Santa Margarita Peak


By: Gabriele Rau

Sierra Club Orange County Wednesday Hike

Walt Whisman and Charlotte Clark Leaders

Drive past Santa Rosa Plateau, continue on road. Road turns into Tenaja Road, follow this one. To the right a paved road leads (about 1 mile) to the Tenaja trailhead for fisherman’s camp, which is supposed to be a nice hike in spring (Poison ivy, flowers). Continue on Tenaja Road, the pavement ends. There is a crossing where it shows S801 right, S802 left w. two short arrows. This sign is wrong. Take left S802, even so the write-up tells of the 1 road. The next sign on the S802 road shows the correct marker S801. Continue on this road, several ranches, keep right, the road gets pretty bad. Truck or 4 wheel drive is needed. At the starting point (11.2 m) there is a trashcan and some parking. Go up the road to the left, really washed out. We build 2 big ducks where a use trail goes up on the right side, through brush. Follow to some kind of steep firebreak, very eroded. Mark this spot where you came out for the way down and follow the steep and crumbly fire break up as far as it can go, about a good mile. (about 1000’ gain). Then turn slightly left, and soon there is a washed out dirt road with views to Camp Pendelton. Follow this for about 200 ft (The first duck goes into the brush) to a duck to a use trail, about 500 feet to the top. On the top are rocks a metal tripod. Good views all around. Total: about 1.5 miles one way.

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