The Santa Margarita river flows through multiple cities, starting in Riverside County and making it’s way through San Diego into the ocean. This river is said to be one of the last free-flowing rivers in Southern California and is known for it’s scenic beauty and rich history.
While exploring this 27-mile river, you may come across a wide variety of plant and animal species. There are over 500 plant species, 236 bird species, 52 mammal species, 43 reptile species, 26 fish species and 24 species of aquatic invertebrates.
Thanks to the Santa Margarita River’s lush riparian growth, it helps support a large percentage of the nation’s entire population of the endangered songbird called the Least Bell’s Vireo. This poor bird has lost over 95% of its breeding range but has thankfully found refuge in this river’s habitat. The lower portion of the river supports extensive coastal wetlands which provide important habitat for other sensitive and endangered bird species, including the Light-footed Clapper Rail, Belding’s Savannah Sparrow and California Least Tern.
Personal Experience: This magical spot is courtesy of one of my friends and is considered a very sacred place to him. For that reason I will not be sharing the location to the general public. I will say that it is part of the Santa Margarita River though. With that said, what a magical place! A river deep enough to swim in, sightings of beavers (but sadly I did not capture any on camera), stairs carved into the mountain, a treehouse, ponds, dozens of bird species and so much more! You could spend days out here it seems!
Crossing the river:
Look at the stone-carved stairs:
My little angel, Sage:
And on the topic of dogs, I would like to bring up why you should not litter glass–EVER. I’m talking to those people right now who do not care if they litter or not. If you do not care about the environment, PLEASE care about the creatures who do not have shoes. I had to carry my dog half the time because of glass scattered around. She wanted nothing more than to run freely. Think about all the wild animals too who will never get taken to a vet if they step on glass. You may be contributing to them cutting their paws open and potentially having a serious infection which could easily kill them. Bottom line is do not litter glass!
Climbing up the “Wizard Stairs”: