04 February 2011

Storm Damage Ahead: A Trip Through "Rural" Santa Barbara

Refugio Road is narrow, curvy road which offers tremendous views of the coast and valley. Starting at the coast, the road winds its way up Refugio Canyon until it connects with Camino Cielo near the crest. There are some houses out in the canyon but the road is mostly isolated. Residents must be self-sufficient as the road fjords several streams which quickly swell with any rain! Storm damage is frequent, and help is slow in coming due to the remote location. If you try this drive, take it very slow! Watch for gravel, pot holes, and oncoming traffic! There are numerous one lane sections where passing is impossible. Oh, and enjoy the view! It's breathtaking from the top!

Overview of Route

Looking down the coast from Gaviota

View from 10 miles out to sea!

Refugio Road and Camino Cielo Road

Steepest grade on Refugio... could have used more switchbacks!

Panoramic House!

Looking down at both the start and end of the route
Opps! Almost forgot the elevation/profile graph!

Red is elevation, and Blue is speed!

Download the KML file

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