Cristal's Blog


April 18, 2024

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Santa Barbara is renowned for its picturesque coastlines, yet its lesser-known secret lies in the adjacent wilderness expanses, teeming with undiscovered gems including majestic waterfalls. Here, hikers can delight in four magnificent falls, whose grandeur fluctuates with the seasons and precipitation. Thankfully, irrespective of the water volume, embarking on these trails promises a delightful experience year-round. So, strap on your hiking boots, venture onto these remarkable paths, and prepare to be thoroughly amazed by these stunning Santa Barbara waterfalls.

A a tall, gently flowing seasonal waterfall cascading into a small rock-ringed pool against a rock wall green with moss and algae
Image courtesy of Jack Elliott’s Santa Barbara Adventure
  • Nojoqui Falls
    Trailhead: North of the Gaviota Tunnel
    Nojoqui Falls, nestled north of the Gaviota Tunnel, offers an idyllic escape for anyone seeking natural beauty and tranquility. The trailhead welcomes visitors on a leisurely one-mile stroll, catering to all ages and hiking abilities. A well-maintained path, stretching just over a quarter of a mile each way, ensures a seamless journey, typically taking around 20 minutes to traverse. Situated on the northern slopes of the Santa Ynez Mountains within Santa Barbara County, Nojoqui Falls unveils its splendor predominantly during the spring months.

    The trail winds its way amidst towering oaks and lush laurels, creating a serene ambiance. As hikers progress, they encounter a picturesque canyon, where a wooden bridge and stone steps span the creek's left bank. This enchanting path crisscrosses the canyon, gradually leading adventurers to a scenic viewing platform positioned at the base of the falls. Be sure to take some pictures for your social media!
A significant waterfall cascading over, and down a rock wall glowing in the sunlight.
Image courtesy of Jack Elliott’s Santa Barbara Adventure
  • Tangerine Falls
    Trailhead: Montecito’s Cold Spring Trail sign on East Mountain Drive
    A breathtaking 100-foot waterfall in Santa Barbara? Yes, this towering marvel commands attention from March to November, proudly standing as one of the region's largest.

    To get there, explorers must traverse a 2.5-mile path that promises both challenge and reward. Navigating through the rugged terrain, you'll encounter obstacles that test your resolve, from crossing meandering creeks to scaling formidable boulders at the waterfall's base. As you venture forth, the anticipation builds, knowing that each step brings you closer to the captivating cascade that awaits.

    Guided by the melody of rushing water, you experience the trail unfolding before you, leading you deeper into the heart of the canyon. Finally, as you round the bend, there it stands - a towering testament to nature's raw power and beauty. All that’s left to do is to stand in awe as the mist kisses your skin and the roar of the falls reverberates through the canyon.
A small, delightful waterfall over a rock wall maybe 10 feet high, cascading into a clear rock basin.
Image courtesy of Jack Elliott’s Santa Barbara Adventure
  • Seven Falls
    Trailhead: Tunnel Road above the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
    This timeless hike, spanning 3.2 miles through the scenic expanse of Los Padres National Forest, begins at Edison Road. Follow a dirt path to the Tunnel Trail sign, signaling the pathway to the renowned Jesusita Trail. As you traverse the winding path, you’ll have to navigate through boulders, but when you reach the waterfall, you’ll know the effort was well worth it. Take a moment to pause and immerse yourself in the beauty that surrounds you, perhaps even indulging in a playful splash in the pools that dot the trail.

    "The music of falling water comes at intervals upon the ear. The uneven trail winding around huge rocks, upon the edge of precipitous banks or plying through the slippery stones at the bottom of the creek, gives just enough elements of beauty, danger, grandeur and loneliness to make a ride here thoroughly enjoyable. Near the head of the canyon is what is known as 'Seven Falls.' The water here falls into seven stone basins in succession. The rocky banks are broadcast with delicate maiden hair ferns and are green with moss. This is a favorite resort. At the head of the canyon is a large rock [Mission Falls] over which the water leaps with considerable force in the rainy season. This fall can be seen from the city." —Geography of Santa Barbara, Francis W. Conrad (1889)
A few thin streams of water flowing over boulders, between green vegetation
Image courtesy of Jack Elliott’s Santa Barbara Adventure
  • San Ysidro Falls
    Trailhead: End of Montecito’s East Mountain Drive
    The captivating San Ysidro Falls, nestled in the foothills of Montecito, can be found at the end of a moderate 3.5-mile trek. The focal point of this adventure lies in the majestic cascade, especially stunning after a bout of rainfall.

    Prepared for an uphill ascent that begins at the San Ysidro Trail sign. The asphalt path leads you to a sturdy gate, marking the shift to a gravel path beyond. Around the one-mile mark, a distinctive landmark awaits: a majestic redwood tree with a commemorative rock marker below. Here, the trail veers right, crossing a sprawling creek with a breathtaking spectacle that lies just beyond. Pause for a moment to savor the beauty that surrounds you, as the magnificent San Ysidro Falls reveals itself in all its glory.

    Allow yourself to be inspired by the boundless beauty that surrounds you on the way to our local Santa Barbara waterfalls. Whether you find yourself enchanted by the gentle cascade of a secluded waterfall or captivated by the expansive vistas that stretch out before you, each adventure promises a unique and unforgettable experience with amazing views.

Speaking of incredible views, if you are considering buyingor selling a home in the area, please give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at for a free consultation.

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    “It was an emotional experience selling our mother’s home in Montecito that we all loved so much but Cristal made the process easier on our whole family by guiding us through the transaction every step of the way. She knows the market so well and everything she recommended was on point including the asking price, painting, and staging the home, which looked beautiful and helped the buyer envision her new home. We sold it the first day it hit the market with an offer above asking! Cristal did an incredible job communicating with us and the buyer to ensure that the transaction would run smoothly. We highly recommend using Cristal, she was a pleasure to work with! ”

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    - M.F.

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    - T.C.

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    - M.A.

    “Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

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    “Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

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    “After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

    - Michael & Nancy Lee

    “Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

    - Richard and Catherine Frinier

    “Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

    - Laurie Siegel

    “We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

    - Ken Saffir

    “Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

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    “A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

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