December 12, 2016
6:00 miles, 2 hours
(Repeat visit: Monday, September 23, 2019: 5:00 miles, 1.5 hours)
The Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir in San Mateo was a great find. The paved Sawyer Camp Trail along the length of the reservoir provides a great place to walk, run, cycle, or indulge in a leisurely stroll.
The day was perfect – bright and sunny (cold in the shadows) – drawing in moderate crowds. More families with kids started showing up later, after sundown. No pets are allowed on this trail.
Starting out from being just a leisure hour-long walk to deciding to walk up to the San Andreas Lake to finally walking only till the end of the reservoir, we changed our target twice. We ended up walking 2 hours, 3 miles one way.
There is no dedicated parking lot, but street parking on both sides of CA-35, right outside the Sawyer Camp Trail gates, was ample.
There is one restroom at the trailhead as soon as you enter the gate and another one a mile down the trail. There are a lot of benches all along the trail at scenic vista spots facing the reservoir.