An amazing trip to this awesome spot. Had a huge posse including the likes of: Throb, Deep Float, B-Ram, D’z Nuzz, Jeff Mahotguy, The Brothers Guay, CHunt, Senior Bulge, Dr. Statutory and Megan’s Law. Took PCH most of the way from Venice. Perfect 80 degree weather and the water was refreshing. We swam at night in the pool next to the camp ground, ate the crap out of some chili dogs and sipped on the Evan Williams. Now to get to the nitty gritty of this post. Apparently the landowner no longer wants people walking on his property to get to the falls. He waits on the trail and tells people that they are on private property and cannot go to the falls. Luckily we missed him. Apparently he got into a tussle with the US Forest Service for violating irrigation issues on another plot of land he owns, so he has made it a personal vendetta to prevent people from hiking on his easement to get to the falls. There was always an understanding between him and the USFS and there are even USFS signs directing hikers to the correct route to get to the falls on his property. So the landowner is ruining everyone else’s fun because the USFS ruined his. This all comes down to money.
People buy property for 2 reasons, to live on it or to make money off of it. Since he got busted trying to make money illegally on another plot of land, he is “punishing” the USFS for fining him. The idea of owning land is preposterous to begin with. First of all this land was STOLEN from the Native Americans, specifically the Chumash tribe. The property was section offed and SOLD for a profit by the original landowners. Money is made. The landowner in this case has owned the property for over 30 years and had no issues with hikers using it as a route to get to the falls, he even made an agreement with the USFS to put up trail markers so hikers would not stray off onto other portions of his property. His complaint is that hikers will trash this place, but his complaint is unwarranted. This hike has almost no graffiti and it is such a long hike that anyone hiking in a bunch of trash and spray paint would be very dedicated if they wanted to trash the place. Since this is a semi-strenuous hike, most vandals dont bother with this spot. Also, if it is such a burden to have people walk on his land why wouldn’t he just donate the 8 feet width of trail/road that goes through his property to the USFS? This would protect him from any liability if someone was to get hurt or killed. And why would one want to own property that directly blocks the passage to such a beautiful and well trafficked place? Would you want to own a house in front of Disneyland or by an airport?
All of this would not be an issue if there was another trail to get to the falls, but there is not. Trust me, whatever anyone else says, there is NO OTHER ROUTE to the falls. The land owner has never been sued for liability issues on this property and it would be very unlikely anyone would win if they tried cause this is a USFS sanctioned trail. So Buzz Bonsall (I’m sure his real last name is Killington), you can spend every day this summer harassing hikers who are on your property. Remeber to wake up around 5am to get those early-birds and stay up late to get those stragglers. Just remember, there are two types of people in this world: people who get pleasure from helping others and people who derive pleasure from other people’s anguish. I hope you can look into your heart and figure out which type of person you are. So my statement to anyone who wants to go to Matilija Falls this summer, fucking do it. If you get stopped, play stupid like you had no idea and tell him you drove all the way from Florida to visit this place. We have been to MANY places in Southern California and we can honestly say this is one of the most beautiful hiking/camping/swimmin/cliff jumping places there is. Remember, you can’t like, own property man.
Directions as follows:
Take 101 north to 33 north in Ventura. Follow the 33 for a few miles and it will drive through town and it will veer left at a Vons. Make sure you stay on the 33 the whole time. Till you get to N Matillija Rd. Turn left here and follow the road 4 miles till it ends at a parking lot on the left. Park and post your forest adventure pass. Walk down the road past the peacock sanctuary and you will cross the stream a few times. When the road forks take the right side then it will hit a T intersection and you will take a right and hike past another dudes house. The trail will kriss/kross the creek and will and up in a tunnel of trees. The camping spot is about 2 miles from the trailhead. The First set of falls is another 3 miles up the trail.