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Upper Matilija Camp South Los Padres National Forest

  • Camp Type: Wilderness Trail Camp
  • Topo Map Link: Wheeler Springs
  • Elevation: 2323 feet
  • Wilderness Area: Matilija
  • County: Ventura County
  • Ranger District: Ojai Ranger District
  • Longitude: -119.356584
  • Latitude: 34.554709
  • Water Sources: Always water in the nearby Matilija Creek
  • Length of Stay: 14 Days
  • Reservations: Wilderness Trail Camp

Recent Water Reports:

Date Surveyor Water Report
11-11-2017Oh ThreeFlowing
03-04-2017Craig R. CareyFlowing
10-17-2016Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
08-15-2016Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
01-17-2016Shaddus Maximus Flowing


Upper Matilija is a popular camp located up the Matilija Canyon Trail. The camp has multiple sites, each with a raised BBQ grill and is just above the very reliable Matilija Creek.  This site is frequented by both dayhikers and backpackers and is a regular stop amongst scouting troops in the area.

The creek runs north on its junction with Matilija Creek to the south side of Ortega Hill. Up this canyon an old Indian trail ran from Ventura to the Sespe to Cuyama Valley. At the head of the canyon, timber was cut for the Ventura Mission. Later, the trail was used by pioneer people to travel to the backcountry. The creek has long been noted for its trout fishing. Trail 23W07, up the canyon was used in the summer when the creek ran low,. In the winter the high water forced the use of the Ortega Trail 23W08.

There are 4 camps along the trail up the canyon; Lower Matilija, Middle Matilija, Upper Matilija and Maple Camp.

Survey Photos:

  • Craig R. Carey - 03-04-2017

Submitted Camp Reports

Upper Matilija Camp Survey - 11-11-2017 - by Oh Three
Link: Upper Matilija Camp
Date: 11-11-2017
Surveyor Name:Oh Three
Camp Description:
We just took a break here. It would be a great overnight camp. Easy to reach from the north, and far enough from the south that you'll leave all the other day trippers behind.

Plenty of water. In fact, there's a nice mini-waterfall over a rock that made filling my gravity filter bag quite easy.

It's not located quite where trail guides say it is, but ... as they say, you can't miss it. There are some "gypsy" camps between Maple and this Upper, where there's one site and a rock fire ring. Ignore them.

This site has the antique "icecan" fireplace to let you know you're at the right site. And it's much bigger than any of the outlaw sites. You could put 15+ people here, packed a little tight.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Upper Matilija Camp Survey - 03-04-2017 - by Craig R. Carey
Link: Upper Matilija Camp
Date: 03-04-2017
Surveyor Name:Craig R. Carey
Camp Description:The intrepid mountain men of Boy Scout Troop 111 (Ventura) backpacked the length of the Upper North Fork (from Cherry Creek Road at Hwy 33 to lower Matilija TH) Friday 3/3 to Sunday 3/5.

Upper Matilija camp in great shape (and green!); boys spent their lunch break here. Some shale debris actually helped clear out the brush that was encroaching. Great water.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Fast and clear!
Weather Conditions:Cool; high clouds.

Upper Matilija Camp Survey - 10-17-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Upper Matilija Camp
Date: 10-17-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:enough water to filter. camp is a little small but still very nice
Weather Conditions:
Upper Matilija Camp Survey - 08-15-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Upper Matilija Camp
Date: 08-15-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Barely a trickle at camp. Flowing at at least 3 creek crossings between middle and upper camp. Might want to carry water up from a lower crossing.
Weather Conditions:
Upper Matilija Camp Survey - 01-17-2016 - by Shaddus Maximus
Link: Upper Matilija Camp
Date: 01-17-2016
Surveyor Name:Shaddus Maximus
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:

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Last Updated: Monday, August 10, 2015

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L.P.N.F. Contacts »

  • Forest Headquarters
    Phone: (805) 968-6640
  • Mt. Pinos District
    Phone: (661) 245-3731
  • Ojai Ranger District
    Phone: (805) 646-4348
  • Santa Barbara District
    Phone: (805) 967-3481
  • Santa Lucia District
    Phone: (805) 925-9538
  • Monterey District
    Phone: (831) 385-5434
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