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Knapp's Castle-Paradise Rd-Snyder Trail-Fremont Trail--10 mile Loop Exploratory

Two roads diverged in a wood,

and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Excerpt from Robert Frost's poem--The Road Less Traveled.

And that's the metaphor and reality of this hike. We'll first take the trail most traveled (Snyder Trail)to arrive at Knapp's Castle. Then we'll take the road less traveled(Fremont trail) back.

Distance: ~10 Mile Loop

Elevation Gain: over 3,000 ft.

Difficulty: Strenuous--sign up only if you can hike 10 miles and at 1,000 ft of elevation gain per mile.

For the bold who want more than a simple up and down, take the Snyder up to Knapp’s Castle and then come down the historic Fremont trail. This ~10-miler is called the Fremont Loop and it offers a variety of terrain and both front and backcountry views.

I've never done this hike before, so it's an exploratory hike. If you need to be somewhere at a certain time, please don't sign up for this hike.

"All who wander are not lost." My personal motto because exploration gives me a great sense of personal satisfaction and nourishes my adventurous spirit.

This hike includes the inherent risks that come with not knowing where you are every moment. PLEASE sign up only if you enjoy exploratory hikes.

Link for more details:

Hike Description:The Snyder Trail leads up through the chaparral, into an enchanting oak forest, up through grassy meadows which have power lines crossing them (this is the Santa Ynez Fault line) and then around a large hill to the Castle. We'll drop down to Camino El Cielo Rd and walk along until we link up with the Fremont Trail. This is where the adventure begins and we wind our way back to Paradise Rd. and the cars. Maps, topos, detailed descriptions, and intuition will be our guides.

Directions to Snyder Trailhead:

Take to 101 North toward Santa Barbara.

Take the State St./154/Cachuma Lake exit. Follow the signs to 154 West.

To Snyder Trail

Drive up 154/San Marcos pass for several miles, crossing to the other side of the mountains and crossing over Cold Spring Bridge.

Turn right onto Paradise Road. About two and a half miles into Paradise Road you will pass the Fremont Campground.

Continue on for about another 1.6 miles where on the right side of the road you will see a tree with a large bulbous growth on it. It's a very odd looking tree, you can't miss it. Pull into the area near the tree where you may see other cars parked. This is the trailhead for the Synder trail. There's even a big sign with stuff posted on it, including a map to the trail.

You will need an Adventure Pass to park your car. You can buy one for $5 at most sporting goods stores. Or you can buy 2 for $35 and split the cost between two people.


I am a volunteer (i.e. not liable for the group). Safety is a priority for everyone in the group. Think of this as hiking with a group of friends.

IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY: Outdoor sports and other events we plan are inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you're taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Thousand Oaks Hiking Group(TOaks) and it's organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. If you choose to sign up for any The TOaks hiking Group events, you are releasing the TOaks Hiking Group and it's organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries.

Your personal safety depends on your own judgement and experience.

Responsibility: I am not responsible for you. You are responsible for you. You should be self-sufficient and be able to find your way to safety in the event you find yourself on your own. I will not lead you back to the trailhead if you decide to turn back.

Disclaimer: The organizer and assistant organizers take no responsibility and will not be held responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur during this hiking event. Hiking can be inherently dangerous and accidents will happen. By participating in this hike posted on this meetup web page you are taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Great Job Jan...really enjoyed the trip

    May 14, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Beautiful hike

    May 14, 2012

  • Peter P.

    Once again, it was a terrific hike. Not as long as the usual T.O. Hikers hike, but there was plenty of elevation gain/loss that got the heart pumping and the leg muscles burning. Views of the SB backcountry, soaring raptors, the brownstone ruins of the castle, and the fine camaraderie of the group made it a terrific event.

    If there was a downside, it would be the walk along the road from the Fremont camp back to the cars at the Snyder trailhead. No fault of the leader, but the road has no shoulder to walk along, and there was plenty of fast traffic that was a bit of a concern hence a 1-star deduction.

    May 13, 2012

  • Shari

    Great weather, beautiful views, good workout, awesome company and all with a sense of adventure and we all finished in one piece. Thank you Jan another terrific explority hike.

    May 13, 2012

  • Patrick

    This was a great hike with beautiful scenery

    May 12, 2012

  • Jan L.

    Fantastic hike. First stop-Knapp's castle. Rested and took in the panoramic views. Great group of upbeat fun hikers. Coldspring's Tavern offered an eclectic respite. The cold beer hit the spot! Thanks everyone for today.

    May 12, 2012

  • Jan L.

    We'll miss you Tina!

    May 11, 2012

  • Tina A.

    Have a great hike everyone! I'm jealous!!! Wish I could make it!

    May 11, 2012

  • Patrick

    Would anyone like to carpool from Woodlandhills/Calabasas or nearby area?

    May 10, 2012

  • Hana B.

    I would like to carpool from Ventura for this one - let me know if you are interested :)

    April 15, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Please add me to the waiting list.

    April 8, 2012

  • Jan L.

    No plus ones on this hike. Everyone needs to sign up for themselves.

    April 8, 2012

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