My California - Matilija Creek

in adventure •  21 days ago

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For this weeks show us your California contest by @socalsteemit I'm gonna take a quick break from the snowboarding posts and take you on an adventure up an absolutely beautiful canyon here in Southern California...

Matilija Creek!!

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This marvelous canyon lies just northwest of Ojai, Ca. Drive up highway 33 north into the mountains along the Ventura river then turned left on the narrow Matilija canyon rd. Then drive up the road all the way to the turnout just before the locked gate at the Matilija Canyon Ranch. I met my buddy Skorch there and we tossed on our backpacks and headed up the trail!

The entrance to Matilija canyon ranch

Crossing the ranch

The back end of the ranch

The beginning of the trail is a dirt road across the ranch. From there it continues as a dirt road passing the North Fork trailhead and then finally arriving at the beginning of the Matilija creek trail. From there the canyon narrows and the path becomes much more rugged yet much more beautiful. As we hiked the sun was beating on us but just in time we arrived at the first swimming hole. Time to cool off!

Matilija Canyon

Matilija Canyon

The first swimming hole

From there we continued up. The canyon just kept getting bigger and more and more impressive. We passed a few small waterfalls, and then just above a fork in the canyon we stopped and setup our camp at a spot Skorch called "Hungry Dog camp". After setting up our camp we spent the end of the day checking out some of the beautiful waterfalls in the fork just below the camp. Then we headed back for a little fun at camp before jumping into our hammocks for the night.

Passing a small waterfall on our way upstream

Starting up the fork below camp

One of the falls

Looking off the top of that falls

Looking out the mouth of the fork on our way back to camp

Hungry Dog camp

Looking up at the cliffs from camp

The next day we got going early because we had a bunch of waterfalls and swimming holes to explore and many of them were not gonna be easy to reach. Pretty quickly we got to the first waterfall. The rock around it makes it a really unique looking waterfall. This falls had to be bypassed by climbing up the rocks on the side with a rope. A little more hiking above that and we arrived at the real gem. Matilija falls. A beautiful waterfall with a great swimming hole at it's base!

The unique waterfall

Arriving at Matilija falls

Matilija falls

We probably could have hung out and just swam there all day, but we had more waterfalls to see! From here it got really adventurous. We climbed up along a ledge on the cliff above the pool to a notch about 30 feet above the falls. From there we had to use a rope to down climb the cliff to the top of the falls. Doable, but a bit scary to say the least. From there we headed around the big pool at the top of the falls and continued up canyon passing multiple waterfalls and pools!!

The pool just above Matilija falls

Skorch climbing around one of the upper falls

Skorch and I at one of the upper falls

A beautiful double waterfall

Waterfall after waterfall this canyon was just absolutely amazing! But with only so much time in the day at a certain point we had to turn around. We headed back down canyon, re-climbing all the waterfalls in the opposite direction this time. We got back to Hungry Dog camp and picked up our camping gear and hiked all they way back out of the canyon. Arriving back at the trailhead after dark, just totally stoked about all the cool spots we had just explored!!


I hope you have enjoyed this weeks glimpse into My California!

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all photos by @derekrichardson

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Did someone say “hammock?” That’s pretty cool!!

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Haha. Yep! Skorch is all into hammock camping. I'm not as big of a fan, but it's fun. I like using a hammock sometimes when I'm out in the snow. It keeps me up off that ice cold ground!


Yes hammocks can be pretty comfortable to sleep in. In the summer they are great, and although I have never used one in the snow (which is a pretty good idea btw) I have slept in one while cocooned in a sleeping bag. That actually worked out great for colder nights, but that was so many many moons ago.....

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Awesome trip. A breathtaking landscape with waterfalls and me particularly impressive rock formations. Thanks for letting us take part of it.


Thanks @ikarus56. I'm glad you enjoyed the tour!

You see this beautiful landscape and you are reminded that nature is the best architect

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Yep. Absolutely!

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Thank you @derekrichardson for participating in this weeks Show us Your California contest!

Terrain is rugged, etched out years in rock formation what lovely hiking area @derekrichardson

Thanks for taking us up the trail, how rewarding to be in nature, fresh water to drink, swimming, no doubt hot being surrounded cliffs.

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Amazing trail! Dog camp and all the waterfalls look great and so do swimming holes.

Thanks for taking us for a walk!