Featuring Southern California's premier hiking trails

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Checkout this month's featured hike!

Middle Lion Canyon - West Fork Waterfall

Ranking :
County : Ventura
City : Ojai
Terrain : Mountain
Difficulty : Average
Camping : Yes
Fishing : Yes
Historic : No
Length : 5.00 miles
MountainRange : Unknown
TrailType : There and back
Access : Dogs Allowed, Permit Required
Water : Creek, Waterfall
Exposure : Trees and Shady Areas - A fair amount
Description :
This was my first hiking trip into the Los Padres National Forest and I can tell you it certainly won't be my last. This place is beautiful. Heck, even the drive there along the Maricopa Highway is amazing. As you turn into the Middle Lion Campground you'll definitely want to pull over and take a good look at the massive "Piedra Blanca" (White Stones) that this area is famous for. Drive on into the campground. Hopefully, you'll find an empty spot where you can squeeze in. If not, just park on the side of the road and make sure to have your day use pass displayed.

This hike starts in the campground at the north end of Lion Canyon and takes you all the way to an awesome waterfall at the southern end. There are a couple of water crossings with this hike, so be prepared for at least one or two that are "thigh high". I always have a couple of tall kitchen trash bags with me for this specific purpose. I don't like to get my feet wet and I’m not a fan of wasting time taking my boots and socks off. When I’ve crossed I simply shake off the water and throw them back into my pack and I’m on my way. From the campground, head south down to the creek, you'll see a trail on the opposite side and yes, this is your first water crossing. From there you'll continue to head south and start a gradual ascent up the east side canyon where you will get some fantastic views of the canyon and creek below. There will be a few technical areas "singl...