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Routes in Matilija Wall

Chouinard-Bossier T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
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Elevation: 2,088 ft
GPS: 34.479, -119.312 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 3,634 total · 45/month
Shared By: Richard Shore on Feb 14, 2012
Admins: andy patterson, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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Access Issue: Both known access points involve trespassing Details


The Matilija Wall is the single largest sandstone cliff in the Central Coast, measuring nearly 350' high and 1,000' long, yet harbors only about a dozen recorded climbing routes.

Getting There

 Steve Edwards wrote in his guide that it may be "more time and skin efficient to drive to the Sierra" than to climb here. The late Reese Martin called it "a must-do for the aspiring hardman." I couldn't agree with both statements more.

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Sean Crozier
Oxnard, CA
Sean Crozier   Oxnard, CA
I think this might be a bad idea… but, WHO WANTS TO MAKE A TRAIL WITH ME!!!! Jun 16, 2014
andy patterson
Carpinteria, CA
andy patterson   Carpinteria, CA  
Sean, you're talking to a guy who has dug miles of trails... and this is a GREAT idea. We just have to figure out how to do it legally and not piss off the wrong parties. Do you have a proper idea of where to start cutting? Hit me up at 805-729-8146 or email at

Digging and cutting trails is the only thing I love more than climbing. That, and my wife. Jun 16, 2014
leithwj Leith
Ventura, CA
leithwj Leith   Ventura, CA
Hey folks, any progress here? I'd be psyched to join the effort. Jun 1, 2015
andy patterson
Carpinteria, CA
andy patterson   Carpinteria, CA  
I've been getting pings from various climbers over the last year, and it seems people actually do want to get up there, but it's going to have to be someone other than me spearheading the effort——I just had a kid, and time is at a premium in my life. I'll lend a hand when I can, but I hope local Ojai and Ventura climbers can make a dent. The first order of business is finding a LEGAL path of travel, then sucking it up and diving in to the chaparral. Jun 1, 2015
Well I know the Kennedy Ridge trail takes you to Ocean View trail and the old Camino Cielo, which you can follow and eventually be able to drop from the top down into Matillija Wall area. Pretty sure this would be fully legal access, although certainly much further travel.

I too would be interested in any updates, and can help out doing trail work!

The long way. 5 miles coming in from Oso TH. Other options seem to be talking to landowner and getting access directly up Camino Cielo (I think a remember Edwards mentioning something about this), or dropping in by helicopter?

Anyone know the best ways to get more accurate info on property lines and current access situation? Jun 3, 2015
andy patterson
Carpinteria, CA
andy patterson   Carpinteria, CA  
TIm (and everyone), I would check with the Ventura County Assessor Office, which is located here:

800 S Victoria Ave, Ventura, CA 93009

That's my best guess. A few months ago, my brother had to determine some property lines by his house for a construction project, and they referred to the county assessor. I believe they will have maps and records for public viewing. I would LOVE to go there myself, but again, I think someone who lives down there should lead the charge. Jun 4, 2015
Everything is online now. Go to Ventura County Assessor website, click on the "GIS interactive" map, find your spot, click the icon to add parcel numbers. As I recall, National Forest/public land is generally well marked. Private land: through the APN # you can request info from the VCA, they will respond via email. Jun 4, 2015
I have removed/edited most of my own beta page, in an effort to help restore the adventure aspect of this place. The thoughtless actions of few can negatively affect the access for the rest of us. Jun 16, 2015
Thanks to Richards post. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have gone. Quite an adventure, balls of solid brass and commitment are crucial. Just trying to stir it up with my beta. Jun 18, 2015
leithwj Leith
Ventura, CA
leithwj Leith   Ventura, CA
Hey everyone, had a couple of thoughts I wanted to share. First, do you all think it makes sense to get the access fund involved? I would guess they are pretty good at helping to facilitate this kind of thing. Second, I was wondering how acceptable it would be to just drive up Camino Cielo and knock on some peoples doors to try to begin a conversation about the possibility of a trail. Thoughts? It seems like another access point may be owned by the county, and I was thinking it may also make sense to shoot them a note.

I think that there would be a lot of easy labor to be found if we could figure out who to talk to. I went to the VCA website per the note below and got the map up, but didn't know what parcel numbers to add. Could you clarify what to do about private land?

I have the time to organize the effort, and I'd be happy to do so. I didn't see all these posts since my comment, I'll try to follow it more closely now. Jun 29, 2015
Matilija Wall is a local zone, worth respect. Area climbers are in agreement that the place should be kept adventurous. Kept wild. Just because you're not in the loop does not mean its appropriate to start posting about knocking on doors and calling the Access Fund. Try talking to some area climbers first, before you take matters into your own hands. Good advice for everybody, actually.
Posting on here about the wall is disrespectful. Keep Matilija wild. Jun 29, 2015
leithwj Leith
Ventura, CA
leithwj Leith   Ventura, CA
Hi Ojai Local, thanks for your comment. I think that the philosophical debate surrounding wilderness and what it means is best contained elsewhere, so I'm not going to engage with what you said.

To everyone else, I am going to try to make this wall available for climbers, regardless of locality, and I'm going to do so in the most diplomatic way possible. I would greatly appreciate any and all help. Jun 29, 2015
Jon Hartmann
Ojai, CA
Jon Hartmann   Ojai, CA
Heres the deal liethwj, there is only 1 point of legal access. If you look at the maps you'll see that all of the surrounding approach areas are owned as follows, Orange tree farmer, shut down Wheeler Hot Springs resort, Matilija Dam conservation group, Mesa conservation group, and the back side has complete access. If you would like to go to Matilija Wall then hike in the legal way via the long back side approach. You're not going to get anywhere with MESA observation group or the Federally owned Matilija Dam group as they are wilderness groups actively keeping people out of thier areas (it's what they do to lessen the environmental impact). The Wheeler Hot Springs resort has already made it known they will not allow anyone to cross their property. That only leaves the Orange farmer. That is his land and you could talk to him about your own private access but trying to get public access on someone's land is a big can of worms thanks to our sue happy world now a days. Insurence issues and liability and such. The Access Fund has limited money and trying to allocate a portion of that to a very local crag is in my opinion a waste of this resource. Believe me, there are definitely ways to get up there and hardly anyone ever goes. You could make the argument that people don't go because of the access issue but let's be real. People don't go because it's a long hike and most climbers are kinda lazy. If you want to go up there legally, then follow the map that Tim King kindly posted, if you want to go up there and trespass on any of the properties blocking access, then go for it, the world is open to you and paying fines if you're caught might be worth it to you. I'd suggest leaving the small amount of donated funds that the Access Fund has, to other places that will be used by the masses. Matilija Wall is a hard-man destination, it's an adventure of a lifetime. Not everything has to be easy to access. All my opinion obviously but I feel like you'd be wasting your time. If you want to climb there, go climb there, It's waiting for you. Climbing is personal after all, it's not always supposed to be easily available for the masses. Sometimes you have to work for it. Jun 29, 2015
leithwj Leith
Ventura, CA
leithwj Leith   Ventura, CA

Thank you for this comment, I really appreciate it and what it means.

Well noted regarding the Access Fund and their resources, I think you have a great point, and it was one I hadn't thought of. I agree with everything else you said as well.

To be clear, I'm not interested in making the wall easy to get to,just legally accessible in a manner that's respectful to the private property owners in the area. If that means a long arduous approach, so be it.

Thanks for your time and thoughts,
-Will Leith Jun 30, 2015
This post is in response to the question of whether there is a trail to the top of the Matilija Wall. A group of volunteers have cleared a trail up Camino Cielo from Oso trailhead approximately 9.5 miles. We have hauled eight picnic tables up the trail with each being approximately a mile apart. The property is spans both the Ojai Land Conservancy and Los Padres forest.
It appears that approximately 200 yards before bench IV there is an old trail that would take you over to the top of the Matilija Wall. We have estimated that it would be approximately a half mile from our cut trail over to the Wall. If anyone is interested in clearing this trail we would be happy to show you where we believe it to be. It would be great if we could get some more volunteers helping us clear this trail.
It has taken us 6 years to clear the Camino Cielo Trail up to the end. We finished this last June and made a campsite, transported a picnic table, and discovered an old spring box at the end of the trail.
We are planning another trek up to work on the connector trail which would connect Camino Cielo Trail to Pacific View Trail at the end of October. If anyone would like to help let us know. Aug 22, 2015
Has any one done a route up here recently? Seems like a lot of people are looking at the page yet there are no posts about the experience. Does anyone want to share? Dec 18, 2015
As you may have suspected I have been misleading the vibrant local climbing community regret to inform my fan base Thant I am not Alex honnold. My real name is Sandy Choss. The world needs to know the story of my legend.... Dec 29, 2015
Jon Hartmann
Ojai, CA
Jon Hartmann   Ojai, CA
Hey Sandy. I don't think anyone needs or wants to know anything about you. Nobody likes sandy choss. Dec 29, 2015

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