Rose Valley Falls - Ojai, CA
Rose Valley Falls is a gorgeous two-tier 300-foot waterfall located just north-east of Ojai on the southern end of the Santa Ynez Mountains in Los Padres National Forest. The hike to the base of Rose Valley falls is relatively quick and easy (about 1 mile round trip with and elevation gain of 150 feet), but the trip up to the camp ground and the beautiful view of the falls after your hike make this a trail one must certainly not miss out on.
I heard about this hike while on a trip to Ojai, CA - one of my new favorite so-cal weekend get-aways. We were lodging at the Ojai Rancho Inn, an adorably hip little motel just outside the main drag of town, and decided we wanted to venture further out of our comfort zone. We had very little to work from, other than an address, but luckily we popped into this amazing little shop right off Route 33 called Summer Camp.
After falling in love with just about every single item inside the shop, we spoke with the owners and mentioned we were headed to hike to the waterfall. Lucky for us, they had been up there just the week before and gave us some great insight on how to get there and what to bring.
WARNING: If you do not like long, windy, cliffside drives into the mountains, this hike is not for you. The road up to the Rose Valley campgrounds is a little intimidating, but the views are spectacular - especially in spring when the bright yellow wildflowers are in full bloom alongside the roads.
After about 20-30 minutes of winding through the mountains we took a right on to a road that led us to the Rose Valley Campsite. Once you're here you can simply park along the dirt road and follow the path towards the campgrounds. As you make your way to the back of the camp you'll notice a sign for Rose Valley Falls on the left hand side and a small foot path that meanders off into the woods.
There was so much life teaming along this short path! We even caught a glimpse of a gorgeous Coral Snake slithering it's way up the hillside. We were up there on a Saturday during Memorial Day Weekend, so unfortunately there was some heavy traffic along the path; A lot of families and young groups of campers seemed to have the same idea as we did.
When we arrived at the base of the waterfall it was pretty crowded, and the flow of water wasn't as heavy as we could have hoped for, but it was incredibly beautiful nonetheless! We were out on a fairly hot day, so it was nice to feel the spray of the falls and dip our feet in the pools. I would assume after a rainfall it's a much better swimming hole.
How to get there: Take the 101 Freeway towards Ventura and head inland up Route 33 to Ojai. Continue another fifteen miles through Ojai and on into the mountains to the Sespe Road turnoff. There will be a sign for Rose Valley Falls.
Address: Rose Valley Lake Road, Los Padres National Forest, Ojai, CA 93023
You might (see: definitely) lose cell and/or GPS service as you climb the mountain - but don't worry, there is really only one way up until you reach the Sespe Road turnoff and signs for the campgrounds.