Hiking the Scenic Shelf Road Trail in Ojai, California

While staying at a resort in Ojai, it was hard to leave the serenity of the resort because we were surrounded by beautiful golf courses, but my sister-in-law and I ventured off and went on a hike as recommended by a local. SHELF ROAD TRAIL is an unpaved trail along the cliffs overlooking Ojai Valley. It is the hiking trail in Ojai, California. Parts of the trail is aligned with Tangerine Trees and Avocado Trees. As we’re driving up there, we see things we would have not seen if we stayed at the resort. We drove through Tangerine Farms and learned a little about “Pixie” Tangerines which are locally grown and can only be found in Ojai.

Here’s How to Find It!

We were staying at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa and a staff member dropped us off at the end of the trail at Shelf Road and Gridley Rd, however, most park their cars at the beginning of the trail at Signal Street and Shelf Road. Since we didn’t want to take our cars, being dropped off at the end of trail was a more direct route for us. The Shelf Road Trail from Signal to Gridley is only a 45 minute walk. Keep in mind if you park your car, you will have to walk it twice to get back to your car. What you could do is hike down to town, grab lunch, then hike back to your car. For the most part, the hiking trail is leveled.

An elder rests on a bench on Shelf Road Hiking Trail.
An elder rests on a bench on Shelf Road Hiking Trail.

How We Got Back to the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa:

Since we didn’t drive there, we followed a map and got help from the locals. (We got a map from the Concierge but you can also pick one up at the Ojai Chamber of Commerce or travel center). We walked straight down Signal Street, passed up Ojai Avenue a block to a paved trail called Ojai Valley Trail. It was simple enough because we only had to remember two turns. From Shelf Road to Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, it took another 45 minutes to walk through the town – a total of an hour and a half of our morning.

I’m non-athletic and I felt it was an easy hike. The views are amazing and I would have missed it if we didn’t leave the resort. I think that we made the right choice starting at the end of the trail, because it was mostly down-hill. However, if you’re going to drive there, you’ll have to walk the trail twice to get back to your car. We saw dog walkers, bicyclists, joggers, other hikers with back-packs, elders and children (not sure I want my small kids up there – only because if they get tired, I’ll have to end up carrying them). My sister-in-law mentioned a few times that she was glad we had others around us at all times and felt safe. If I can do it, you can too. Have fun! ~Mary

RELATED: Experiencing Ojai Hospitality

Some of our pathway back to the resort had nicely paved roads for biking. 
Some of our pathway back to the resort had nicely paved roads for biking. 

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