you drive up Tunnel Road you’ll start to see parking along side of the street.

The road dead-ends at the trailhead.

On busy days, like New Year’s Day, you may need to park a half-mile or more from the beginning of the trail. And it’s a fairly steep climb too. I’ll admit I was a bit winded by the time the hike actually started.

Stopping just at the beginning of the hike to pull out my inhaler I was already impressed with the views. You can see the ocean from this vantage point.

January 1, 2019

The “trail” is really an old narrow paved road for another mile up and then you take a left onto a rugged rocky trail that goes up and up and up.

Onto the rocky trail next

The rules of hiking are you “give way” to downhill hikers, and I was glad the trail was busy. I needed plenty of stops to catch my breath.

This hike was probably a bit more ambitious than I should have been doing. Because of my illness, just a few days earlier it was too much for me to walk the half-mile downtown. But I was determined.

Just keep going!

The hike is just over two miles up, but it seemed much longer to me.

We were on the shadow side of the hill winding and twisting our way up and up and ascended to the top and into the sunshine. I was so relieved to finally be at the summit.

The views are spectacular and worth the effort, but I was tired.  

Top of Inspiration Point
We made it!

After a few photos, we grabbed our hiking sticks and headed back down. It’s funny because to me this was a hard hike, yet there were others along the trail with sandals or Ked’s or street shoes seemingly climbing with ease.

I felt old as I was gasping for breath and my knees were aching.  

By the time we got back to the paved trail I was ready to be done. But I still had a mile and a half to get to where our car was parked.

Once we got to the end of the trail, John offered to go get the car and pick me up there. But I declined. After all, it’s 2019, the year of the hike not the year of giving up before I reach my goal.

2019 – year of the hike

Reader Comments

  1. Patricia

    You go girl!! I’m so happy that your making hiking a big part of your year. I made that a focus of 2018 and it was one of the best things I have ever done. You never know where the trails will take you, just like life some of them are really hard but the rewards are spectacular! Can’t wait to follow your journey. See you at the summit!

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