Goleta Waterfalls

Goleta Waterfalls title=
Photo by Tom Modugno
11 Comments
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By Tom Modugno of Goleta History

Goleta has some beautiful waterfalls in our front country. Unfortunately, they only appear for a short period after a good rain. Of the 2 pictured, one is above the La Patera/Glen Annie area and another is off Old San Marcos road and runs into the Maria Ygnacio creek. The problem here is both of them seem to share the same name, Widow's Tears. Can a legitimate old time Goleta resident give a definitive answer to this question? Which one is really Widow's Tears?

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John Wiley Jan 02, 2022 04:29 PM
Goleta Waterfalls

Great pic of the 2nd falls! Did you get it from the air? I wondered at first if it was part of the beautiful step falls & pools on San Pedro Ck. along upper N. La Patera Ln. that Edhat published a version of (apparently gone since Edhat's site upgrade). It was the 12/3/2012 falls with a pic still on this site [ https://www.flickr.com/photos/jw4pix/8243181355/in/album-72157606655477494/ ] Can you tell us where that second falls pic of yours is? Thanks for sharing today's glorious pic of that one, Tom.

tMo Jan 03, 2022 06:31 AM
Goleta Waterfalls

Thanks John, I took it from old San Marcos Road. Near the top. It's the headwaters of the Maria Ygnacio.

Henry Sarria Jan 03, 2022 04:42 AM
Goleta Waterfalls

These are BEAUTIFUL! I got some pictures using my GoPro Hero 7, but even using the zoom feature it couldn't even come close to these. Awesome job!

biguglystick Jan 03, 2022 09:32 AM
Goleta Waterfalls

Sure wish we had this year round!!!

Stuart Jan 03, 2022 11:54 AM
Goleta Waterfalls

Tom any photos current or historical you can share of the San Pedro Creek Falls above Fairview Road that were commonly referred to as 'Fairview Fall" back in the 50's , 60's and 70's. They cascade East to West roughly so out of site from public view unless you have access or a drone. These are probably some of the most remarkable waterfalls in Santa Barbara County yet little known to the public. I believe at one time there was an actual cam used by the USGS that monitored the water flow there for research puposes. https://yankeebarbareno.com/2011/03/18/san-pedro-creek-webcam/

John Wiley Jan 03, 2022 02:18 PM
Goleta Waterfalls

Stuart, I guess that's the one in the pic I linked to above. Such a magnificent waterfall! I seem to recall that it was a public destination in horse & buggy days, and presumably for native peoples for countless generations before that. It's below the paved roads near a home and work yard. Sure would be great to find some way that responsible public access could be granted to that when it's flowing, and to other established historic trails like Slippery Rock.

John Wiley Jan 03, 2022 03:09 PM
Goleta Waterfalls

V.County Watershed map has layers for several topo charts, and the "USA" layer has a "Falls" notation there on that short East/West section of San Pedro Creek. The creekbed is depicted as starting about 160' elevation below the bend in W.Camino Cielo labeled "Windermere" on gMaps and their satellite view seems to have a blurry glimpse of at least one of the falls' pools with possible trails to them. It's easy to imagine workers cooling off by the falls during a summer lunch break.

a-1641254378 Jan 03, 2022 03:59 PM
Goleta Waterfalls

Still images if you google this: [ "san pedro creek" site:yankeebarbareno.com ] ~ but the webcam's apparently long gone. That search also turns up some of Jack Elliott's excellent work (yankeebarbareno.com). SB County has this and a nice still image in a PDF ~ "...first camera installed to support the GAP burn-area-response ... USGS also installed two cameras, one each for the GAP & Jesusita burn-area response ... Figure 6 & Table 1 (below) depict the location & characteristics of these..." Link: [ https://www.countyofsb.org/uploadedFiles/pwd/Content/Water/2011%20Hydrology%20Report%20-%20Final-WPost(1).pdf ]

Stuart Jan 03, 2022 05:54 PM
Goleta Waterfalls

John I agree that this area is rich in historical, and long used paths accessing our rich front and backcountry that if managed in a responsible way would greatly benefit the entire Goleta Community. With really only one public beach access point at Goleta beach and no mountain access it's a letdown to the community. Nature access in Goleta is for the most part for the eyes but not the feet. Goleta could ultimately have trails into the foothills that rival the Santa Barbara and Montecito trails in magnificence. It seems like it would take one or two sympathetic loyal Goleta ranching families that own a large parcel buffering the Los Padres Forest to be open to allowing an easement similar to the Franklin Trail in Carpinteria. The Franklin Trail is a perfect example of private ranching, city leaders, community outdoor enthusiasts all collaborating for a great cause. They've done a super job these past few years since opening up and have had no issues with hikers using the easement granted. John do you or any readers out there know who is instrumental in these areas they'd suggest contacting?

Stuart Jan 03, 2022 12:16 PM
Goleta Waterfalls

Also while at it Tom since we have folks in the area showing interest in the beautiful waterfalls and treasures of our natural backdrop; has there been any discussion or consideration regarding developing at least one Goleta hiking trail system that accesses our foothills and possibly giving access to West Camino Cielo area? It's a sad fact that Goleta has no mountain access. Santa Barbara , Montecito , and Carpinteria have roughly a dozen trail access points and Goleta has yet even a single trail leading into our front country. From San Antonio Creek at Tuckers Grove (Santa Barbara) there is nothing for roughly fourteen miles until Gaviota. Seems the time is finally approaching where Goleta should if it's not already, be developing a feasibility study. It may take years, some big donors, Land Conservancy, group effort with Santa Barbara and Montecito Trails organization but they did open the Franklin Trail in Carpinteria after roughly a thirty year closure and lots of cooperation from several ranch/land owners. All parties came to a common conclusion that there was a clear benefit to the community as a whole. Any insights would be appreciated Tom.

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