Crystal Springs San Andreas Trail

Slightly less scenic than its counterpart to the south, the San Andreas portion of the Crystal Springs Regional Trail offers stunning views of the San Andreas Lake and features markers for the famous San Andreas faultline.

I believe that all open space areas deserve love, and I hate to say anything negative about a trail, but this trail should come with some warnings. A large part of the trail parallels Hwy 280. In fact, in some areas, the highway is so prominent that it can’t be ignored. If you’re searching for peace, quiet, and some time amongst the trees, I recommend that you start the hike where Hillcrest intersects Skyline Blvd. (At this point, the trail technically transitions from the San Andreas Trail to the Sawyer Camp Trail.) After the Hillcrest intersection, the trail transitions from a narrow dirt path into a wide, multi-use paved trail. After passing over a bridge that damns the San Andreas Lake, the shaded path meanders through Oak groves and passes several picnic spots.

The Crystal Springs Regional Trail is broken into three parts: Sawyer Camp, Crystal Springs, and San Andreas. These trails combined offer over 17 miles of walking, biking, and equestrian enjoyment. (Portions of the Crystal Springs trail are currently under construction, so check the website before heading out.) You can access a map of the entire trail on the San Mateo County Parks website.

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The Trailhead

There are many entrances to the trail. If you want a longer hike you can start at the entrance at Skyline Blvd, just south of Cambridge Lane. For a shorter, but more scenic walk start at the trailhead at Hillcrest Blvd. near Skyline Blvd.

The Route

This out-and-back hike is 9.3 miles total, but when combined with the Crystal Springs and Sawyer Camp trails you have more than 17 miles of trail to enjoy. The trail is clearly marked with mile markers, so you can easily customize this hike to fit your needs.

Link to Map:

Get a map of the entire Crystal Springs Regional Trail here.

Other Details

Trail Safety

Like all outdoor pursuits, hiking can be dangerous. It is up to you to assess your fitness level and education yourself about any potential dangers. While I try to regularly update these hiking guides, you should always research trail conditions before heading out.

Being prepared means arriving at the trailhead with water and some basic provisions. Each and every time I hit the trail I bring a backpack with more water than I think I need, a small first aid kit, and a snack. I also share my itinerary and plans with friends or family and I carry an InReach so I can summon help if needed. If you want to know what I carry in my pack during day hikes check out my blog post about essential gear for day hikers.

Stay safe, enjoy the trail, and soak up the magic of nature!

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