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Best Trails

Matilija Canyon Trail

Ojai, CA

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.

  • Best Hiking

  • Best Mountain Biking

  • Best Trail Running

Recent Reviews

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Cozy Dell Trail
by anthony Langston

7 Completed 5 Reviews

I did 8.16 miles today, saw bear tracks but were old so it eased my mind.

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Matilija Canyon Trail
by

1 Completed 1 Reviews

The trailhead is just 30 minutes from Ojai where you must take care in hiding all valuables in your car at the locked gate to the wildlife refuge. We began our hike at 1130AM, and already starting to feel the heat coming on. Just me and my 13 year old son going for an overnighter, and it was his first backpacking trip. Passing the refuge and continuing on the easement led to more sun exposure. We stayed on the dirt road and passed a couple trails, on either side until we got to a fork in the road with a sign saying ‘all trails’ heading left, and private property to the right. We stay right and enter Blue Heron Ranch, where we see no one on site. We pass horses and continue on the dirt path as the easement turns but generally heads due north. After about an hour and half, we cross a small stream and come into a clearing for a campsite, but it appears we're still on Blue Heron Ranch property. There is a firepit and a quartz rock big enough to sit on. We continue up the path, hop a rock wall next to a closed gate and turn right which looks like the trail that veered left that we passed when entering the ranch. We continue to see stacked rocks from time to time, encouraged to keep going. At last we come upon a campsite marked by a huge boulder and large oak trees. There is a fire pit and walking around, there are several campsites by the creek. We pick a spot a little off trail towards the creek to setup our campsite. We also meet a local who advises us about nearby swimming holes and the waterfalls further up the trail. Packing a small axe was helpful when gathering wood and chopping some down to manageable pieces. Dried leaves and twigs were plentiful for getting a fire started. Be careful of poison oak. They are scattered all over the place, in the campsites and near the trails. Careful of spiders, there were literally hundreds of them in a bunch, which at first glance looked liked moss. The water hole near the campsite was fun. Large boulders to jump off, but the water was dirty, mossy, please use water shoes. We spent about an hour here before sundown. The temperature dipped into the 50's at night. The following morning, after breakfast and packing up, we hit the trail to make it to the waterfall. We pass the first watering hole, and come up on another one, deeper and cleaner because it's more of a rock pool. We press on walking alongside the creek, but an hour later stop for lunch and assess our water. I had only packed 1 bottle of water and forgot the water filter, so we decide not to continue, turn back and spend some time in the rock pool. We grab our packs and head back towards the car. We end up reaching the car in just over 1 hour. As we walked through Blue Heron Ranch, we were advised to take the "other trail" instead of through the ranch. Overall, it was a good quick overnight backpack trip. My son felt proud to accomplish the trek and back, and looks forward to more adventures.

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Tar & Sespe Creeks
by

39 Completed 20 Reviews

It's too bad this beautiful area got trashed! This is one of my favorite trails ever, great hiking, rock scrambling, cliff jumping, natural rock waterslides, and swimming! Haven't been since I moved out of Ventura county, but came across three condors last time I was there: one at the top of the 70-foot waterfall, and two down by the infinity pool.

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Reyes Creek Campground Trail
by

3 Completed 3 Reviews

I went with a friend that knows the area very well. We hiked for a few hours out and it was basically uphill the entire way. For a newer, not in super great shape hiker like me, it was very challenging! I'll definitely go back when I'm better conditioned and I'm sure I'll enjoy it a lot more! :) There is a friendly bar and grill nearby that we visited after the hike. I had a cold beer and visited with other hikers and bikers. Plan to stop on your way home for a nice treat after a day of hiking!

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Tar & Sespe Creeks
by

1 Completed 1 Reviews

At this time (July 2015), trail is closed due to endangerment to the California Condor by litter left behind careless idiots. Creek is dry.

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Horn Canyon Trail
by

1 Completed 1 Reviews

This is not really an "easy" hike once you leave the creek and start climbing. The trail is well maintained and provides dramatic views of the Ojai Valley down the steep slopes of Horn Canyon.

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Horn Canyon Trail
by

19 Completed 3 Reviews

More of a moderate hike than an easy one but lots of shade areas on the way up.

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Sisar Canyon/Red Reef Trail
by

10 Completed 10 Reviews

First time on this trail, been meaning to get into more trail running. Road leading up to the trailhead has a small sign, and is next to a little market called Stagecoach Station. The road is a narrow one, goes through a neighborhood so go slow and is barely wide enough for one vehicle. Trailhead is about a half mile up from Hwy 150. Trail is mostly a fire road and isn't very technical as a trail running path but it does go up at over 400 foot/mile climb. We crossed over a couple places where water can flow over although only one had barely enough water while the other was dry - we are in a drought condition in CA. First couple miles was under some tree cover but the next two was in sunlight. We made it to a little over 4 miles from the trailhead to a vista point overlooking the Santa Paula / southern part of Ojai areas, while to the north you look up to the Topa Topa mountains. Pretty incredible, look one way and you're on top of things and the other way you look up from the bottom. Rating it 4 stars for the ease of entry to trail, easy to stay on trail and not get lost, and wide enough for people to hike side by side - running you can do it a little further apart so as not to miss any rock on which to possibly trip over. Less

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Sespe River Trail
by

2 Completed 1 Reviews

Bring a lot of water. And explore the side trails, there's so much beauty out here.

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Chorro Grande Trail
by

5 Completed 1 Reviews

This one's a buttkicker when your backpacking in from the 33. Beautiful views and quiet nooks near the top to spend the night. Make sure you bring your own water in the summer!

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