Friday, July 25, 2014

A Day at the Spa: Matilija Canyon

Summertime, and the living's easy...
as long as you stay at the beach.

It's official, the year to date has been California's hottest on record, and this summer has been scalding, simmering, and scorching for those moving around the backcountry. I know I've gotten nuked pretty much every time I've been out since early June. Those that follow this page may have noted a distinct drop in activity this July. I do apologize, but frankly I'm a little tired of getting boiled every time I go out.

To this end I remembered that there is this place I used to visit too frequently, a place with tall waterfalls and deep pools, an eden of sorts. I needed the sound of running water, the splash of small falls, and a good dunking in cool, clear fresh water. Jack Elliott joined up for an easy day of R&R up Matilija way.

Matilija is proving to be surprisingly drought resistant. We hit all the spots. We charged to the falls at the top of the canyon and took our time coming out, dunking liberally in the cool creek. We both pondered this notion that it had been too long since we'd heard water, and that it seemed we were both out beating ourselves to a pulp so frequently that this gentle day of creekside refreshment seemed a gift from the creator, like a day at the spa. Since I'm not inclined to get all rhapsodic about the natural wonder that is Matilija, I'll let my photos do the talking. 


  1. At the end of the road, a sign points out that access to the falls goes through private property and is not permitted. Have you heard of anyone being kicked out?

  2. Hiking up Matilija is permitted as long as one stays on the road through the private property portions of the canyon. Please be respectful of the private owners. There have been access disputes in the past but those seem to be largely behind us. -DS