Ojai Hot Springs in Ventura, California

Finding yourself in LA? Then here is an unassuming adventure only 1 hours and 30 minutes away. Located in the hills of Matilija are nothing less than two full-on natural hot springs, minutes away from the city of Ojai. Speaking of full-on, there is also the occasional full frontal nudity due to the now-senior hippies enjoying a nightly bath in the cover of the night. Basically, mind where you shine your flashlight and you will be fine. The seniors are nice enough to move if you come with a group so don’t let them scare you away.

The hot springs bubble of mineral sulfur water and once the smell of rotten eggs have settled, you are in for a treat that costs you whatever miles per gallons you get with your car. It’s a great escape from the big city and not many people know about it.


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Although you might spot the occasional elderly nudist if going to the springs at night, going after sunset is well worth it. Here is why:

  1. You can bring your own beer and enjoy a cold Hennepin or two (amazing beer) while indulging in natures finest in complete darkness. Think forest rave without the drugs, people, lights and music, but WITH beer and bubbles. A good excuse for going on a Friday or Saturday night in other words.
  2. Bringing a date will make you seem incredibly romantic, which you probably are if driving 1.5 hours for a night swim in the mountains with a date doesn’t seem foreign to you.
  3. Everything is quiet. It is peaceful when no birds twitter in your ear and the only light filling the night sky and surrounding hills is the moon.
  4. You have been off-roading all day and need a well-deserved sulphur bath after all those mud pits down the canyon.

Getting to the hot springs is quite simple. Either use the map above to generate the directions or follow Maricopa Hwy (CA-33) north for about 3.8 miles from Ojai until you see cars parked in the right shoulder. Using a local is preferable at night since it gets very dark, but if you don’t have the luxury of knowing someone in Ojai at least bring a GPS or a map.

Once parked, it is a matter of getting changed comfortably (or going senior-style) and finding your way to the hot springs down the small trail across from where you parked.

Having been there already? Then leave a comment below and share your experience. Otherwise, happy sulfur swimming and keep that flashlight away from the naked group of seniors in the pool next to you.