Potrero John Trail

MODERATE 22 reviews
#26 of 134 trails in

Potrero John 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 offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

5.1 miles
977 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly




nature trips



wild flowers


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

5 months ago

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.

7 months ago

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.

9 months ago

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.

10 months ago

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!

11 months ago

great trail. loved all the scenery and the waterfall.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Love it

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.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

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!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

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.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Not much water in the creek this time of year, but the hiking was fun with not another person on the trail.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

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.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Trail was alot of fun, nothing to memorable about it but i still would hike it again.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

It was a hard trail, but was a lot of fun. Many stream crossings and a waterfall can be found.

11 months ago

11 months ago

Monday, January 30, 2017

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Friday, April 01, 2016

Sunday, June 28, 2015

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