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girlhiker70

MATILIJA FALLS IN OJAI

On Wednesday, I drove to Ojai and met my usual Wild Wednesday hiking buddies. This hike was by far the most memorable and beautiful hike this year. The main focus was to find Matilija Falls. The canyon was gorgeous. We swam in pools, scrambled up rocks, and some of us climbed above the waterfalls. Surprisingly, we found a 3rd waterfall that was a secluded paradise beyond the main fall.
A perfect day for a perfect hike.

From the trailhead we hiked up a fire road through the private property of the Blue Heron Ranch. We met some friends along the way before we set foot on the main singletrack trail to the falls.






Entrance through Matilija Canyon.


We passed through several streams and pools.








A 3-tier waterfall just before Matilija Falls where we had lunch.


I took advantage of the middle pool on this very hot day.


A few of us went a bit further and scrambled up the side wall above the waterfall with some exposure.


View from the top of the side wall that we climbed.


About a 1/4 mile or so we hiked through more of the canyon that had quite a bit more deadfall and junk to stumble over.  


Whoooohooo!! Matilija falls!




We actually climbed under the moss in the cave. It was very slick but fun to sit inside and get drenched.

We noticed a rope and being curious climbed up the side wall that was very smooth and slippery. It's not climbable without a rope unless you're a monkey or something.  


To our surprise we found a 3rd waterfall, with an emerald pool that was pure paradise!


After ascending the slick wall, you drop down again, over some rocks to the base of one of the pools. The waterfall itself was hard to get to and is not visible until you descend the rocks. There is a slanted vertical wall to the right that is hard to climb onto, if you want to get to the base of the waterfall. However, we were close enough to admire the beauty and the gorgeous pool that looked pretty deep.


View of one side pool.


After hours of water fights and cooling off, we headed back admiring this gorgeous secluded paradise, taking advantage of last minute dips in the pools.




I strongly suggest checking out the falls soon before they dry up!

Stats: ~11 miles, 1430' elev gain.
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