Trails.com is merging with AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Potrero John Creek Trail

MODERATE 52 reviews
#44 of 179 trails in

Potrero John Creek Trail is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ojai, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 5.1 miles Elevation Gain: 977 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

views

wild flowers

scramble

Directions from Ventura: Travel north on Highway 33 for about 32 miles to the trailhead on the right(north) side of the road.

hiking
3 months ago

Up to 2 miles back the trail is fine but then the trail gets overgrown and becomes about 4 feet high. You can probably follow the creek up at this point but we chose not to.

recorded Potrero John Trail

hiking
bugs
no shade
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
6 months ago

Ticks!!!!!!!!!!! Our dog had 25+ ticks on her. We had ticks crawling on all of us. Trail not maintained past the first mile and a half or so. Some of our party made it to the waterfall, but it took much boulder hopping, scrambling through thick, tick infested brush. Trail maintenance is badly needed on this trail.

The trail is really well kept for the first 1.6 miles. There are a lot of river crossings, some easier than others. Given the amount of rain this year, they were a bit more difficult to cross. We turned around about .3 miles from the falls because the trail was too washed out to continue. There are no wildflowers yet, but it was still a beautiful hike. There's also about .1miles of the hike where you walk through some thicker brush that hasn't been cleared, so bring long sleeves.

hiking
7 months ago

Have hiked this trail twice. It’s good for beginning backpackers as there is a nice campsite about 1.5 miles in which is the only portion I am rating. After that the trail is hard to follow and there’s little shade, so we didn’t go much further. There are creek crossings when there has been rain and a bit of rock scrambling. Dog was not a fan of the boulder climbing.

hiking
washed out
7 months ago

I am sorry to say that to me this trail is ok. The begging and the end are pretty but the middle section was not a pleasant experience at all. You need to go through a thick manzanita forest, and since the trail is overgrown, it’s really a challenge. I was difficult to go through this part of the trail without scratching my face or arms. Also, the trail is super hard to find at some pints, so you definitely need your app or a lot of experience. I would have never made it on my own. The end of the trail is a series of cute medium waterfalls and then a decent size one. Very pretty. Despite not offering any views, the pretty forest and the waterfalls at the end make it worth it. I have done lots of hikes in the area and, sadly, this the only one that didn’t impressed me.... Regarding water crossings, you should just get your feet wet from the very beginning because you will definitely get wet!! Enjoy it! :) I hope in the future they will repair the trail. I believe that would make it a lot more enjoyable.

hiking
rocky
washed out
7 months ago

Beautiful hike, a lot of water crossings we went two Days after heavy rains and had to create water crossings, but had a great time definitely worth the drive!

hiking
8 months ago

Went back to the waterfall yesterday with a buddy. One other guy on the trail with his dog the entire hike. Lightly snowing in the later afternoon. Some spots along the trail are tough to navigate, as long as you follow the creek you’ll make it to the falls. Overall great hike in cool temps.

10 months ago

beautiful place..... there is a big waterfall very easy hike too

hiking
Tuesday, September 04, 2018

2.5 months back this was my 1st Back Packing trip since 1973. I was diagnosed with heart failure so I am training for the PCT. :-) Great hike in and nice campground. Found that rock arch on the creek. Plenty of Poison Oak....have fun. Going again manana so I will report back on agua !

hiking
Monday, August 20, 2018

Trail crosses creek bed, watch for poison oak. Wear long pants and shirt. Much exposure to the sun. Moderate hike in all.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Great trail. You’ll come to an area where you think the trail ends, at this point follow the creek it will guide you back to the trail or just follow the creek to the waterfall. Nice area to hang out by the bottom of the upper falls.

hiking
Saturday, June 02, 2018

The trail is overgrown in places, sometimes necessitating up close and personal contact with the bushes on either side, but most of it was a lovely walk zigzagging across the creek (which still has water in it). There’s a good bit of scrambling over rocks, but nothing my wobbly ankles couldn’t handle. Bring extra water—it was quite a bit hotter up there than down by the coast.

hiking
Sunday, May 13, 2018

Great hike. The trail gets a little hard to follow at times.

hiking
Saturday, April 28, 2018

Beautiful hike that was a moderate challenge. We ended up scrambling up the river to the waterfall which was slightly more challenging but beautiful. Met some friendly hikers along the way but most of the time was quiet and serene.

hiking
Saturday, March 31, 2018

The place was beautiful. Parts of the trails were washed out but easy to get back to. The creek was flowing when we went and it added to the already beautiful landscape. There was plenty of shade, the trail isn’t flat therefore it’s truly moderate. Kids and most level hikers can hike it.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Hiked today. The surrounding area is fire damaged and the smell of char and smoke still lingers. This is the only trail in the area that I found still open. There isn’t a parking lot so you have to park on the road. With my car, there were only 3 cars! The trail is easy to follow, you will cross a stream a few times so trekking poles are helpful but not necessary. Nice, easy trail.

hiking
Monday, September 04, 2017

Early morning just after a rain had some four legged company alone the way, a family of bears they stayed out in front of me then just disappeared into the brush, very cool.

hiking
Friday, July 07, 2017

A relatively easy 1.6 miles. Much less water now. However, lots of native plants, trees and animals to see. Several water crossings, some of which could be difficult for a person who has difficulty with that sort of movement.

hiking
Monday, May 15, 2017

There is a large tree closing off the trail about a mile in, could not find another route. Otherwise very nice hike with lots of water and many stream crossings.

camping
Monday, April 17, 2017

A relaxing and scenic hike that gets you away from the city. There are several creek crossings and two campsites about a mile apart to the right slightly off the trail. Watch out for ticks and poison oak!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

great trail. loved all the scenery and the waterfall.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Love it

camping
Monday, April 18, 2016

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.

Load More

Featured Trails