This view is from the mountain road that winds back down toward the Pacific Ocean. The Channel Islands are visible on the horizon.
Between the coast and the mountaintop is a canyon that Spanish explorers called El Refugio, "the refuge." Refugio Canyon is accessible from U.S. 101 about 25 miles west of the city of Santa Barbara. At the base of the canyon are lemon and avacado groves. Live oaks and chaparrel are dominant higher up in the canyon.
Photos and text © Gleaves Whitney 2004