North of Ojai in the Los Padres National Forest, the Ortega Trail is a difficult 8.7 mile route open to horseback riders. The trail offers good panoramic views, including views of the ocean. Wildflowers are common in spring and early summer. Bring plenty of water, as there is none along the trail. An old campsite is located at the 3-mile mark; it is now overgrown and has no water available. Ortega Camp is an additional 3.1 miles. It contains 4 usable fire rings and 1 table, but has no water available. After an additional 2.6 miles up the old four wheel drive road, the trail ends at its intersection with the end of Cherry Creek Road. This last segment is also open to quadrunners. The trail ascends a ridge separating the Matilija and Tule Creek drainages. Follow Cherry Creek Road 3.0 miles north to its intersection with Highway 33. This point is 27.3 miles north of Ojai.
Directions: This trail intersects Highway 33 in two locations: Its southern terminus is 9.6 miles north of Ojai. The description that follows assumes starting at this point and going northerly on the trail. This direction is generally uphill. The alternative is to drive 27.3 miles north of Ojai and turn left on Cherry Creek Road. Proceed 3 miles south to a saddle, where the trail starts, heading south. Drive 9.6 miles north of Ojai on Highway 33; trail starts on the left.
Overall, Ortega Horse Trail is the 48th most popular horse trail of all 81 horseback rides in California.