Great Roads - Los Angeles to Ojai and Back
By: Nick Paris
Here?s another enjoyable drive from the Los Angeles area north to Ojai and back. The entire distance can be completed in three hours but there are a few stops worth making which can add an hour or two. Leave around 10 A.M. to enjoy lunch in Ojai.
- 101 Freeway to 23 North to New Los Angeles St.
- Exit at New Los Angeles which continues under the freeway to Moorpark Avenue (23). Turn right and head north. After 1/2 mile, turn right and detour through downtown Moorpark to find Luckys Hot Dog House which is a nice stop for frank aficionados. An alternate route to Moorpark from LA is to take the 118 freeway west until it ends. North on Moorpark Ave. (23) until it turns into Walnut Canyon Rd.
- Walnut Canyon Rd. to Broadway Rd.
- Continue north on Walnut Canyon. Follow the main road as it turns left and turns into Broadway Rd.
- Broadway Rd. to Grimes Canyon Rd.
- The trip so far has been on route 23 since leaving the 101. Follow Broadway until the main road heads right (north) and turns into Grimes Canyon Road.
- This is an area of orchards, eucalyptus trees and the largest egg farm you?ve ever seen.
- About 6 miles north of Moorpark, Grimes Canyon traverses through a sandy canyon that is quite a sight. Enjoy the curves, but keep your eyes on the road!
- Grimes Canyon Rd. (23) to Ventura St. (126)
- Continue heading north on Grimes Canyon (23) past Elkins Ranch Public Golf Course to Fillmore. Turn left at Ventura Street, Highway 126, and head west to Santa Paula.
- Ventura St. (126) to 10th St. Hwy (150) Santa Paula
- Head north from Highway 126 through downtown Santa Paula on 10th street, Highway 150. Note the Santa Paula Union Oil Museum. A few miles north on 150, you?ll understand why Santa Paula has an oil museum. At mile five the smell of sulfer creeps into the car as you pass beneath Sulfer Mountain, at mile eight, on the hillside off the left shoulder, oil can be seen oozing from the ground from nature?s own superfund site!
- Highway 150 to Boccali's Pizza and Pasta
- Continue North on Highway 150 to Ojai. This section of 150 includes a spectacular look out over Ojai valley and the second and last section of curves of the trip. Just after reaching the valley floor, 14 miles from Santa Paula, you?ll reach Boccali's at 3277 Highway 150 (M&Tues 4-9, W-Sun 11:45-9) for a classic Italian rest-stop or final destination.
- Highway 150 to Ojai
- Continue on 150 to Ojai. Ojai?s downtown district features a number of distinctive shops, galleries and tasty eateries. A favorite lunch stop is the Ojai Valley Inn and Country Club for lunch (try the tortilla soup!) or golf on the same course popular with the Senior pro tour.
There are two options for the return trip from Ojai; continue through town and follow the main road as it turns into route 33 or turn around and reverse the original trip. Highway 33 heads south from Ojai and connects with 101 in Ventura. Take 101 south to Los Angeles.
If you leave early, skip lunch and stay in your car the whole trip, this drive can be finished in about the same time as going to the movies. But forget it. Not all Ferrari drivers pass up a meal or an occasional game of golf.