Potrero John Trail is a 5.1 mile out and back trail located near Ojai, California. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking and camping. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Directions from Ventura: Travel north on Highway 33 for about 32 miles to the trailhead on the right(north) side of the road.
This is a great day hike or beginners backpacking trail. The difficulty should be easy enough for all skill levels save for those woefully out of shape.
Parking is right off the side of the road in a dirt turn out. There are no facilities of any kind.
The trail starts in a narrow gorge which is really quite beautiful and my favorite part of the trail. It criss crosses the stream several times, all of which are easy if the stream is not too swollen.
After about a quarter of a mile or so the gorge begins to widen and after several more stream crossings and another quarter mile it opens up to a broad plain.
From here the hike is pretty straight and up a gentle grade. You will pass one campsite off to the right at about the one mile mark. This site has been improved since last year and is much more inviting for a couple or a very small group.
At the end of the official trail (1.6 miles) and after crossing the stream you find the Potrero John Campsite. This is a large group camp site under a couple big oaks. with room for half a dozen tents or more. It is next to the stream for easy water access and has a large fire pit with good log seating.
If you continue for a mile and a half past this campsite there is a small waterfall. The trail is officially unmaintained and can be rough going in places however it is nearly impossible to get lost. If you lose the trail the best rule is just follow the stream.
Great hike in a narrow gorge. Really impossible to get lost. Scattered pine and chaparral and oak. Plenty of shade .Nice rock formations, and not an overabundance of rattlesnakes!. The trail follows mostly dry creek beds but with some refreshing little pools and cascades along the way. Handy little fire ring in a campsite 1.6. Miles in - Small stand of tree at campsite compatible with hammock camping. If you continue on past the camp, there's a pretty clearly traveled trail leading back approximately two more miles. Even better little water pools in the creeks there. Also another more substantial fire ring set up back in that area. But not compatible with hammock camping. I really enjoyed this trail. Very limited parking past the Potrero John bridge. So get there early!
Water along the entire trial. Trail in good shape all the way to the camp ground and beyond. The upper end of the trail flooded out on 12/12/14 so it can be hard to follow until volunteers clear it.
Not much water in the creek this time of year, but the hiking was fun with not another person on the trail.
Not so much a strenuous hike but a nice place to bring the tent and camp out next to the stream under the large oak tree. I've said too much! Enjoy the water flowing, and maybe a deer sniffing your campsite in the wee hours of the morning.
Trail was alot of fun, nothing to memorable about it but i still would hike it again.
It was a hard trail, but was a lot of fun. Many stream crossings and a waterfall can be found.