“A great run in upper Ojai, follows Sisar Canyon Road, then cuts off to Red Reef Trail to the bluffs.”
— Daniel Birdwell
Views · Wildflowers
This route is quite strenuous, but it's well worth the effort. The Red Reef Trail
is steep, though clear to follow. Enjoy your journey up to the Topa Topa Bluffs, and take in the beautiful views.
Drive as far as you can on Sisar Canyon Road, though don't try to go too far unless you have a high clearance vehicle. The trail starts at the forest service gate along a fire road, but if you can't make it to the gate, park by the water tanks and it adds only about 1/4 mile to your outing each way. You'll climb well above the canyon floor until you meet an obvious trail on the right, the Red Reef Trail
. Follow this (seemingly endless) trail until you top out on Nordoff Ridge.
Stay right on the fire road and then you'll see a trail marker again on the right leading to the summit. This is the Topa Topa Bluff Trail
. Stick to the trail for an easier journey, or else you'll be scrambling up a loose scree slope. Then enjoy the summit!
This is a tough route, so plan accordingly. I'd recommend 2-3 liters of water, and if going in summer leave before dawn. Summer is very buggy so bring repellent. It's a grueling trip, but well worth it in terms of training, and the views are incredible, especially if the clouds are blowing over the ridge.
Flora & Fauna
Plenty of Manzanita, Yucca, and fragrant California Sage!