Matilija Canyon

Don_J, albackore , BWidget, deeznutz® (kneeling),
EMC of Northridge, CA, tozainamboku, Eagle Rock Rob,
and GeoCraig, with skinny bones behind the camera
PB210049, originally uploaded by rkropp8

On Saturday, November 21, 2009, the GeoConnection took on Matilija Canyon.  We met at 6:30 AM at Matilija Road Pullout to set up the car bridge.  We left 2 cars at the end of the trail–Gatekeeper Awakens–then drove the 30+ miles north on 33 to start the geo-adventure at Stovepipe.   Seemed like a very long drive to hike 8 miles back to the cars.

We found 22 caches along Cherry Creek Road on our way to the Matilija Canyon trailhead.  When we parked the cars at Connect the Dots, it was chilly and breezy.  Luckily, as we started hiking down into the canyon, it warmed up and we were sheltered from the winds.  It was a beautiful day for this hike.
It’s a nice trail (in most parts) from the trailhead to the bottom of the canyon, but it’s pretty steep in many places.  The trail through the canyon is mixed quality–very nice in places, almost nonexistent in others.  If you like stream crossings, this is the trail for you.  Don’s GPS track showed we crossed at least 35 times.
The hike was about 9 miles–with 49 geocache finds and several DNFs.  We started hiking about 9:15 AM and arrived at the cars about 5:00 PM, just after the sun disappeared behind the western ridge of the canyon.  Then it was the long drive back to get the cars at the top of the trail.
Even though we had our collection of stiff ankles, sore muscles, and a tick bite, I think everyone had a great adventure.  I had a personal best one-day total of 70 finds.  With most of those finds on the trail, Matilija Canyon is a great place to go geocaching—especially with 9 sets of very experienced eyes looking for the caches.

At Traffic Circle to Nowhere GC1TNP9PB210046, originally uploaded by rkropp8.


Rob and Stacy

The Long Look for Rock Hugging Tree

My View at the Lunch Break

My Favorite Shrub

One of the Many Stream Crossings

Grinding Hole at the DNFed GC1FF37 Big Rock Matillija

My list of Finds for the day–a personal best 70 finds in one day:
Matilija Road Pullout
No Dumping
Down Range
Sooo Square!
Shell Shocked Too!
Up A Shadey River
Red Rum
Creekside Sentinel
No Shrooms
v for victory
Pretty Coney Hide
No Climbing Necessary
Caching My Breath
Traffic Circle to Nowhere
Crazy Train
Sponge Bob Square Cache
Down on the Corner
Werewolves of London
Smoke on the Water
Puppy Dawg
Rock Hugging Tree
break on through [to the other side]
Luv’n the OVC
Sit and Log a Rest
Many Trees
this works fine
Dragon Tree
Deadwood Wedge
Cairn Above A Chasm
Matilija Blue Bison
Tumbling Gold
The End of Dead Oak
Matilija SPOR
Matilija Tree Cluster
Matilija Brothers Five
Stuck In The Middle With You
Matilija Split Oak
Red Rocks Red Bison
How Far to 33?
A Decon for Matilija
I Have a Big Crush on You
Sandwiched In The Middle
I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up!
Hair Blown Back with Surprise
Lean Lanky Long Legged Lass
Pearl’s Cache
Probably not the last.
I’ll See Your Ha and Raise You a HA!
He Who Hesitates Loses
BlackBarry Log
Ha, one more!
4 More Crossings
Don’t Take This For Granite
Off the Beaten Path
Retaining Log
Sit a Spell
Tilted Tree
Piedras Amarillas
Gatekeeper Awakens


6 Responses to Matilija Canyon

  1. albackore says:

    Very nice hike with some majestic views, varied fauna & flora, and several ecosystems all in a single day. I was hoping to hit 1000 finds on this hike, but came up 11 short. All in all another great experience to talk about.

  2. Katy Rose says:

    That looks like a great hike. I can’t imagine doing 70 in one day. I wish the weather was that nice up here in WA.

  3. […] Long hikes with good friends: Matilija Canyon Adventure […]

  4. Robb says:

    Awesome hike Craig. I’ll be there on the next one soon. All you needed in the post was a picture of Jeff’s tick!!

  5. ventura kids says:

    You’ve gotta be kidding !
    We drove the Northern part of the trail.
    That terrain must have been a real tough hike.
    I’m surprised you all made it back at all.

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