Ojai Hot Springs: Something Bigger Than a Thermal Soak

Ojai Hot Springs – also known as Ecotopia Hot Springs – is one of the thermal treasures of California and is favored by many, regardless of any past complaints.  

Situated in Los Padres National Forest, along Matilija River, this semi-natural delight provides you with 5 pools of varying temperatures and different appearances.

Absolutely ideal for those who’d like to have an authentic hot springs experience with a bit of extra amenities. However, if you’re not one of those people and prefer an all-natural experience, maybe consider giving other hot springs in California a shot.

The springs are spread on the open rocky ground, all within walking distance from each other, offering not only a well-deserved refreshing thermal detox but also a superb environment with views to die for.

Address2566 Matilija Canyon Rd,  Ojai, CA 93023
LocationLos Padres National Forest, along Matilija Creek, CA
DirectionsFrom Los Angeles take Highway 101 then merge onto CA 33 and head towards Ojai. Stay on that highway until you reach Matilija Rd. Then turn left and continue to your destination for about 3.1 miles.
OpenAll year-round

And with its convenient location – around 9 miles from the very famous town of Ojai that’s full of so much character – you are in for a really good time.


Ojai Hot Springs, along with Matilija Creek, was discovered by indigenous Americans a long time ago. They both served warmth together with healing and cleaning purposes for the locals. 

Fast forward to the earlier decades of the 21st century, and Ojai Hot Springs was extremely mistreated and defiled. It wasn’t until that point that the Californian government took precautions and declared Ojai Hot Springs and the whole surrounding land of Matilija to be private property.

Matilija Hot Springs, 1911 / WikiMedia

We would advise you to bring every camera in your possession to these hot springs, considering how Instagrammable this area is. It was precise because of extensive media-exposure that made Ojai Hot Springs so well-known and attracted a massive amount of tourists. Unfortunately, human ignorance did its job and resulted in privatizing the hot springs of Ojai.


Today the hot springs have been totally cleaned up. They’re available all year round and are owned and managed by Ecotopia on their private property. With advanced reservations through their website,  visitors now can enjoy the pools for 2 hours for only a $20 donation (or more if you’d like) which includes purchasing something from Ecotopia’s CSA (community-supported agriculture). 

At the center of endless mountainous landscapes, the springs area offers 5 rock-bottom pools that are burrowed into the manmade rocky tubs. The biggest attraction of these springs is a small waterfall that cascades straight into one of the pools. Also, a large boulder is situated in between the other two tubs – dividing them and also giving one of them a cavelike effect, almost like the one at Buckeye Hot Springs.

The biggest pool is 20 feet wide and can easily accommodate multiple people. However, the Ecotopia management only allows 10 people at a time in the entire area, which means that you’ll never have to worry about crowds.

The temperature ranges between 100-106℉ (37-41°C), with the biggest pool being the hottest and the smallest one being the coolest. 

The waters are abundant with sulfur so be prepared for that fabulous rotten egg aroma.

Visitors will be provided with amenities such as bathrooms and changing rooms. 

Keep in mind that Ojai Hot Springs is clothing optional so expect nudity (which really shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point). If this is something you are not comfortable with, this place may not be for you.

Even though no one’s a stranger to it, there’s known and considerable controversy regarding owning natural resources such as hot springs. We know about a lot of hot springs that require payments, membership fees, and prior reservations in order to secure a spot in the pools. 

While the idea of owning a hot spring may not sit well with everyone, there’s no denying that having it under management is a guarantee of its care and preservation.


From Los Angeles take highway 101 then merge onto CA 33 and head towards Ojai. Stay on that highway until you reach Matilija Rd. Then turn left and continue to your destination for about 3.1 miles. 

It’s only a few hundred feet from the parking lot to the springs.

Here’s the map:


  • Bring lots of water! It’s a must. Otherwise, you’ll get extremely dehydrated and you don’t want to experience that in a Californian hot spring
  • With that said, don’t stay overtime. These are boiling tubs. You will once again get dehydrated
  • Use natural sunscreen in order not to pollute the water
  • Even though the springs are open all year round, maybe try not to visit during the summer because of extreme heat waves. It’s for your own good
  • Wash beforehand. Do not contaminate the pools
  • If you are pregnant, on any blood thinners, or have high blood pressure, it’s recommended to avoid hot springs in general


The location of Ojai Hot Springs has countless advantages. It’s burrowed in the national forest of Los Padres that’s full of jaw-dropping natural marvels. More conveniently, It’s very close to the town of Ojai that offers numerous forms of entertainment and a good number of accommodation options. 

So, yeah! Make it a trip instead of a one-time dip.

Here are some outdoor entertainment options that you can try out.

  • You can explore Los Padres National Forest which is home to many unique flora and fauna
Los Padres National Forest
  • In Lost Padres, you can also discover the beauty that is Rose Valley Falls
  • You can go hiking and backpacking along Matilija Creek, where you’ll come across some hidden gems such as Matilija Waterfalls and other hot springs like Willet Hot Springs. 

Matilija Waterfalls

Here’s a cool YouTube video detailing the journey to the hidden gems of Matilija

Willet Hot Springs

Another great video that will give you an inside look at hiking in Ojai

  • You can also check out Sespe Hot Springs which is nearby, located in the Desert Mountains.
  • You can go horseback riding


Ojai is a small town, pretty low-key and secluded. It offers a quick and easy wellness retreat from the rush and hustle of major cities. There is a ban on corporate chains, which means that everything you’ll encounter there will have a personality and some unique qualities. The town runs on independent businesses. Once you visit, you will not only have a good time but also be contributing to indie business development and that is always a good idea.

Town of Ojai

Because of its laid-back character, Ojai is also loved by many of our favorite celebrities such as Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Natalie Portman and Jamie Dornan. Reese Witherspoon even got married in her Ojai mansion (which has been sold since then) and it’s also been said that everyone’s favorite bodyguard Kevin Costner lives there with his family. 

If this isn’t enough to at least intrigue you, then we don’t know what it is.

Accommodation Options

Ojai has numerous places to stay and have a good time. More importantly, most of these options have excellent reviews. 
To check accommodation options click here:


  • First and foremost, visit the vineyards! A trip to California would not be considered complete if you didn’t have a taste of Ojai’s signature wine. There is the award-winning Ojai Vineyard, Topa Mountain Winery which is the perfect destination for weddings, and finally, the relatively newly established Majestic Oak Vineyard which makes you feel like you’re part of a family
  • Cooking and wildlife preservation enthusiasts can also visit Ojai Olive Oil Farm and have a little excursion, where they also teach you about animal welfare in tourism
  • .History geeks can visit the Ojai Valley Museum of History and Art. 
  • Even though it’s not exactly an activity, you can still enjoy the famous Ojai Sunset referred to as the “pink moment.”

Ojai Hot Springs has everything needed to accommodate you as comfortably as possible. People consider it a spiritual oasis and rightly so. Whether you’re looking for a wellness fix, trying to appreciate the town’s rich character, its unique flora, and fauna or just hoping to bump into some celebrities, a trip to Ojai Hot Springs has the means to cover it all! Just have a dip, enjoy nature, sip a signature wine, and let yourself relax.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get to Ojai Hot Springs?

From Los Angeles take highway 101 then merge onto CA 33 and head towards Ojai. Stay on that highway until you reach Matilija Rd. Then turn left and continue to your destination for about 3.1 miles. 
It’s only a few hundred feet from the parking lot to the springs.

Does Ojai have hot springs?

Yes, you can find quite a few hot springs in Ojai. The most popular one is Ojai Hot Springs AKA Ecotopia hot springs, located in Los Padres national forest.

Are Ojai hot springs open?

Ojai Hot Springs are open all year round but sometimes they may be closed because of the extreme weather conditions, especially in the winter, and road closures. Keep an eye on updates on their official website.


While we at Traxplorio do our very best to give you the latest information about these hot springs sites, life happens, weather happens, and property owners happen. We always recommend you go to the official hot springs’ web page and/or the relevant state authority page to check conditions, times, and prices (where relevant) before you head out. Thanks for understanding, and enjoy your soak!

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