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.