Hundred Peaks Emblem Sierra ClubHundred Peaks SectionSierra Club


About Us




Peak List




Climbing Guides

Register Box

** Use at Your Own Risk **

The Peak Guide shown below may be out of date -- to be sure you have the most recent Peak Guide, download the Microsoft Word version.


Old Man Mountain


Location: Santa Barbara County, about 13 miles northwest of Ojai, 90 miles from Los Angeles


Auto Club: Santa Barbara County
Forest Service: Los Padres National Forest: Mt. Pinos, Ojai and Santa Barbara Ranger Districts
Route 1 - Old Man Mountain 7½
Route 2 - Old Man Mountain 7½, White Ledge Peak 7½

Nearby Peaks: Monte Arido


(USFS Adventure Pass and Special 4WD Permit required)
Distance: 6 miles round trip on road and cross-country
Gain: 1700' total, 700' out plus 1000' on return
Time: 3 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, easy
Navigation: Easy
Leader Rating: "I", normal conditions

Original: Warren E. von Pertz and Al Campbell, 1967


  • Take US 101 west to Ventura.
  • Go north on SR 33 to the town of Ojai.
  • From the intersection of SR 150 and SR 33 in Ojai, go north on SR 33 for 32 miles to Pine Mountain Summit. Turn left on a gated and locked dirt road. This is the Potrero Seco Road (see Special Conditions for Route 1).
  • Go through the gate, note your odometer and go as follows:
  • Go 3.4 miles, keeping right at all forks to a cattle guard and fork. Turn left.
  • At 4.8 miles, fork. Go left.
  • At 7.3 miles, fork. Go right.
  • At 8.1 miles, a big gendarme. This is the parking spot for Hildreth.
  • At 8.6 miles, open gate. Keep straight ahead.
  • At 14.1 miles, locked gate at a road fork. Park here.

Note: Only 4WD vehicles are allowed to drive to the trailhead. See Special Conditions for Route 1 below.


  • From the parking area (5800'+), take the left (gated) road fork.
  • At 0.8 mile, the summit of Monte Arido is just west of the road.
  • Continue down the road (south) another 1.9 miles to the bottom of a long downhill.
  • Leave the road here (4980'+) and climb south up the open ridge to the prominent saddle (5300').
  • From here go east up the brushy ridge to the summit.


Route 1 requires a special permit to drive the Potrero Seco Road past the locked gate. This permit is dependent upon conditions. A 4WD vehicle is required for the permit. Road conditions are variable. Please contact the Ojai Forest Service Ranger Station at: (805) 646-4348.

Hikers have had trouble with obtaining the correct gate combination. Below are some suggestions made by Sandy Sperling, Byron Prinzmetal and the District Ranger:

  • First of all you need to call ahead of time or visit the Ojai Ranger Station ahead of your planned hike date to obtain your permit and the gate combination. You can not, as of this writing, obtain the permit and gate combination by visiting the ranger station the day you want the permit.
  • Call or visit the ranger station in Ojai Monday-Friday during business hours as close to your hiking date as possible to verify and re-verify the lock combinations.
  • Make sure the combination(s) you are given are for the gate you intend to go through and not some other gate.
  • Be aware that rain closes the gate entirely, and that the lock combinations will change more frequently in the case of rain.
  • Ask for the previous and next combinations as the combination changes regularly.
  • You may be fortunate if given the wrong combination to have someone let you in, but you will need to find someone with the correct combination who is willing to give it to you so you can get out.
  • When you pick up your permit, check all the other permits and permit copies in the pickup box for other combinations. Write these down in case yours doesn't work.


Monte Arido is next to the road that leads to Old Man Mountain. Both of these peaks are usually done on the same outing.


(USFS Adventure Pass required)
Distance: 20 miles round trip on trail, road, and cross-country
Gain: 5100' total, 4500' out plus 600' on return
Time: 9-10 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, very strenuous
Navigation: Moderate
Leader Rating: "I", normal conditions

Original: Warren E. von Pertz and Al Campbell, 1967


  • Take the US 101 freeway to Ventura.
  • Go north on SR 33 to Ojai.
  • From the intersection of SR 33 and SR 150 in Ojai, go north on SR 33 for 5.2 miles to a paved road on the left to Matilija Lake. Turn left.
  • Go west 5.0 miles to a locked gate. Park here.


  • From the parking area (1540'), hike up the road past the gate.
  • Pass some houses, a small stream crossing, and then a larger one. A short distance past this crossing is a trailhead on the right. Continue on the road to another trailhead on the left with a sign "Murietta Canyon Trail 24W07".
  • Turn left (south) on this trail and follow it about two miles to where it meets a road.
  • Turn left (west) on this road and continue about 3 miles to a saddle. This is Murrieta Divide.
  • Turn sharp right (north) and continue up the road about 4 miles to where the road crosses the ridge coming southwest down from the west summit of Old Man Mountain.
  • Go northeast up this ridge and then contour left to a saddle (5300').
  • Turn right and go east up to the summit.

This southwest ridge is likely to be extremely brushy. An alternative is to hike about another 1.2 miles along the road and go up the north ridge as in Route 1.


This route was closed at the trailhead in 1999 to protect the breeding grounds of the Southwestern Arroyo Toad. Please contact the Ojai Ranger Station at: (805) 646-4348 for current information.

The second river crossing about 1/2 mile from the parking area is sometimes impassable after heavy rains.

The land on both sides of the road is part of the Murrieta Canyon Wildlife Study Area. Public entry is prohibited. Please stay on the road or trail.

Mountain bikes should not be used on the Murietta Canyon Trail. Continue on the road past the Murietta Canyon trailhead about 0.2 mile to a road fork with a sign "<-- ALL TRAILS". Keep left and continue another 0.2 mile to a road junction. Turn left at this junction and follow it up to Murietta Divide.

History of Summit Signature

Climbing Archives

Please report any corrections or changes to the Mountain Records Chair.


  • 10-22-2002: BP added information about obtaining the gate combination.

Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
Published 30-November-2002
© 1998-2002 - All Rights Reserved

Download the Microsoft Word Version of this Guide.