North Fork Matilija Trail 23W07

moderate 208 reviews
#7 of 188 trails in

North Fork Matilija Trail 23W07 is a 6.2 mile heavily 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 best used from March until November. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 6.2 miles Elevation Gain: 606 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

bugs

over grown

Southern access point is the same trailhead as the Murietta Trail (24W07). Leading off to the right after the second stream crossing, the trail enters the wilderness and follows the year-round creek. From the gate you'll reach Matilija Camp after 1.48 miles. Further up the canyon are three more camps: Middle Matilija (4.1 miles), Upper Matilija (5.7 miles) and Maple (7.5 miles). All four camps offer shaded streamside sites. After another 1.6 miles, the trail ends at a seasonally open dirt road that leads north down Cherry Canyon to Highway 33. For the northern access point, go 27.4 miles north of Ojai on Highway 33 and turn left on rough dirt road up Cherry Canyon. Travel 3.0 miles to the trailhead at the ridge top. Please check with the Ojai Ranger District before your visit.

hiking
over grown
rocky
3 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

20 river crossings trail hard to follow in one area. Look for cairns!

hiking
1 month ago

River is flowing beautifully. Trail is clear, except for a small section after the first campsite, which can be a little hard to follow. Lots of foot traffic today, over the holiday break, but amazingly beautiful as always

hiking
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
1 month ago

Gorgeous canyon, but definitely in need of some serious trail work. There is no longer a sign at the trailhead/turnoff from the Murietta trail, just rock cairn. The trail is relatively easy to follow up to the lower campground (beautiful but overgrown with grasses in many places). After that the trail gets much more difficult to follow. Plenty of cairns help guide the way, but the trail is not clear- overgrown and washed out in many places. We camped at the middle camp. We planned to home further the next day, but we could not find the trail beyond our camp. The river crossings were also a challenge. We counted 11 crossings up to the middle camp, some with some good-sized hops. In warmer weather it would have been much easier to do in sandles walking across the river. Otherwise, fabulous views, lots of cool geology, great photography with sunlight coming through golden winter leaves, and quiet on a winter night. We had the whole valley to ourselves while camping!

backpacking
1 month ago

great great great trail but bring bug spray!!! also if ur in the canyon follow the "blaire witch" style rocks they will help u when u lose the trail. water shoes or sandles are best if it's not to cold outside so u can just walk through the creeks instead of hop over them

hiking
2 months ago

Ca doesn’t Have poison ivy.. poison oak grows here.

hiking
over grown
2 months ago

This trail was pretty cool up to about 1.8 miles then it was pretty overgrown I kept going thinking maybe it was a small batch but after another .5 miles I turned around

hiking
bugs
off trail
rocky
scramble
washed out
4 months ago

lots of poison ivy, good water flow and erosions as well.

backpacking
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
4 months ago

The Adventure Continues: this was the fourth time backpacking this summer in the Wilderness behind Ojai off of the 33 for my girlfriend and I but our first in the Matilja Wilderness. Is there a Matilja Trail? We were dropped off Saturday am at the top of the Trail off of Cherry Canyon Road. 4 wheel drive or at least a high clearance vehicle is a must, our driver in their Toyota Rav 4 had to turn around about a mile or so from the unmarked trailhead which was not so bad but it meant we had to eat motorcycle dust for a bit. If you come to the 12 foot Iron bar cross you have gone to far, go back up the "road" five hundred feet to three large boulders that "mark" the trailhead down to the Maple Campground. The trail to Maple is pretty easy to follow and the campground itself is shaded with lots of water. Unfortunately, the night we spent there, the wind was howling all night long, not recommended for high wind conditions. The problem starts south of Maple as you head down the "trail"to the Matilja Campgrounds. There is no trail! For the first mile or two out of Maple the trial is followable but hardly well marked or developed. However, basically from above Upper Matilja to about 3.5 miles from the bottom trailhead, where the is an old steel Forest Service sign with mileages leaning on a rock, there is no trail. Or at least not one we could find. Some helpful soul has tried to mark a trail with ribbon but even that disappears or leads you to where you are rock hopping and bushwhacking your way down the Matilja Creek. It is tough going on your ankles and feet. Be prepared for unstable footing. That being said, tons of water, frogs and garden/water snakes (3), beautiful canyon and isolated, we did not see a soul on the trail. We will return to camp at either end of the trail but probably not to try and hike the whole trail from Cherry Canyon to Matilja Road as there is no trail.

hiking
no shade
off trail
private property
scramble
4 months ago

wide open trails and good water flow. cooled off at end of day once sun set. lots of bouldering.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a great trail with beautiful scenery. The trail travels along the creek, crossing over to one side and then the other as the terrain allows for walking. The first third or so of the trail offers ample shade, but later trees are more sparse and those that are there are badly damaged by a previous fire. Some parts of the trail are overgrown and you have to fight your way through the foliage a bit. The trail is wide enough for one person and is pretty uneven walking terrain, with many rocks and roots. A walking stick and some good hiking shoes are helpful here. We went in the middle of the day, when it was approaching 90 degrees, but the heat was tolerable. The intermittent encounters with water as you cross the creek are pleasant and refreshing.

B E A utiful.

hiking
over grown
private property
washed out
6 months ago

The forest service has done some moderate work to clean up the trail after the Thomas Fire and rainy winter. We lost the trail a couple of time. But otherwise we had a good time. My toddler had a great time in the hiking backpack and playing in the river around Mitilija Camp Ground. We will do it again!!

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