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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.

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  • Best Mountain Biking

  • Best Trail Running

Recent Reviews

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Gridley Trail
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1 Completed 1 Reviews

how do you get to the trail head?

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Matilija Canyon Trail
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1 Completed 1 Reviews

Very difficult to stay on trail between the creek crossings, foliage and random step ups. However, if you pay VERY CLOSE attention to the cairns, and don't second guess what you think is a trail or not (it probably is a trail) AND often stay to the right of the trail, you will find your way. Loved this hike, bring a swimsuit to enjoy the water pools and plan enough time. Cx

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Sespe River Trail
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1 Completed 1 Reviews

Great swimming holes in the spring time all along the trail. A nice brisk temp but the clear waters and natural beauty make it hard to resist. I love this are!

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Lion Canyon Trail
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1 Completed 1 Reviews

This hike is in the journey, with amazing views along the way and a satisfying but less impressive summit. Note that the mileage is 5.5 miles one way, and the hike is not a loop. You start out on the right of a creek and need to cross over using rock stepping stones fairly quickly. There are tons of bugs and little to see at the beginning. Keep going! There are not a ton of markers but once you pass the campground area signage, the hike starts getting more interesting. There is a ton of variety in terms of the terrain and the views. There is an interlude of a part that is flat, then the hike gets to be more strenuous, again with amazing views for the majority of the hike.

This is not a switchback hike. You wind around and cover quite a lot of lateral terrain, and we never guessed (correctly!) where we would end up. The end point is an ATV road, and we walked up it to the right for a better view while we rested. There was sufficent variety that returning along the same path wasn't at all boring.

The bug density in mid-April varied based on where we were. Bring buy spray! The hike took us around 5 hours with few breaks. There is no drinking water along the path, and at times, intense sun. The path is fairly narrow, with single file hiking most of the way.

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Piedra Blanca Formations
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5 Completed 2 Reviews

Nice family hike, wide trail, very easy. not much shade. Rock formations are absolutely beautiful!

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Kennedy Ridge
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5 Completed 1 Reviews

Great views and nice trail, but there always seem to be plenty of biting bugs that really make this a not so pleasant area to visit.

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Matilija Canyon Trail
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5 Completed 4 Reviews

USEFUL INFORMATION: major foliage overgrowth. pants are a must for this hike. the trail is narrow and surrounded by poison oak in many places. also bring bug spray or you will be swarmed my mosquitoes and flies and pulling ticks off your legs. if you do these things you will be able to enjoy the lush surroundings, beautiful views, and myriad wildlife. also, all trails doesn't give proper directions to the trail head. follow matilija canyon road all the way until it dead ends at the gate. we lost 30 min of our day looking for the trail head in the wrong place.

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Sisar Canyon/Red Reef Trail
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49 Completed 3 Reviews

My first time hiking this trail after living in Ojai for seven years and hiking extensively the past few years. Parked at the trailhead, continued on the single track about 3 miles up and then finished at the Topa Topa summit at 7.2 miles. It was a beautiful, cool day. Perfect weather for hiking. There was a lot of snow (maybe 2 inches) the last 3/4 mile up to the Topas. The clouds had moved in, so my friend and I were unable to see the spectacular views at the top. Got really chilly up there. In the way down, saw two bears ahead of us on the trail (about 2.5 miles from our car). Made a lot of noise & they ran off. I've hiked to the top of the Topas only once before, two years ago, from Horn Canyon. That was 15 miles round trip and somewhat tougher than this. 14.4 miles round trip. Did it in just a little less than 6 hours. Tough but worth it!

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Tar & Sespe Creeks
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9 Completed 1 Reviews

CLOSED I spoke with the Rangers and this whole area including the trails are totally closed permanently to help save the endangered California Condors. The fine for going in here is very expensive and every member of your party will get their own ticket. I Believe you can be arrested as well. Please help save the condors. They clean up dead animal corpses to keep the waterways clean and diseases down. We need them. let's give them some space to rebound. They are on the brink!

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Matilija Camp Trail
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218 Completed 33 Reviews

This is a tiny section of the Upper North Fork Matilija Trail and is the most boring section. It just gets to the first (rather overused) camp of four. Turn the corner, it just gets better.

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