Bluewater Trail is most adaptable to a two-day backpacking hike. A permit can be obtained from the ranger station. The Bluewater is accessed most commonly from the San Juan Loop Trailhead. The Bear Canyon Trail loop, past Four Corners, becomes the Verdugo, intersecting near Oak Flats, a broad area of oaks and grasses. The best display of wildflowers anywhere in the Santa Anas are found along this trail in the spring. The Bluewater dead ends at the San Mateo Trail. By heading east, hikers can use one of three routes to exit the wilderness to FS 7S04--north on San Mateo Trail to Tenaja Falls trailhead; east on Fisherman's Camp or southeast on Tenaja Trail.
Directions: From Lake Elsimore, CA, Travel southwest on Highway 74 venturing into the mountains, then passing the Visitor Center / Fire Station in El Cariso. Proceed another 3.6 miles on Hwy. 74 to reach the parking for San Juan Loop. The Bluewater Trail is a tie trail between the Verdugo and San Mateo Canyon Trails.
Distance: 3.2 miles
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Cleveland National Forest, California
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