8.20.12 – murietta divide road 6 mile r/t hike

Laura and I completed our last training hike today in preparation for next week’s trip to Jennie Lake in Sequioa; we hiked 6 miles r/t on Murietta Divide/Matilija Road from the Matilija trailhead. We’d originally set out to hike 7-8 miles, but, lets be honest… hiking in 95 degree heat on an entirely exposed and dusty fire road is tough.

That being said, we had fun! We parked at the gate/th at the end of Matilija Road and we walked west, through the ranch and wildlife rescues. We continued past both Matilija trail turn offs (first one on right, second on left) and also passed by another single track short cut on the left. And we went on and on and on. The heat was absolutely brutal but the 35 mph winds made everything more bearable. The road is also well and gradually graded. We ascended a bit over a 1000′ feet over 3 miles, which I think is similar to the grade we’ll experience at Jenny.

After 3.1 miles, we decided to turn around. The heat was just too much and I found that I’d actually drank 2.5L of water in 3 miles! This is a lot for anyone, especially for a relatively easy hike. We hope to come back in the winter when it is cooler and we hope to either get up to Jamison Lake (further up the road) or to make a nice overnight trip over to Old Man Mountain (20+ miles r/t).

GPS Log (my unit ran out of battery power towards the end)

Distance: 6.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 1158′

Time: 2:30:00

Calories burned: 1500

Calories consumed: 0

Water consumed: 2.75L

Weather: 30-40 mph gusty winds, 95 degrees, clear skies

How to get there: Take 33 north from Ojai for 10 minutes to a slight left onto the very uphill Matilija Road. Take that road 5 miles to its end, where you will park. Hike past the gate and up the road. Be sure to respect the property owners.


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Posted on August 20, 2012, in hiking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Enjoy your trip to Jennie Lake.

  2. I have done this hike, at least a portion, as a loop. The 2 left turns off the road you mention take you on a nice trail along the creek. It provides a simple adventure into chaparral and riparian habitats. As of my last trip, about 5 years ago, the trail was in decent shape and trimmed. It can get grown over quickly if not maintained. A great hike for kids over 10 to possibly turn them on to nature. There is also a primitive campground adjacent to the creek providing a nice lunch spot, if not camping.

    To me, this west fork hike is much better than the north fork if you don’t like poison oak and bush whacking.

  3. thanks tony, i’ll have to try out that campground!

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