Hike Date: May 12, 2011
Distance: ~ 7 miles (+/-)
Trail(s): Sawyer Camp Trail
Where’s it at? San Bruno east of watershed on the peninsula


The Sawyer Camp Trail in San Bruno, CA is VERY popular. Of all the peninsula hikes I’ve taken in the last few years, this was by far the most crowded… Bordering TOO crowded, but you can’t complain too much when you’re hiking on a trail along a beautiful reservoir, for free. I did enjoy it.

The trail is mostly a paved trail, or should I say the section I did was 100% paved. They were doing construction on the southern-more section of the trail which I plan to head back to, and presumably has the non-paved sections. This is probably a runner’s dream course, it has mileage markers every 0.5 miles, is paved, has traffic stripes just like a street, and has drinking fountains and bathrooms. I figured a lot of the traffic was locals exercising.

There were also quite a few bicyclists on the trail. I have to admit the path was well paved with a single track “frontage trail” on both sides, servicing both road and mountain bikes. I tended to hike on the single track sections because I am not a giant fan of hiking on pavement. About 50% of the bicyclists stuck to “their side” of the striped trail, and about 50% of them obeyed the “15 mph” speed limit signs posted along the way. I got a kick out of a couple of them that also had a notice: Radar Enforced. You don’t see that on a hiking trail too often.

Watch out for poison oak here! None of it encroaches too close to the trail, but I would argue that I saw larger masses of poison oak here than I’ve ever seen in my life. There were bushes that seemed to go on for 200 feet, 6 feet tall, dripping with poison and a promise to right anyone’s balance issues.

I did enjoy the scenery. Most of the way you’re along a reservoir that looks natural enough, and as I understand it, provides a catch for water coming from Hetch Hetchy for San Francisco’s drinking water. That explains all the chain link, spiked fences between the trail and the water. I saw a fawn that was very brave…I think it understood that the fencing would keep me away from it. It let me get fairly close to it for a quick snapshot through the chains.

The whole time I was looking across the lake at the shorter peaks that make up part of the Fifield / Cahill hike that I’ve been meaning to sign up for sometime soon…

Photos from Camp Sawyer Trail (click to enlarge)

Hiking Sawyer Camp Trail along San Andreas Lake Hiking Sawyer Camp Trail along San Andreas Lake Hiking Sawyer Camp Trail along San Andreas Lake
Hiking Sawyer Camp Trail along San Andreas Lake Hiking Sawyer Camp Trail along San Andreas Lake Hiking Sawyer Camp Trail along San Andreas Lake
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Hiking Sawyer Camp Trail along San Andreas Lake Hiking Sawyer Camp Trail along San Andreas Lake Hiking Sawyer Camp Trail along San Andreas Lake

Directions to Sawyer Camp Trail


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