On a warm summer day in my home town I took my son-in-law PJ to favorite place, Rattlesnake Creek, one of the many canyons in the front side of the Santa Ynez mountains. I have walked this creek many times, never once seeing a rattle snake. I even chose it for a botany project in college long ago – chronicling the regrowth of plants after a brush fire.


Rattlesnake Creek is an easy day hike and we met many people on the trail. We had the creek bed to ourselves, though, as we bouldered up the hillside. We came back on the trail that rises high on the north side and I was glad we did. Not only did we get the majestic view of the Santa Barbara channel, we encountered an amazing number of wild flowers in bloom.


We had seen many on the way up, but even more on the way back. I counted 16 different varieties in bloom – more than I have ever seen in many years of hiking these mountains. I only know the names of a few. Let me know if you recognize some of the others.

Click here to see more pictures from the hike: Rattlesnake Canyon. Look for the beautiful creature we saw that was not a rattle snake.

Hiking Rattlesnake Creek

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