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Murietta Trail - Los Padres National Forest
Trail Distance 1.67 Miles

Drive up Matilija Canyon Road 5N13 to the locked car gate. Hike up the road, crossing two creeks, then take the trail to the left and then about 1 mile to the campsite.

This canyon was reported in folk tales to be a secret route for Joaquin Murieta, a Mexican bandit when he would visit Santa Barbara without being seen coming or going. A great deal of folklore has developed about this person but, actually the name was applied to a number of bandits waging war against the Yankees who had taken over their country. His name is generally spelled with just one "R' but several place names in this area all are spelled with two "TT"s. Murietta Canyon ascends to reach a divide that separates the Matilija drainage from the headwaters of the Santa Ynez River that flows west to the ocean, west of Lompoc some 70 miles away.

Trail Details

  • Trail #: 24W07
  • Wilderness Area: Non Wilderness Area
  • County: Ventura County
  • Ranger District: Ojai Ranger District
  • Trail-head Latitude: 34.50928
  • Trail-head Longitude: -119.38617
  • Water Sources: Murietta Creek - Dependable
  • Trail Condition: Good - Trail is easy to follow and is in good shape
  • Topo Maps:
  • Activities & Features:
    • Backpacking
    • Camping
    • Creek
    • Horseback Riding
    • Mountain Biking
    • Wildlife Viewing



Trail Stats

  • Total Elevation Gain: + 157 feet.
  • Total Elevation Loss: - 754 feet.
  • Overall Average Slope Gain: + 6 %.
  • Overall Average Slope Loss: - 11 %.
  • Kilometers: (km)
  • Meters: (m)
  • Miles: (mi)
  • Feet: (ft)
  • Average Slope: (%)

Trail Camps

Murietta 1,868 feet

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Survey This Trail

Survey Photos:


  • Matt Swider - 01-03-2017

  • Matt Swider - 01-03-2017

  • Matt Swider - 01-03-2017

  • Matt Swider - 01-03-2017

Submitted Trail Reports

Murietta Trail Survey - 01-03-2017 - by Matt Swider
Link: Murietta Trail
Date: 01-03-2017
Surveyor Name:Matt Swider
Trail description:Hiked up the trail to the forest rte 5N13 up to the spring of the right side of the road.  Trail from a bit past the Murietta camp to the road was a bit overgrown in areas, but still very passable.  Once we got on the road we encoutered a downed oak tree limb that blocked the road.  Fortunately I brought a hand saw and we cleared about half the road, see the pictures.  Just below the spring a few hundred yards we encountered the biggest ladybug gathering I have ever seen.  And I have seen some pretty good sized ones on the trails in the area.  About 20 feet on both sides of the road were loaded with lady bugs.  

Had hoped to hike up to the divide but one in our group was tiring, so we turned around at the spring.  
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Images:

oak limb blocking road

Road now partially cleared

At the spring


Forest Rte 5N13 view
Murietta Trail Survey - 04-30-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Murietta Trail
Date: 04-30-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:Ojai Ranger District organized twelve volunteers to work on the Murietta Trail. Eight from the lower trailhead with hand tools and four from the top using a chainsaw.  There is still another one to two days of work, but a great start and improvement.  
Mode of transport:Array
Trail condition:Needs some work
Murietta Trail Survey - 05-03-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Murietta Trail
Date: 05-03-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Trail description:Trail is fine until camp but overgrown up to the fire road. Lots of poison oak. No water. 
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Murietta Trail Survey - 05-03-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Murietta Trail
Date: 05-03-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Trail description:Trail is fine until camp but overgrown up to the fire road. Lots of poison oak. No water. 
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Murietta Trail Survey - 11-20-2015 - by Bryan Conant
Link: Murietta Trail
Date: 11-20-2015
Surveyor Name:Bryan Conant
Trail description:Trail is very brushy from the road down to the camp.  Some branches in the trail.  Both creek crossings are hard to follow, especially with a bike.  The trail gets much better as you get below the camp.  Hot in the sun and cool in the shade.  A great short hike out of Ojai.  Didn't see another person.
Mode of transport:Bicycle
Trail condition:Needs some work


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Last Updated: Tuesday, February 23, 2016



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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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