Matilija Canyon Trail

#1 of 219 trails in Los Padres National Forest

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Matilija Canyon Trail is a 8.4 mile out and back trail located near New Cuyama, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking & walking and is accessible from March until November. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Directions from Ventura: Travel north on Highway 33 to Matilija Canyon Road and turn left (west). Drive up Matilija Canyon Road to a locked gate.

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

On a hot summer day this is quite a hot hike. With confusing turns across 2 private properties, meeting the friendly guard dog. Then via a fire road into a slim windy trail mountainside that occasionally has small safety concerns. Tons of poison oak or ivy. But the reward are peaceful waterholes near nice camp sites.

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3 Completed 2 Reviews

One of my favorite hikes I've done so far. It's not too difficult, until you begin the ascent towards Middle Matilija campground, but the climb doesn't last very long. We made it up to the Middle Matilija campground in about 2.5 hours. The campground is awesome - a creek with plenty of running water, a large fire pit and a steel bbq. There is plenty of shade from the large oak trees. The trail is well marked with yellow dots and arrows painted on rocks up to Middle Matilija camp, after that it's not as well marked. To continue on the trail at Middle Matilija campground, continue due North. The trail will seem to be leaving the creek, but it wraps right back around. Overall, I would highly recommend this trail and I will be back here!

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

Great hike! Pretty short if you are planning on backpacking but definitely perfect for a easy trip. Beautiful pool, rock to jump in off of, and a waterfall! Such an awesome spot!

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8 Completed 1 Reviews

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18 Completed 7 Reviews

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4 Completed 4 Reviews

This is one of my favorite hikes. It has so much to offer. Plenty of creek crossings, slight elevation gain and points to rest. There was poison oak in many places so be careful with that.

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37 Completed 2 Reviews

Have hiked this several times. Had a big storm 2 1/2 weeks ago and wanted to see how the water holes and waterfalls were. They were really full and pretty. Saw one other hiker and one snake (not a rattlesnake).

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31 Completed 22 Reviews

This place is incredible. We went for our first time on Monday (3/3/14) and it was right after a big rain storm so the water was pumping. NOTE: I don't think my experience will be like many others do to this huge flow of water. The road off of HWY 33 was also covered in rocks, so it made the drive in a little rough. The second stream crossing looked like the mighty Mississippi - it was tough to cross without getting wet. The trail was washed out in a lot of areas down by the stream and the higher water level made it just as hard to find some good dry spots to cross when the time came - which was often. Like I said the water was pumping so the waterfalls were incredible. Can't wait to go here again. I only hope that the rain comes again!

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25 Completed 5 Reviews

Matilija is a fun trail with great scenery, and a few swimming spots along the way. There are actually two different waterfalls that we found. You can scramble up the rocky waterfall (Matilija) and look down to see the beautiful colors in the pools of water. The terrain is easy to negotiate, we hiked out in the dark. I really hope the springs that feed the waterfalls do not dry up.

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50 Completed 9 Reviews

I used to live in Ojai and would hike this trail to swim at the pools. It can be quite a hike in and you've got to be aware of poison oak. I only would go on this hike after a wet La Nina year when the creek is definitely flowing and there are waterfalls and pools to play in. Several times it got so late that my husband and I would be hiking the last mile to our parked car in the evening. We used to buy fruit at the fruit stand at the little ranch/farm where we parked. I don't know if it is still there (such a charming place.) Then we would walk past the Blue Heron Ranch and I don't know if that is still there. It was a magical experience. I loved that hike and the swim. Backpack LOTS of water and snacks; towels and extra pairs of socks for this one when you are lucky enough to hit a wet year. Better pack a bright flashlight: on this adventure, you can leave in the morning and hang out all day. If you leave late from the falls, you'll be hiking home in the dark!

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