Gridley Trail is a 11.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Ojai, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from Ojai: This trail starts at the north end of Gridley Road and ends on top of Nordhoff Ridge.
Having been on a monthlong hiatus from hiking (predominately due to my father leaving for Nepal), I was incredibly eager to head down to Ventura and hike in the mountains surrounding Ojai.
We begun the hike minutes before sunrise on the morning of Thanksgiving. The weather was seasonably cool, dipping into the low 40s as we set out on the beginning stretch of the trail.
The first mile of the Gridley Trail passes through patches of avocado trees. The trail is roughly the width of a fire road, albeit it's littered with protruding rocks. It eventually narrows into a singletrack as the trail traverses over various ridges.
The majority of the Gridley Trail is following streams that have carved through the mountains. Therefore, there's always a steep drop off or incline to either side of you; additionally, loose rocks and sandy gravel makes you pay attention to your footing.
There are also various creek crossings throughout the length of the trail. I hiked the Gridley Trail after an unseasonably dry November, so all creeks contained no running water. Make sure to bring enough water!
Due to time constraints, we were unable to make it to the summit of Nordhoff Peak. While the firetower atop the peak supposedly offers unrivaled scenery, the views at the junction of the Gridley/Gamino Cielo Trail were astonishing. To the West, the farms of Ojai were visible through an opening between the creek-carved mountains. To the South, Hines Peak peeked (pun definitely intended) over the skyline.
I would certainly recommend this trail after a considerable rainfall. Additionally, I'd guess that it is more than worth it to traverse over to Nordhoff Peak, granted that you have the time. Have fun hiking!
great trail! some loose gravel in an area close to a drop off, otherwise it was well maintained with gorgeous views!!
Excellent. AllTrails app showed 13.8 miles to Nordhoff Fire road and back. Great workout - up and down in just under 4 hours.
The trail was very well kept up. Very clean. The views we wonderful. The days was cool with some humidity The loop was just right for a afternoon hike. We will add this to our list of good hikes
Beautiful views of the Ojai Valley below. The trail is well defined and very easy to follow. Mostly the trail is covered in small sized rocks which keeps your attention to your footing. At the trail head it states 2.75 miles to Gridley Springs. At 2.75 I came across a dry Creek and an old horse trough. No signage at this point stating you have arrived at the trail camp but there is a old hitching post and evidence of previous campers. The mountains which surround the trail make the hike well worth the accent up to Gridley Spring.
This is my go-to trail most days, especially on weekends since there are less people than other trails in the area. Not much shade so it can get pretty hot. My dog loves it (most people have dogs off leash). Took the trail up to the campsite which is a moderately steep rocky trail. Took it up to Nordhoff Tower also which is moderately difficult.
Fantastic hike with my wife and daughters yesterday!
What an amazing hike! I read previous reviews that the trailhead was difficult to find, but my boyfriend and I had no problem finding it. It is only minutes from downtown Ojai, and while you will pass an entrance with many "no trespassing" signs, just drive 100 ft further to a small cup-de-sac where you can park and start at the the marked entrance. The hike itself has breathtaking views of the Ojai valley and the ocean once you make it to the top. For the first mile you will be hiking through orange and avocado groves and combined with the wild sage we found lining the trail made a very fragrant hike. We also did not find it too strenuous with one short, steep incline in the first mile or so and a gradual incline all the way to the top, though it was quite rocky at times. Also, once you reach the top of the trail, I would highly recommend taking a right and continuing another mile up to the fire tower. There you will be able to see the best views of the entire hike. We also packed a lunch and ended up stopping for about an hour at the top to eat at a picnic table just under the tower and enjoy the view. The day we went was a warm day in early February, and it was such a clear day that we could even see all of islands! All in all, it was one of the best hikes either of us had done.
Today I was able to run and hike the first three miles of the Gridley Trail. The trailhead can be found by taking Gridley Road north all the way until the road dead ends at some private property. The trail itself is on public land and is not fenced off. There is actually a sign that tells you it's a trailhead. The first 4/10ths of a mile or so has some rocky terrain, some loose rocks and climbs fairly rapidly. We walked most of this portion until it met up with another train. Gridley Trail continues on to the right. The steepness goes down a little and actually is somewhat easy to run on although a lot of it is single track. There are plenty of places that overlook some nice scenery to the east and to the south. On a clear day you can even see the tops of Santa Cruz Island. I hear the trail is popular with hikers and runners and even mountain bikers, although today we didn't see people until the last mile of our return leg. We wanted to start early before it got too warm up there, as it tends to get during the summer.
how do you get to the trail head?
Really great views, it's only worth hiking if you continue to go to Nordhoff Tower where you can see the entire valley, the ocean and islands. When the trail ends at the top, make a left on the really wide road and you'll get to the tower which is about 3500 feet elevation.