If you go
From Los Angeles, take U.S. 101 north to Santa Barbara to the State Street/California Highway 154 exit. Take Highway 154 (San Marcos Pass) almost 11 miles to Paradise Road. Go six more miles to a kiosk, where you must buy a Forest Adventure Pass ($5 for the day). Cross the Santa Ynez River and proceed to Upper Oso Campground and park in the day lot. Follow Buckhorn Road until you see a water tank. Take a left and proceed 11/2 miles until you see a trailhead with the sign for Upper Oso. From there, you'll follow one of two routes to the summit. Take the road back for the safest return route. Otherwise, look for the steep path leading to the Santa Cruz Trail for seven miles of spectacular single tracking. Bring food, water, a companion and plenty of cardiovascular strength.
TO LEARN MORE
Before you go, call the Los Prietos Ranger Station at (805) 967-3481 to check on road and river conditions. For information on buying the Forest Adventure Pass, trail description, directions and map, go to http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsm9_033984.pdf
For topographic maps and additional trail information, check out http://www.trails.com