Blinn Ranch and Santa Margarita Trail is a 6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Santa Margarita, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length6.0 miElevation gain498 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashKid friendlyBackpackingHikingWalkingBird watchingRunningForestLakeViewsWildlife
Description
Waypoints (0)

This trail can be done in a single day trip, but many use it for backpacking. If you are planning on backpacking, many users continue on the trail to one of two established campgrounds: Sawpi or Khus. These well-maintained campgrounds have composting toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (51)
Photos (43)
Activities (45)
Completed (81)
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Nikko Suave
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BackpackingGreat!

Very basic trail. Bring lots of water if your doing the falcon loop, or plan to last minute. Camp spots are good with fire ring in the center. Have your own doc to hang out on and are used for boats bringing camp in. Good trail for a group of friends wanting to get away for a night or two. Just wish you could get into the water!

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Paul Sorensen
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Hiking
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Paul Sorensen
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Hiking
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AllTrails User
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Hiking

I walked from the parkin/trail head to Sapwi campsite. I wish I had my bike for the first 3 mile section! That would make this a 4 or 5 star trail. It’s a nice walk and the lake has lots of different birds, but you are not very near the lake most of the time. The last stretch is lovely. At Sanwi, it was great to sit on the dock and soak my feet in the lake.

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Cassandra Sherburne
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Hiking

Wonderful!

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Rob Wooldridge
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Backpacking

Some stretches with no shade. Some good ups and downs.

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James Dillon
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Hiking

Well maintained trail. Lots of wildlife, not many people. Nice views of Santa Margarita lake, and the surrounding mountains. Big oak, pine, and manzanita trees throughout. Tall green grass and wildflowers in the Spring. Khus campground has a bunch of nice picnic tables in the shade, right by the lakeshore.

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Justin McBride
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Mountain biking

A pretty and really quite varied quiet fire road/trail. Much more rugged and wild compared to the average fire road. I took a turnoff and rode singletrack trail down to the Sapwi camp—definite highlight, that was for sure the best trail segment, and there are some lakeside picnic tables for enjoying a mid-ride or mid-hike sandwich.

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Tracy Kosinski
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Hiking

Pretty hike but lots of ticks and foxtails. Peaceful trail through grassland hills and forest. Views of the Salinas river and Santa Margarita lake. Mostly a wide trail but it narrows at times, somewhat shaded. Tall grass and wild flowers in April. I was with my dog and pulled about a dozen ticks off of him and about 3 off myself. Saw a bear in the distance running away from me. perhaps a California black bear. Would hike again but when the ticks and foxtails ( my dog inhales these) aren't so abundant.

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Boy Scout
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HikingMuddy

Fun hike and beautiful after the rains. Pretty soupy in spots, waterproof boots recommended after good rains. Hiked it with the kids and heavy packs for an overnighter, lots of fun. Good work out. Would be a lot better if swimming was allowed at the lake.

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Matt Matt Gaughan
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BackpackingMuddyOff trailWashed out
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Kimberly Schott
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Super fun but hard due to the up and down hills.

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Senyo Gault-Williams
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Backpacking

We intended to go to Kuhs and accidentally overshot it on to Chipik due to no directional arrows on the trail. For all those headed to Kuhs, when you see the mile marker a little over 3.5 miles in, take the small trail to the left. Full disclosure, I should have known that the small trail went to Kuhs, but I was distracted by my young children and wasn't thinking straight. On the plus side, after subjecting my 3.5 year old to a much more strenuous hike over ridges she had no business doing, where we ended up was much less crowded than Kuhs and was a lovely campground.

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Kelly Weese
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First backpacking trip to test out gear. nice toilet, tables, fire ring, and level spot. Fishing was slow and hike is boring compared to others. But good spot for winter camping. bring your own water.

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Melissa & Tim Hulsey
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Backpacking

We followed the route on here heading out to go backpacking. If you are headed to Kuhs camp add another .33 miles or 1.33 miles for Sapwi campground to the route, the trail on here ends before the fork leading to campgrounds. Nice flat trail, campgrounds were clean and we'll maintained with composting toilets, picinic tables, bear boxes and fire pit. If you are planning to camp you need to get an overnight permit on other side of lake at rangers station.

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Rob Wooldridge
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Backpacking

Blinn Ranch trail is an unimproved road. 1.5 miles from Sapwi Camp, it becomes single-track. I encountered minimal poison oak and none of it presented a barrier to the trail. Good signage along the way, except for where the trail splits between Khus and Sapwi camps.

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Jim Davies
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Very level trail for the most part. Gets better if you extend your hike further on.

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Tracey Adams
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Hiking

We hiked the Blinn Ranch Trail this past Sunday and found it to be beautiful and very peaceful. We were fortunate enough to see a small herd of Tule Elk and I managed to take a couple of photos.

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Nicole Smith
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Hiking
First to Review

This was a lovely hike for a spring day (in the summer it would likely be too hot!), and unfortunately the drought made for a all together missing lake. As we were leaving a woman warned us to be mindful of the time when we came back, as mountain lions and bears were more active around dusk and were in the area. Something to keep in mind if you plan on camping out there.

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Casey Spence
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Hiking
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Kelly Simonson
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Hiking
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Cynthia Fiacco
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Hiking
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Raj Mehrotra
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Hiking
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The Shape of Trails
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Hiking
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Rob Wooldridge
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Backpacking
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Chris Hines
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Hiking
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Jim Schultz
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Hiking
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Abad Barrera
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Hiking
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