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Palermo Open Space and Hidden Valley School District Property

This little-known open space at the end of Palermo Dr. is actually a combination of two open spaces: the Palermo Open Space, which borders Arroyo Burro Creek and is owned by the City (since 2019), and the upland parcel which is owned by the Santa Barbara Unified School District.  Both properties are currently open to the public for passive use, including walking and observing wildlife.  There is a well-worn loop trail around the school district's part of the property, which takes open space visitors through several different habitats, including grassland, coastal sage scrub, and oak woodland.  Follow a short side trail off towards Hope Ranch for a view of Arroyo Burro Creek and its surrounding riparian area.  Despite being in a neighborhood, this open space boasts relatively intact natural habitats and a variety of native wildlife, such as dusky-footed woodrats, coyotes, and many kinds of birds.  Go at dawn or dusk and bring binoculars or a long camera lens for the best wildlife viewing opportunities.

View this open space's iNaturalist page here.

Explore the Open Space

Looking out from the open space entrance toward Palermo Dr.  The City's Palermo Open Space is on the left of the path from this view and the school district property is on the right.

Access Information

The address is 1098 Palermo Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, not to be confused with the nearby Hidden Valley Park.  Park at the end of Palermo Dr. and walk in through the pedestrian entrance next to the gate.  

The part of the open space between the trail and the creek is managed by the City of Santa Barbara.  The remainder is owned by the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

Dogs are allowed on leash only, according to City guidelines for their half of the area.  Please keep your dog from disturbing the wildlife that call this site home.  Additionally, since this is in a residential neighborhood, make sure to be quiet and respect the neighbors.

There is a steep embankment at the edge of Arroyo Burro Creek toward the back of the site due to erosion.  For your safety and the structural integrity of the creek bank, stay back.


News and Updates

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