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Ortega Trail

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Other Names

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

Last Known StatusOpen

This rugged motorcycle trail winds through thick vegetation and offers panoramic mountain and canyon views but should only be attempted by the advanced rider due to loose chunk rock, narrow switchbacks, 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. Visitors should 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 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 check with the Ojai Ranger District before heading out. Be sure to say thanks to the Ojai Valley Dirt Riders for maintaining this trail.

Trail Map... Nearby ATV Trails...


Permit RequiredYesCA OHMVR stickers required
Dates OpenMay 1 - November 1CA OHMVR red sticker vehicles permitted from 10/1 to 4/30
Other ATV Stickers AcceptedYesResidents of any state not listed must purchase a Nonresident OHV Use Permit. (AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, IA, ID, IN, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, TX, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY)
Spark ArrestorYesA spark arresting exhaust 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 Motorcycles & Dirt BikesPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVsProhibitedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTV & 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
2 Stroke EnginesCertain TimesCA OHMVR restrictions apply
MX Helmet RequiredYeshelmets required by state law
Camping / Overnight RV Parking Camping
Campfire Restrictions Campfires
Night RidingUnknownNot Recommended
Trail BlazingProhibitedstay on trail
Rule Enforcement


Approx Size5,120 acres (8 sq mi)
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
Water CrossingsThe trail has no water crossings.None
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
IntersectionsThis trail has no intersections.None
Rider TrafficThe national forest has few rider traffic on typical days.Few
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


AreaMotorized Trails
LandNational Forest


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


ParkingYes ($5.00)
Adventure Pass Fee - $5/day or $30/year
Tent: $25.00
RV: $25.00
Addtl. Vehicle: $10.00
Wheeler Gorge Campground Fee
CommentWheeler Gorge Campground requires reservations at least three days in advance - call (877) 444-6777. Adventure Pass can be purchased at campground.


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


Nearest CityOjai, CA
AddressCherry Creek Road, Ojai, CA 93023
Go Back To California List
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 recommended):
3) Continue north about 17.5 miles
4) Turn left (south) onto Cherry Creek Road, continue about 3 miles.


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.

Ortega Trail Photo

Example of 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 remote but has a couple picnic tables and fire rings.

Ortega Trail Photo

Terrain example at Ortega Trail

Most of the trail looks like this - rocky and narrow.

Ortega Trail Photo

KTM Dirt Bike at Ortega Trail

Photo Submitted 6/14/2009 (Thanks!)

Ortega Trail Photo

KTM Motorbike at Ortega Trail

Photo Submitted 6/14/2009 (Thanks!)

Ortega Trail Photo

Terrain example at Ortega Trail

Some sections do smooth out for a short distance.

Ortega Trail Photo

Scenery from Ortega Trail

Photo Submitted 6/14/2009 (Thanks!)

Ortega Trail Photo

Scenic view of Ortega Trail

A view of Highway 33.

Ortega Trail Photo

A trail at Ortega Trail

A view of a chunky climb.

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