Los Padres Views

Views of Santa Ynez River Valley and Los Padres National Forest along Highway 154 (San Marcos Pass Road) near Santa Barbara, California. April 2016.

Views of Santa Ynez River Valley and Los Padres National Forest along Highway 154 (San Marcos Pass Road) near Santa Barbara, California. April 2016.

Highway 154 (San Marcos Pass Road) is a more scenic alternative when going north from Santa Barbara. You leave Highway 101 at State Street, continue on Calle Real and make a right turn, then it begins to wind up into the hills above Santa Barbara. Going down in a northwesterly direction from the pass summit, this incredibly beautiful landscape soon comes into view. There’s a vista point further down where it’s safe to stop and enjoy them, but it is actually pretty overgrown and an unobstructed view is only possible in very few spots (I’ve heard from other photographers that the lack of good and unobstructed views is the hallmark of all spots that are officially called “Scenic Vista Point” in California;-). Past Lake Cachuma and Los Olivos, Highway 154 ends where it meets Highway 101 again.

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