Santa Barbara Ranger District

[image] Smokey Bear  - Los Prietos Ranger Station

Buckhorn OHV Route, Santa Barbara Ranger District

Updated: July 3, 2020

Know Before You Go!

Please contact the Santa Barbara Ranger District office for current conditions: (805) 448-3648. The office is temporarily closed to walk-in visitation, but you can call for information Mon-Fri 8-430.

  • Highway 154 is open
  • East Camino Cielo is open
  • West Camino Cielo Rd is open. Motorcyles or OHV vehicles with 4-wheel drive and high clearance only

ALERT - First Crossing Re-opened Friday,  July 3, 2020

The First Crossing reopened today, Friday, July 3. There is now vehicle access to Red Rock, Lower Oso Day Use Area, Sandstone Day Use, Falls Day Use,  Upper Oso Trailhead, Buckhorn Rd and the Upper Oso Campground. The First Crossing was closed earlier this week due to high water levels and thick mud accumulation from a recent water release from the Gibraltar Dam. If conditions worsen, the road will close again. It is being closely monitored.

Current Restrictions

Campgrounds in the Lower Santa Ynez Recreation Area


  • Fremont
  • Paradise
  • Los Prietos
  • Upper Oso Campground

Sage Hill Group Campground is closed until further notice.

Group campgrounds will remain closed to comply with State and County orders. Group campgrounds will re-open when the State and County orders are lifted. For refund information, please contact: PMC Customer Service 

Campground Reservations and Parks Management Concession Company Contact Information

For questions about campground reservations or cancellations, please contact or call 1-877-444-6777 or call the Parks Management Company at 805-434-1996.

Day Use/Picnic Areas in the Lower Santa Ynez Recreation Area

All day use areas are open

  • White Rock
  • First Crossing
  • Lower Oso
  • Red Rock
  • Falls Day
  • Live Oak
  • Sandstone

Trails off of Paradise Rd and Highway 154

  • Santa Cruz Trail is open to 19 Oaks Camp only
  • Snyder Trail - no fee to park (open)
  • Aliso Trailhead near the Sage Hill Group Campground (open)
  • Red Rock Trail  (open)
  • Tequepis Trail - no fee or permit to park (open)

Closed Trails in the Lower Santa Ynez Recreation Area due to 2017-2019 winter storm damage

  • Santa Cruz Trail beyond 19 Oaks Camp

Santa Barbara Front Country Trails

All front country trails are open

  • Jesusita Trail
  • Tunnel Trail
  • Rattlesnake Trail
  • East and West Cold Springs Trail
  • San Ysidro Trail
  • Hot Springs Trail
  • Romero Trail

Access to the Buckhorn OHV Route

Currently there is no vehicle access to the Upper Oso Trailhead Wed, July 1 through Friday, July 3 due to the closure of the First Crossing. The First Crossing is temporarily closed due to high water levels and thick mud accumulation from a recent water release from the Gibraltar Dam.

The Buckhorn OHV route suffered extensive damage as a result of the 2016 Rey Fire and subsequent winter rains, making the route unsafe due to rock slides, mudslides and washouts. The Camuesa portion of the OHV route was severely impacted after flood waters poured through a narrow and inaccessible canyon and washed out a section of the route, requiring it to be shortened. Please be careful when riding the Buckhorn, make sure your spark arrester is in good working order, and remember OneLessSparkOneLessWildfire.

Divide Peak OHV Area off of East Camino Cielo Road 5N12

Divide Peak OHV Area is open to motorcyles and ATVs.

Campgrounds and Hotsprings in the Upper Santa Ynez Recreation Area (Pendola)

Temporarily closed until further notice

Motorized Access into the Pendola and Upper Santa Ynez Recreation Area (Big Caliente Hot Springs and campgrounds) is temporarily closed to vehicle traffic until further notice due to 2017/2018/2019 winter storm damage to the Romero Camuesa Rd, Roads 5N12 and 5N15. Emergency road funding has been applied for, and it is unknown when the road will get repairs funded and completed. 

Campgrounds and hot springs 

Temporariliy closed

  • Rock Camp
  • P-Bar Flats Campground
  • Middle Santa Ynez Campground
  • Big Caliente Hot Springs

Mono Camp and Little Caliente Hot Springs Closure

Closed until further notice

  • Mono Camp
  • Little Caliente Hot Springs are in need of repair

Safety Alert for Thomas Fire Burn Area

Visitors should be congnizant that certain areas within the Thomas Fire burn scar were heavily damaged by the fire and subsequent rainfall. Soils and new vegetation remain very fragile and the public is strongly encouraged to stay on the roads and trails and avoid the many hazards that exist throughout the burn scar. Hikers are encourage to avoid the burned areas in favor of nearby trails, campgrounds, and day-use areas that were not affected by the Thomas Fire. If  you plan to hike within the burned areas, you need to be aware of loose soils, rolling rocks, and unstable portions of the trails. Los Padres National Forest staff will continue working with local group and partner organizations to develop a strategic approach to repairing the damaged sections of trail. To learn more about how you can volunteer, call the Forest Supervisor's Office at (805) 968-6640 ext 795 or call (805) 961-5795.