Matilija Creek Trail

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Matilija Wilderness

Matilija Creek Trail is a 8.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ojai, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,056 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

bird watching

waterfall

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

no shade

NOTE: Matilija Trail is open and accessible, but it follows a road cutting through private land the first few miles. Remember to stay on the road or it is considered trespassing. When you get to the private property, there is a "no trail" but that is the way to go.

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
rocky
1 day ago

hiking
bugs
no shade
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
1 day ago

hiking
bugs
no shade
4 days ago

Great trial and nice dip in the nice cold water. but take bug spray and plenty of water

hiking
no shade
private property
5 days ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
6 days ago

As others mentioned, you will start to see signs along Matilija rd saying Temporary No Parking 5/21-26 with a Ventura County Soy stamp, all along the sides of the road with a sofa blocking the road leading to the trailhead! Ignore the sofa, go around it. When u reach the trailhead you will encounter a man with his guard dog that owns the private property telling people that the trail is closed due to Covid19 and trash! It is NOT closed!!! The TH parking lot has no such signs, you can park there. This man would say the Sheriff suppose to be checking I.Ds only allowing residents etc. IGNORE him!!! If the trail was closed, it would of been posted on this site and would of been an official sign posted by the US Forest Service on Matilija rd. and on the trailhead kiosk. The man as no rights to do this, this is a Federal trail paid by us tax payers. Not everyone is a litter bug or starts fires! To complain contact Los Padres Natl Forest Services 805.968.6640 So enjoy ur hike it is Beautiful with Awesome variety of wildflowers and the many Awesome Waterfall's you will see and please do not litter, pack it in/pack it out!!!!

6 days ago

As a resident of the area, I'm letting you all know the jig is up. We've had enough of people defecating, driving unsafely, setting up grills in fire areas, and leaving litter around. The parking is now blocked, the road is closed, and we've got the police on speed dial. If you want to be out here, then buy a house. Don't trash our back yard.

hiking
private property
7 days ago

I encountered the same man with the dog as Leah (see post below) & I wanted to mention that although it’s unfortunate that some hikers can be disrespectful to the land and private property, the trail head is NOT closed. The residents that live near by are attempting to close down the trail themselves and it is not considered trespassing as long as you stay on the county road and stay off of private property (which is extremely obvious due to the residents aggressive signs and speed enforcement tactics) The signs states there is no parking along the 5 miles of road that you must drive down to get to the trail head, but trail is OPEN & there is parking at the end! Happy hiking! :)

hiking
7 days ago

Looked beautiful was out there early enough (7am) parking lot only had about 4 other cars parked. There was a sign at Matilija Canyon Rd stating the parking was closed on the side of the road for the next 5 miles until Monday. Note: parking lot is open There was no mention on the sign that trail was closed. We parked only to find a homeowner with his dog telling us that the trail was closed and there should have been a chp asking for ID for proof you lived in the canyon. He said there had been hundreds of cars parking on the side of the road so “the county” closed the trail for the weekend. We didn’t feel like arguing with him since he had argued with the people who parked right before us. He was approaching every car that came after us as well telling them the same thing. If you can get past the upset resident I’m sure it’s a beautiful hike. Will try again during the week.

hiking
no shade
rocky
7 days ago

We took the main route up and walked along the river bed on the way back. It was a great experience although a lot of opportunities to roll an ankle on the riverbed route. We ran into a rattlesnake but almost no other people and got to enjoy the falls to ourselves.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
scramble
8 days ago

Very limited parking. I have been on this hike 3 times in the past two weeks. The first two times (Saturdays) the parking dirt lot was full and cars lined up the streets. Today, I saw a guy lining up a fence on the side of the road where many cars parked. I assume its to keep the cars off the shrubbery. For first time hikers: You will be walking through the wildlife refuge, you'll probably hear the roosters. You'll cross the river and keep following the trail. There is no shade so bring lots of water and sun protection. You'll follow the trail for a while. Then you will see a sign that says "All trails". Take the fork at the left and keep going until you get to the next fork, which is just up ahead. Look to your right and you should see a ranch. There is also a sign that says "trail to waterfall" Follow it. It's going to be another fairly flat trail. Keep following the trail for a long while. Eventually you're going to cross the river and come across a concrete pipe. At this point you can choose to hike through the river or continue the trail through the hill. I did both. They take about the same amount of effort and time. Pick your poison. Scrambling over rocks or hiking uphill. By taking the river you get some beautiful mini waterfalls! and with the hill there are so many beautiful native wildflowers! Eventually the trail through the hill will end up down at the river and you'll have to scramble regardless. When you get to the river canyon you're just going to follow the river. It's nearly impossible to get lost. There isn't really any trail so you'll have to find your own way climbing on top of the rocks and walking through the river a lot. As long as you keep following the river you will end up at all of the 3 big falls. Also beware of rattlesnakes and water snakes! I saw 3 rattlers and many water snakes!

no shade
off trail
private property
rocky
scramble
9 days ago

This is beautiful area but it has become too crowded. I talked to one of the private property owners(one of the nicest person on earth) and he mentioned that it's the city folks who come here and have trouble following the trail and trespassing, so if you can't do a little research about the trail before you visit dont come here. There should be no reason for you to be on someone's yard at any time. If you do visit bring what YOU need for hiking, always stay on trail and take your trash and dog's shit with you. It's already bad enough that owners have to put up with us walking by their properties and some ppl just trash this beautiful place. So Do a little research, take what you need for hiking, stay on the trail, pick up your trash and PLEASE don't be an asshole and share this location. It's already getting bad as it is help us keep places like this as pristine as possible.

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