Maps & books

Bike Map–North or Bike Map–South. One bicycling map stands out from the others, the Traffic Solutions’ Santa Barbara County Bike Map. It shows bike paths, bike lanes, and bike routes throughout the county. It does not include unpaved and mountain trails. The links above lead you to PDF map sections that you can download and print out. The print version is available for purchase for $2.95 at many bike shops and visitor centers. There is also a free app for your iPod, iPhone and iPad here.

UCSB Campus Bike Map. The University of California Santa Barbara is recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a gold-level “Bicycle Friendly University.” It has one of the country’s largest share of students, staff and faculty biking to campus each school day, arguably because of its excellent and extensive campus bike path system. This map is published by the Associated Students Bike Committee to encourage more and safer bicycling. If you have time, definitely visit the campus when school is in session to see what others say favorably compares to the most bicycle-centric of European urban transportation systems.

Bicycle Map for State Highways of the Central Coast. The California Division of Transportation “Caltrans” is divided into districts, and the five-county District 5 includes Santa Barbara county. They have a section of their websitehere with information for people who bicycle. Of more interest to you is probably their detailed map showing how to bicycle on state highways within the district. It’s a PDF format map from which you can print out only the pages you need. Or you can send an email here to request a free printed copy to be sent to your mailing address.

Pacific Coast Bicycle Route Maps. The Adventure Cycling Association publishes five excellent Pacific Coast Bicycle Route maps that take you on a ride from Canada to Mexico along the route they consider best. One of the five maps takes you from San Francisco to Santa Barbara (381 miles), then another from Santa Barbara to San Diego (248 miles). Established in 1973 as Bikecentennial, Adventure Cycling is the premier bicycle travel organization in North America with 45,000 members. Their maps are waterproof, they include elevation profiles, mileages, annual events, museums, points of interest, campgrounds, bike shops, grocery stores, restaurants, hostels, and inns along the way. For bike touring in the US, they offer the best maps.

Santa Barbara Car Free Map. Santa Barbara Car Free is a South Coast and Santa Ynez Valley organization that is promoting travel by bike, foot, bus, kayak, train—any means other than by car. Their brochure/map can help you with all those modes. You can pick up the map at the Santa Barbara Visitor Center, the Conference and Visitor Bureau, or fill out the form on the page linked above. In addition, if you are visiting Santa Barbara county, check their website for money-saving discounts on Amtrak train trips, inns, restaurants, bike rentals and more.

Santa Barbara County Recreational Maps. This is an out-of-print series of excellent maps with ride descriptions by Ray Ford. Three of them deal with biking rides. Map #4 has Mountain Bike Routes. Map #6 has Santa Ynez Valley Bicycling Routes. Map #7 has Santa Barbara Road Bicycling Routes.

Los Padres National Forest Map: South. This map, published by the US National Forest Service, covers the federal land in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties. The map is printed on waterproof plastic material. It includes information on rivers, creeks, peaks, elevations, dirt roads, hot springs, equestrian areas, campgrounds, hiking trails and trailheads. This national forest provides habitat for about 500 animal species and nearly 1200 plant species. The map can be purchased online or in person at Los Padres headquarters at 6755 Hollister Avenue, Suite 150, Goleta. Phone 968-6640.

Wine Country Cycling. This excellent map, published by Santa Barbara Wine Country Cycling Tours, shows all good bike routes in the northern half of Santa Barbara county. It color codes road conditions as easy, moderate, advanced, or dirt. Thirteen suggested bike tours starting in Santa Ynez are described. The map can be purchased in person at the their Cycling Tour headquarters at 3630 Sagunto Street, Santa Ynez. Phone 686-9490.


Bicycling the Pacific Coast. This is a good book by Vicky Spring and Tom Kirkendall, however only 16 pages deal with Santa Barbara county. The book carefully guides you from San Luis Obispo county via Gaviota State Park and Carpinteria State Beach to Ventura county, through our county in three days.

enCYCLEpedia Southern California. This is a new book by Richard Fox, published in 2014, featuring over 200 easy, scenic bike rides between San Luis Obispo and San Diego. Most rides are 5-20 miles long on quiet paved roads or dirt trails with minimal hills. It includes historical places, shopping districts, dining options, campgrounds, maps, photos and much more.

Mountain Biking California’s Central Coast Best 100 Trails. This guidebook by Delaine Fragnoli details over 100 routes in the area’s best state parks, national forest lands and other open spaces between Big Sur and Santa Barbara. Many of the rides are within Santa Barbara county.

Bicycle Rides Santa Barbara & Ventura Counties. Unfortunately out of print, this 1994 book by Don and Sharron Brundige can still be purchased used from The book describes in text, photos and drawings 68 cycling adventures, 15 of which are off-road mountain bike rides.

Bicycling Country Roads from San Jose to Santa Barbara . Also out of print, this is another fine book with 20 out of its 50 rides in Santa Barbara county. It is authored by Joanne Rife and was published in 1991. It’s available used from and probably elsewhere.

Cycling USA: West Coast. This Lonely Planet Cycling Guide, published in 2002, is likewise out of print. Unlike some other tour guides, this has numerous rides all over the three West Coast states, not just one route down the coast. It’s still available used from, and certainly elsewhere.

Bicycling Santa Barbara. This is a neat book by John Lewis published back in 1983, describing 12 bicycle trips in the Santa Barbara area with maps, sketches and elevation profiles. Definitely out of print, but pick up a copy at used book shops if you find it.