The beautiful Rock Garden and White Mtn.A week ago Wednesday, I drove to Santa Barbara to climb White Mountain and scramble on the infamous Rock Garden in the Santa Ynez Mountains. I met the group at the end of Tunnel Road, where most hikers hike up the Dragons Back, to Arlington & Cathedral Peaks. However, our plan was to do a loop and do a car shuttle. Some of us drove an additional 45 minutes to the trail head of White Mtn., off of Mountain Road. We had planned to do a loop hike ending the day at the end of Tunnel Road where we originally met.
As I was waiting for the group to arrive, a beautiful blue bird landed on my rear view mirror.
After arriving at the Rock Garden/White Mtn. trailhead we packed lightly because the plan was to first bag White Mtn., climb rocks at the Rock Garden, and then drive a short distance to the other end of the Tunnel Trail to see the seven falls. So this was a planned whole day event.
A view of White Mountain.
This is a very short, steep and sweet trail with a few switchbacks.
The peak itself is only 2804', no benchmark, no register
View from White Mtn.
I thought I would find the benchmark here but no such luck! So someone yelled at me, "strike a pose!"
After admiring the views, I just couldn't wait to get on and climb those beautiful rocks waiting for me in the distance.
WHAAAALAAA! The glorious Rock Garden!
I hurried down the trail passing cool rocks along the way and admiring the views. We stopped at a couple of rocks along the way just frolicking, climbing over and under rocks.
This rock was watching us with its evil eyes lol!
We found this cool heart-shaped opening inside of this rock, and as small as I am I climbed into it.
A weird bird-shaped rock.
Then finally the mother of all rocks! WOOOOHOOOO!
I raced up this rock and was the first to climb it! To my surprise, I found a bottle of some hard liquor, so as I say, "I'm drinking Jack Daniels on the rocks!"
OMG! I love this rock! It was freakin' awesome!
After hours of rock climbing we descended the trail the same way we climbed up and piled into our cars to take a 5 minute drive to the other end of the Tunnel Trail.
But first things first! I must climb the H20 tank, another one of my favorite things to do! This H20 tank is located by the White Mtn trailhead but I thought I would save it for last.
We then proceeded to take a 5-10 minute drive to the other end of the Tunnel Trail, where the Tunnel trail meets Rattlesnake trail, and descend about 5 miles to check out the falls.
The trail was very rocky on the way down. By this time, the sun was unbearable and it's an exposed trail. However the coolest find was a Turkey Vulture flying above my head. I managed to capture a cool shot.
To add, on the trail we could see the Dragons Back, Arlington, Cathedral & La Cumbre peaks which I have previous written reports on.
No luck on the falls, the first Mission Falls was dry and so was the second, and after meeting some hikers on the trail we were told that the remainder of the falls were dry. At that point we decided to just hike back to our cars and call it a day!
The adventure ended with some more frolicking at the beach. We drove to Carpinteria to have lunch, but before eating we walked down to the beach to soothe our tired feet!
It was a very long day with some outstanding rock climbing! I could have spent the whole day at the Rock Garden, but that wasn't the original plan. Nevertheless, I recommend this hike. The Rock Garden is breath-taking and it has both class 2 and class 3 rock climbing, maybe some class 5 because we could see a rope was needed on some of the rocks!