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Santa Barbara Hikes

Diane's Big Adventures

Hike to Matillija Falls


A huge group of Sierra Club hikers including myself went hiking up to Matillija Falls. Matillija Falls was closed for a long time by a property owner back there. It is open now. To hike all the way up to the falls is a 9 miles round trip hike that gets steadily more of a difficult rock-hop in the creek as you go, but as difficult rock hops go, it's not too bad. The trail head is at the end of Matililla Road off Highway 33 just outside Ojai. You can find the trailhead on the Sespe Wilderness Map.

Swimming hole Surprising how much water was in the creek!
Swimming hole A swimming hole
The falls, more like a grottoThe falls look more like a grotto. This used to be a very spectacular falls. Now it drips off in a delightful little shower.

Our group was mostly people in their 40s-60s, but there were a few people in their 20s and 30s, too and also some young people not hiking with our group. A nice time was had by everyone. Many minor injuries, cuts and scrapes happened.

A young guy not hiking with us climbed to the top of the falls and fell all the way down. You can see him below in the upper right. That was about where he started his fall. He sort of slid uncontrollably down the slab of rock, missing the two sitting there in the middle and turned toward the he fuzzy travertine mass in the center, landing in the pool below the falls which was about thigh or waist deep. Miraculously he was unscathed. It would be a difficult helicopter rescue, and there was no phone service in this canyon.

The man at the top of the falls fell from there
The man at the top of the falls fell from there

After the hike, we stopped at Deer Lodge for a beer. They've got quite an extensive list of craft brews on tap. Another place we stop sometimes is Papa Lenin's Pizza. They also have good beer plus pizza and ice cream.