Explore the best trails near Ojai with detailed reviews, photos, trail maps, and driving directions curated by hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
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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!
This was my first venture on this trail. I was looking for a good trail run to do some hill sprints... this was perfect! Inclines the whole way up, breathtaking beauty all around, and the view about 2.5 miles up was amazing! Looking forward to doing this one again and seeing a lot more of the trail.
Great hike very scenic, for the first 1 mile the trail very mellow, the ascent to the top is challenging. During this mid November hike we encountered 3 mini snow storms. Views from the tower are spectatcular we could see the beach at Oxnard and the Channel Islands.
I only hiked to Chief Peak (approximately 9 miles roundtrip), but the views made the trek worthwhile. I watched the sunset while hiking the Nordhoff Ridge with views of the Ojai Valley, ocean, and Channel Islands. Almost the entirety of the trail was on a fire road, and most of the elevation gain occurred in the first 2 miles. The final portion to the summit of Chief Peak is unmaintained but wasn't terribly difficult to follow. Be sure to stop by Rose Valley Falls before doing this hike -- it's a nice warmup before the climb.
The portion of the Ocean View Trail shown here in red goes out of Matilija Canyon behind Ojai. Four and a half miles up to Murietta Divide and then one mile up the very steep Monte Arido Connector Trail to the Monte Arido Road and then to the beginning of the unsigned trail. From here head 2.5 miles eastward to White Ledge Camp and the end of the cut. From the Ojai side however, out of Oso Trailhead on the Ventura River Preserve you can hike up and out Kennedy Ridge Trail, cross up to the Camino Cielo Trail via the connector and head westward to the end of the Camino to Camp 8, where there is a well signed intersection of the Ocean View headed up. From this point it is 3.5 miles to White Ledge Camp. Travelling up the trail from the Ojai side, you get about one mile before hitting a wall of brush. If you passed math in school, you will figure that there remains 2.5 miles uncut between camps.
As of 2016 the trail is not through, and is too thick to get through. You will need excellent conditioning and experience to make distance on this trip and one gallon of water per day. Worth the view and the adventure and remoteness though.