Summer at the Santa Margarita River (8 photos)

When one of our friends mentioned that there’s a river to see in northern San Diego County, I was very curious, and a bit skeptical of course. He led us to the Santa Margarita River near Fallbrook, where a trail starts at the Sandia Canyon bridge and follows the river east, on the old and partially overgrown River Edge Road. And indeed, the river was flowing nicely, even in September, most likely thanks to the very wet winter.

From my German perspective of course, this is more like a brook or creek, but for Southern California, it’s a beautiful sight, no matter the perceived or expected size when you hear the word “river”. :-)

Quite typical for such riparian areas, Poison-oak is a constant presence along the trail but it was easy enough to avoid. One particular ravine really fascinated me – it was chock-full of Vitis girdiana, the Southern California (wild) Grape. I would not have expected such dense green lushness in September!

It was a pretty warm day though, so we didn’t hike too far – where the trail leaves the river we found a nice spot at the river bank to eat our sandwiches and cool down little Toni in the water. We then played a little bit with long exposures to blur the movement of the water. Most spots at the river are pretty tight so the possibilities were somewhat limited. We had a good time and returned in the early afternoon, avoiding the worst heat while hiking back in the shade of the trees along the river.

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