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Ortega Trail

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Alt Names

Ojai Ranger District, Sespe Creek, Los Padres National Forest, Wheeler Gorge Campground, Holiday Group Campground, Ortega Vieja

Last Known StatusOpen

This rugged trail winds through thick vegetation and offers panoramic mountain and canyon views. The trail is geared for the advanced rider due to loose chunk rock, narrow switchbacks and steep climbs and descents.

There are two access points but the northern entrance (Cherry Creek Road) is gated and is seasonally open between August 1 through December 15. Please note that Cherry Creek Road is rough and should only be attempted with a high clearance vehicle (RVs not recommended).

The southern trailhead has a very small parking area (enough for one compact vehicle) but is only open from May through the November 1.

Camping is available at Wheeler Gorge and Holiday Group campgrounds. Both campgrounds do not have direct trail access but are recommended for those with street legal motorcycles (the southern trailhead is located about one mile north past the campgrounds). A primitive campsite can be found about five miles in on the trail.

This trail may temporarily close during inclement weather so contact the Ojai Ranger District at (805) 646-4348 before heading out. Be sure to say thanks to the Ojai Valley Dirt Riders for maintaining this trail.

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Nearest CityOjai, CA
Go Back To California List
Street Map
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: Ventura, CA
For the southern entrance:
1) Take SR-33 north about 40 miles
2) Trailhead is on the left (west).

For the northern entrance (trailers not recomended):
3) Continue north about 17.5 miles
4) Turn left (south) onto Cherry Creek Road, continue about 3 miles.


LandNational Forest


Our RatingRatingGood    
Recommended StayFull Day
Comments(Scroll Down For Visitor Reviews & Comments)


Miles Of Trail9
Climate TypeForest
Elevation3700 to 5200 ft.
Trail MaintenanceMarked, Rated, Heavily Maintained
Loose DirtThis trail has little loose dirt.Little
Hard PackThe trail has mostly hard pack terrain.Mostly
SandThis trail has no sandy areas.None
MudThe trail has little mud after it rains.Little
DustThe trail has little dust on typical days.Little
RocksThis trail has mostly rocks.Mostly
TreesThe trail has many trees.Many
Steep HillsThis trail has many steep hills.Many
Small JumpsThis trail has no small jumps.None
Large JumpsThis trail has no large jumps.None
BermsThe trail has no berms.None
Sand/Gravel PitsThis national forest has no sand or gravel pits.None
Single TrackThis national forest has almost all single track trails.All
RoadsThis national forest has no roads.None
ShadeThis national forest has some shaded areas.Some
HazardsThis trail has few hazards.Few(hazards assumed marked but use caution)
Easy Terrain NoviceThis trail has no beginner terrain.None
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis trail has little intermediate level terrain.Little
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis trail has mostly expert terrain.Mostly


Permit RequiredYesCA OHMVR stickers required
Dates OpenMay 1 - November 1CA OHMVR red sticker vehicles permitted from 10/1 to 4/30
Spark ArrestorYesA spark arresting silencer or end cap is required for all vehicles.
Noise LimitYes (96 dB)CA OHMVR noise limits apply (1985/older limit 101 dB, 1986/newer limit 96 dB)
Whip FlagsNot Required
Maximum Vehicle Width
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles MotorcyclesPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVsProhibitedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTVs / SXSProhibitedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow 4x4 Jeeps, SUVs and 4 x 4 Trucks with License Plates SUVs / Jeeps (registered)Prohibited
Dune Buggy/Sand Rail
4x4 (unregistered)
ProhibitedCA OHMVR stickers required
Two Strokes /
2 Cycle Engines
Certain TimesCA OHMVR restrictions apply
Helmets RequiredYeshelmets required by state law
BicyclesNo RestrictionNot Recommended
HikingNo Restriction
HorsebackNo Restriction
Camping / Overnight RV Parking Camping
Campfire Restrictions Campfires
Night RidingUnknown
Cross CountryProhibitedriders must stay on trail
FirearmsProhibitedrecreational target shooting prohibited
Emergency / Law Enforcement
Insurance*Disclaimer: RiderPlanet strongly recommends that all visitors get insurance for their ATV, UTV or motorcycle before visiting any of the locations shown on this website.


ParkingNo ($0.00)
EntryNo ($0.00)
RidingYes ($5.00 per rider)
Adventure Pass Required
Tent: $23.00
RV: $23.00
Addtl. Vehicle: $10.00
Wheeler Gorge Campground Fees
CommentAdventure Pass can be purchased at the Wheeler Gorge Campground.


First Aid First Aid5-20 Miles (S)Ojai Valley Community Hospital (805) 646-1401
Gasoline Gasoline5-20 Miles (S)American Gas and Mini Mart (805) 646-1021
Diesel Diesel5-20 Miles (S)American Gas and Mini Mart (805) 646-1021
Potable Water Water1-5 Miles (S)Holiday Group Campground (805) 640-1977
RV Hookups RV Hookup5-20 Miles (S)Lake Casitas Recreation Area (805) 649-2233 or (805) 649-1122
RV Dump Station RV Disposal5-20 Miles (S)Lake Casitas Recreation Area (805) 649-2233 or (805) 649-1122
Primitive Camping Campground1-5 Miles (S)Wheeler Gorge Campground (805) 640-1977
Convenience Store Conv Store5-20 Miles (S)American Gas and Mini Mart (805) 646-1021
Swimming Swim Area5-20 Miles (S)Lake Casitas
Body of Water Water BodyOn SiteSespe Creek
Boating Launch Boat Ramp5-20 Miles (S)Santa Ana Boat Ramp (805) 649-2233 or (805) 649-1122


Contact InfoLos Padres National Forest - Ojai Ranger District
1190 E. Ojai Ave.
Ojai, CA 93023
(805) 646-4348


Ortega Trail Photo

Ortega Trail

The trail has a lot of chunky sections. This is a good place to test your rock crawling skills. Photo Submitted 6/14/2009 (Thanks!)

Ortega Trail Photo

Some terrain at Ortega Trail

Photo Submitted 6/14/2009 (Thanks!)

Ortega Trail Photo

KTM Trail Bike at Ortega Trail

Ortega Vieja campsite can be found about five miles in if coming from the south. The campsite is primitive but has a couple picnic tables and fire rings. Photo Submitted 6/14/2009 (Thanks!)

Ortega Trail Photo

A trail at Ortega Trail

Most of the trail looks like this - rocky and narrow. Photo Submitted 6/14/2009 (Thanks!)

Ortega Trail Photo

KTM Motorbike at Ortega Trail

Photo Submitted 6/14/2009 (Thanks!)

Ortega Trail Photo

KTM Motorcycle at Ortega Trail

Photo Submitted 6/14/2009 (Thanks!)

Ortega Trail Photo

A trail at Ortega Trail

Some sections do smooth out for a short distance. Photo Submitted 6/14/2009 (Thanks!)

Ortega Trail Photo

OHV at Ortega Trail

Photo Submitted 6/14/2009 (Thanks!)

Ortega Trail Photo

Scenic view of Ortega Trail

A view of Highway 33. Photo Submitted 6/14/2009 (Thanks!)

Ortega Trail Photo

Example of terrain at Ortega Trail

A view of a chunky climb. Photo Submitted 6/14/2009 (Thanks!)

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