Rinconada Trail is a 4.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Santa Margarita, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. 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.

Distance: 4.7 miles Elevation Gain: 974 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

Mountain country, lots of live oak trees, shrubs and wildlife. Really nice views from top. The Rinconada Trail connects Pozo Road with the unpaved Hi Mountain Lookout Road in the Santa Lucia District of Los Padres National Forest. The trailhead is located on the south side of Pozo Road, roughly halfway between the turn-off for Santa Margarita Lake and Pozo. A sign indicates the turn-off to the short unpaved road to the trailhead. The trail starts on the east side of the trailhead parking lot, climbing steeply south through grassy meadows and oak woodlands to emerge into open chaparral. Just past a cattle gate, it reaches a broad saddle with excellent views south into the Santa Lucia Wilderness.

hiking
11 days ago

Went a little off course which is why my recording is 12 miles. Went down to big falls. Overall the rinconada trail is nice and fairly easy. The mine cave is a short walk from the parking lot and there’s also a lot of cool graffiti. If you’re looking for a secluded trail with nice views of the Santa Margarita mountains this is it! This trail connects to many others like the high mountain trail, little falls and big falls. Could make it an all day adventure if you’re up to it.

1 month ago

Really awesome area with lots to discover if you know where to go. Really awesome hidden spots that require some skill to access but sadly there is trash everywhere. It's sad to see assholes ruin beautiful places.

hiking
1 month ago

Open today

hiking
muddy
no shade
over grown
rocky
2 months ago

Really awesome trail! Went to go see the old mercury mine shaft first. The thing is huge! Note: peel off right from the lot, away from the trail head. When you pass the graffiti processing area, go up hill. You will see ropes. When you hit the metal fencing go left or you will pass the mine shaft. We also did the majority of the little falls trail which will connect from Rinconada from the OHV road. Beware descending! The further you go the worse the poison of gets. Just make sure to have your pup on the trail and wear a long sleeve shirt and pants. Lots of turkeys, salamanders in the creeks as well. Bring plenty of water and snacks. The views were amazing.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

Super cool!! We were trying to make it to the graffiti part of the mine and got a little lost along the way. Thankfully the AllTrails app helped us find our way back. Pretty rocky going down so be careful!

mountain biking
3 months ago

Fun ride, you can watch it on YouTube if interested https://youtu.be/rLs4HV-rGew

hiking
5 months ago

Great mostly clear trail with perfect conditions!

hiking
no shade
8 months ago

hiking
no shade
10 months ago

Keep hydrated- there is little shade. Don’t be like us and do this hike at noon in July- we learned our lesson. This trail would be beautiful at sunrise or sunset. The view at the top is beautiful.

hiking
10 months ago

I went on a Sunday morning and didn’t see anyone until the way down. The trailhead has a nice place to park. I hiked to the overlook and then did the loop. It was steeper than I expected and there was minimal shade. Will go back to see the mine or the falls another day.

hiking
Thu May 30 2019

Nice trail, lots of pollinators out. Where is the old mine located?

bugs
no shade
Sun Apr 28 2019

great hike great views mininal flies looking for sweat. stick to the marked trails it can get steep if not.

hiking
Sat Apr 13 2019

Have done this trail a few times. Lots of exploring to be done in the area. The last time we took this trail to Hi mtn road and continued on until we had a view of the ocean. The old mercury mine is cool too. Next time I plan to aim for big falls.

hiking
no shade
rocky
Mon Mar 18 2019

Great trail, and a good workout.

hiking
muddy
rocky
Sat Mar 16 2019

hiking
Mon Jan 28 2019

Trail is in great shape. Trail is clear and view is amazing. 50 min hike to the top for the view.

hiking
Mon Jan 07 2019

Pretty hike. Not hard at all though.

Fri Nov 23 2018

This was a really fun trail and we went as a scout group and we had a lot of fun and the hike wasn’t hard at all. We also got to do some orienteering which taught scouts a lot.

hiking
Wed Jul 25 2018

Great hike, good workout. I recommend take lots of water and be wary of the heat in the summer. Can be 10-20 degrees cooler at the top with a breeze, however. Take it slow and nature will really start to expose herself. Very enjoyable. Maybe even stop and talk to horseback riders. They have done a lot to maintain the integrity and expand these trails.

hiking
Sun Apr 01 2018

Great hike, pretty views.

hiking
Sun Feb 11 2018

First time there, it was a Beautiful hike, with great views and solid trails.. Want to explore more of that area..

hiking
Fri Dec 29 2017

Love this trail! Good for dogs and horses, sweeping views, variety of vegetation, and a nice mix of incline and flat terrain.

Fri Jun 09 2017

Gorgeous. Go as early as you can.

hiking
Mon Oct 24 2016

Loved this hike! Just started getting back into hiking as a hobby. The loop took me 2.5 hours. I started at 9:30am and was done by 12pm. Perfect morning hike! I took my time too stopping pretty frequently to take pictures of the scenery and for water breaks. You could totally complete the entire loop in way less time. Plenty other area to explore off this hike too. Next time I'll check out Little or Big Falls. Can't wait! I went on a Monday morning and had the trail all to myself. Beautiful day too. I'd recommend taking a light jacket for when you get higher on the trail. Temperature dropped a bit and wind picked up. Great hike!

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