More Mesa

Photo by Gabe ~ Fuji x100


March, 2017

Santa Barbara

More Mesa is a jewel box of a park on the outskirts of Santa Barbara – located just north of the city, and just shy of the UCSB campus.

It’s hard to believe that places like this still exist, especially in traffic-riddled, overpopulated Southern California. But alas, even in the middle of what seems like madness, you can still find someplace like More Mesa with incredible beauty, peace, and quiet.

Had Gabe not known how to get there, I certainly wouldn’t have found it on my own. The entrance we used on Mockingbird wasn’t at all marked, and in fact, the community which surrounds the Mesa would probably prefer you didn’t know it was there at all. But once we walked in, we were treated to a roughly 250-acre coastal spread that is both completely untouched and beautiful.

Endless views at More Mesa - Let's Photo Trip

Endless views at More Mesa

Photo by Gabe ~ Fuji x100

The More Mesa property is privately owned, but thankfully, for now, the winding walkways and paths that front the bluffs are open and accessible. This 250-acre space feels as open and big as parks much larger in size.  In so many of the pathways that wind through the Mesa, you don’t see a single house, though they surround the property on three sides.  And despite being in such a populated area, we probably ran into 5-6 people during our entire visit.

stunning ocean views you get at every single turn from the trails that hug the edge of the cliffs

Most people come to the Mesa head down to the beach.  But on our trip, we were only interested in the Mesa itself.  Some trails crisscross the Mesa, but we chose a thrilling walk on a cliffside footpath that drops off to the coast below.  We’re talking a severe drop-off, and Gabe often reminded me to keep my eyes on the path lest I take a tumble!  While we didn’t hike down to the beach, carved into the cliff’s edge are caves popular with UCSB students.  Access down the cliff looked sketchy, so we took a pass on heading down to see them in person.

Eucalyptus trees frame the mesa - Let's Photo Trip

Eucalyptus trees frame the mesa

Photo by Gabe ~ Fuji x100

Sun setting across More Mesa - Let's Photo Trip

Sun setting across the mesa

Photo by Gabe ~ Fuji x100

Trail along the cliff's edge at More Mesa - Let's Photo Trip

Trail along the cliff’s edge

Photo by Gabe ~ Fuji x100

Gabe & Steve at More Mesa - Let's Photo Trip

Gabe & Steve

Taken on Fuji x100

On the afternoon we visited, we were much more interested in enjoying the stunning ocean views you get at every single turn from the trails that hug the edge of the cliffs.  I’m sure that More Mesa is beautiful at any time during the day, but we came at the end of the day.  The golden light danced off of the waves and across the hills, fields, and grasses that color the Mesa. It’s why we came: to get away from the city, enjoy a beautiful afternoon and enjoy each other’s company.

From the beautiful fields to the vast expanse of the Pacific, there were spectacular photo opportunities here. Looking back at Gabe’s photos now make me yearn for another trip!

As the sun started to set, we made our way back out to where we began, knowing that this little slice of paradise awaits us when we again need a quick getaway from our busy lives.


  1. Ingrid Nelson

    One of my favorite places in the Santa Barbara area. Are the Monarch butterflies still landing in the grove there?

    • Steve Wilson

      Hi Ingrid. We haven’t seen butterflies at More Mesa, but a little further south, Ellwood gets seasonal visits from Monarch Butterflies. They’re usually there from mid-November through February, so it looks like we missed them this year!


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