About this time last year I saw an amazing photo on Instagram of a girl in a field of golden poppies. It looked like it was out of The Wizard of Oz. After some searching I discovered that this magical place was not far from me! These hills of poppies were just past Santa Barbara, CA. About 45 minuets away from a trip I planed to Solvang, CA, I decided to hit the trail on my way home. Little did I know what I was in store for!
To Know Before You Go
The mountain doesn’t always have flowers. I was lucky enough to go in March when they were blooming, but that only happens a few weeks out of the year. If you do happen to make it to Grass Mountain during the bloom, expect to see A LOT of other hikers.
When I arrived the parking area was full & tons of cars were parked along the narrow road. Like the other hikers, I parked & didn’t think anything of it. After miles of hiking in the hot sun, I made it to the top of the mountain just in time to hear a helicopter announcing that vehicles parked on the road will be towed. About 5 miles from my car, there was nothing I could do. Luckily, it was still there once I arrived exhausted from the long day hiking.
What To Bring
The hike is a tough one but it’s not something the average in shape person can not handle. Just be prepared!
I suggest bringing these things along on your journey:
- 2-3 liters of water per person
- GU or Energy Chews
- SUNSCREEN, sunscreen, & more sunscreen!
- Sun Hat
- Good Hiking Shoes
Hike address is: 5100 Figueroa Mountain Rd Los Olivos, CA 93441
The trail starts about 12 miles past Midland School Ranch in Los Olivos. You park along Figueroa Mountain Road.
The hike is 4.6 miles, that means one way in case you weren’t sure. When I was looking it up I thought 4.6 was the round trip mileage, boy was I wrong!
The trail follows Birabent Creek at the beginning & is very easy to stay on. From the bottom to the top, it is a steady up hill climb past some of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen.
Not only was the trail twice as long as I was prepared for but also the elevation change was crazy! The top is about 2,381 feet & you hike that 2,000+ feet incline in about 1 mile! I had never seen a trail so steep. I guess the word “mountain” is in the title for a reason.
Another thing to note is that this hike has little to no shade. There was one tree about half way up I remember resting under with some other hikers. Other than that, you will be in total sunlight the whole time.
Even if you don’t make it to the top, the views are spectacular the whole way up! And as hard as it was, I can’t wait to do it again.
2 thoughts on “Hiking Grass Mountain”
Hi! Your post persuaded me to do the same route but I have some questions. I wonder how long did it take you to go to the top of the Grass Mt. and back? Is the trail rocky or rather sandy like on the picture under the one with you (?) without T-shirt? Is there any permitbox at the beginning of the trail or only by the Midland School? Thank you for information:)
I don’t remember the exact time, but it took about half the day to make it to the top & back.
I’d guess we started around 11 & trail was not very sandy.
Also, it was very busy when I went because the hillside was in bloom. I do not recall seeing a permit box or anything bec their were so many people!