Hikes in Ojai

The city of Ojai lies on the southern edge of Los Padres National Forest, and there is great hiking in the green mountains around the city. Route 33, Mariposa Highway, heads north of Ojai into the breathtaking mountains, offering a scenic drive with numerous hairpin switchbacks. Along the way, there are several places to hike and camp. The largest campground in the area is Wheeler Gorge with seventy sites and a pleasant one-mile loop trail. The tallest waterfall in the Los Padres, the two-tier 300-foot Rose Valley Falls, is located three miles off Route 33 and is easy to get to from the campground. East of the waterfall is Sespe Wilderness, where backpackers can trek to more remote locations, including Willett Hot Springs.

Hiking in Ojai
A hiker relaxes along Sespe Creek

An adventure pass is required to enter Los Padres National Forest. Day passes cost $5 and an annual pass is $30. The passes may be purchased within the park, at various local retailers, and online. The passes are valid at other national forests in California as well, like Angeles National Forest.


View Central Coast Hikes in a larger map

Hikes in Los Padres National Forest near Ojai

Rose Valley Falls TrailRose Valley Falls
This 1-mile round trip trail leads to the lower tier of this two-tier 300 foot waterfall. From there one can scramble off trail to the much taller upper tier.
Sespe Creek TrailSespe Creek to Willett Hot Springs
This 19-miles round trip follows Sespe Creek to a relaxing hot springs.
Gorge TrailWheeler Gorge
This 1-mile loop explores the forest around this 70-site Campground.
hikespeak
Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery trail to Piedras Blancas Light Station hike Point Piedras Blancas Lighthouse San Simeon California Northern Elephant Seal Colony Big Sur
There are very few places in nature where you would feel comfortable getting up close to a 5,000-pound animal, and Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery is one of them. While visiting the seal colony, you can get up close to these impressive (and vocal) animals and observe them in their natural habitat. In addition to two quarter-mile long boardwalk trails, the rookery... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: January 30, 2014
Point San Luis Lighthouse hike Pecho Coast Trail Avila Beach San Luis Obispo California
If you're looking for a hike to a historic site on California's Central Coast with abundant ocean views, check out the 3.6-mile round trip hike on Pecho Coast Trail to the Point San Luis Lighthouse. The hike near Avila Beach crosses land owned by PG&E that is accessible only with a trail guide on organized treks. On the way to the lighthouse, you'll enjoy sweeping... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: April 19, 2014
Tarantula Hill Trail Thousand Oaks California Dawns Peak hike
The foreboding sounding Tarantula Hill, which also goes by the more welcoming name of Dawn's Peak, is a small, isolated mound in Thousand Oaks that hikers can summit for views over the Conejo Valley and into the nearby Santa Monica Mountains. If your spider senses are detecting pavement, that's because the entire half-mile-long trail up Tarantula Hill is paved. While... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: November 23, 2013
Oats Peak Trail Montaña de Oro State Park summit hike New Oats Peak Trail San Luis Obispo California
Oats Peak is the second highest summit in Montaña de Oro State Park, a full 26 feet taller than Valencia Peak, which is probably the park's favorite summit for hikers. Oats Peak is located a couple miles inland of Valencia Peak, sporting smaller ocean views and greater views over the Irish Hills, the canyons and ridges making up the interior of the Montaña de Oro State... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: September 14, 2013
Reservoir Flats Trail Montaña de Oro State Park Islay Creek Canyon Islay Creek Campground hike
Montaña de Oro State Park has every type of hike you could want, ranging from easy oceanfront strolls to difficult summit ascents. If you're feeling like goldilocks and want something in the middle (just right), check out Reservoir Flats Trail, a 2-mile loop with 200 feet of elevation gain that is conveniently located just behind the park visitor center. The trail... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: September 13, 2013