Explore the most popular trail running trails in San Mateo Canyon Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

trail running
13 days ago

this was awesome ! went on Wed afternoon. I ran pretty much the whole way. real trail to run on. highly recommend it.

The entrance to the trail is located on the same side as the candy store just a few yards west of the candy store. Although this trail is not technically difficult it is a long trail that steadily climbs which is more difficult in the heat. Beautiful views Some shade in the first half the hike. Found very few places to sit and take a break along the way. Personally I would recommend this hike in cooler weather 90 degrees was a little to hot for me.

Would rate this more as moderate- there's nothing that is technically challenging if you're in decent shape. Not heavily trafficked. Pretty steady climb, the only "steep" part would be at the very end to get to the peak. Lots of places to stop and enjoy the view along the way. Some shaded areas in the middle of the trail, but mostly exposed. The view is stunning!

A large part is rocky and slippery

Lots of lizards and poison oak throughout the trail. We saw a rattle snake after 4 corners half way up to the peak

I would wear more sturdy shoes as the rocks were taxing AND the trail was beautiful. provided for a great work out! sooo quiet for the most part. would have liked more written on trail markers than"stay on trail".

Beautiful hike with great views as a reward at the peak. Bring lots of water on hot days.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail took us just under 2 hours to get to the top (taking the longer route at the 2nd junction) The first 4.5 miles are pretty easy- it’s the last half mile that’s a scramble through the bush. View was beautiful and definitely worth spending some time.

Super fun hike, way there is cake but the way back can be a little more strenuous in my opinion. Not too difficult though, a lot to explore.

Went with my dog and a buddy. Fairly easy hike until the last stretch. Not crowded at all

trail running
1 month ago

Nice trail. Great for trail running. Love the variety of terrain and ecosystems.

Nice trail with lots of wild flowers.

Awesome hike! Beautiful trail and scenery from the parking lot (signs said parking pass required, but luckily we didn't get cited) down the Tenaja Trail. Trail was easy to follow & well maintained. We decided to do the loop, but after you cross the creek and start heading up the other side, you eventually get to a paved road for several miles back to the parking lot. It's pretty steep and not very interesting. If we did it again we'd definitely just go out & back on the same trail. Highly recommended!

Great hike. Hiked it this morning.

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome place especially at the top. Great view, I’ll definitely come back. I’m surprised it wasn’t crowded at all. Sandwiches at the candy store were quite delicious. The owner was really nice too.

I started this hike around noon on Sunday, which was perfect timing. If you're using Google Maps, type in San Juan Loop trail head to get to the parking lot. Once parked, cross the street to the candy store and on your right, will be the Bear Canyon trail head.

Trail is super well maintained and not too hard. Pretty easy to follow since there's white sticks that points you to Four Corners, then a sharp right to Sitton Peak. You'll know when you're close to the peak when you enter a very steep trail on your right. This trail is VERY steep and I suggest trekking poles if you have some - it'll make your life much easier going up and especially down. However, still very possible without them.

The view at the top was amazing. I would highly recommend this trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Good trail but finished on the blacktop. Brought my Labrador for the hike and she came home with 5 ticks. Make sure you check yourself and puppers!

The amount of washout led to an interesting straddling of the trail in multiple areas. Didn’t see anyone else on the trail (Tue 12-3p). Last climb to summit is slightly overgrown and has potential to get off route. Summit has a nice view of the coast.

Great hike - my Boy Scout Troop and I hiked it last Sunday. Beautiful sunny weather with cool breezes. Nice scenery and great views. Tough 1/2 mile steep ascent to the peak (but not dangerous). You do need good hiking shoes with grip-page. Boy was I glad it was uphill almost all the way and downhill back. I’d do it again - just make sure people are in shape for 2,100 feet of elevation gain and 10 miles. You can shorten hike - up and back - but you’d miss out on the peak. parking lot had plenty of room.

If you hike on a regular basis this is moderate, not hard. Incredible views from the top

hiking
3 months ago

One of my favorites, very quiet and doesn't have much traffic.

loved it , I've been back 3 times trying different trails ,each one is exciting

I would rate this on the more difficult side of moderate (length you should actually figure there and back, which I tracked at about 7 miles, plus elevation gain at some points are super steep, with super narrow trail). Trail was overgrown in many areas, and also incredibly (dangerously) narrow in some areas with what would be a very steep tumble only a trip/stumble away. Luckily not a crowded trail or I would have had to turn back, since navigating that trail with two leashed dogs + competing foot traffic would have been a no-go. Definitely could be marked more frequently/clearly. The only trail markers were all the way at fisherman's camp, which didn't even point us in the direction of the falls, so we had to turn back. A couple sections of the trail (crossing over some rocks) it would have been nice to have markers indicating where the trail reconnects after the crossing. We made it to fisherman's camp (someone stopped me on the way back asking how they get there, as it was their second attempt at trying to find it), but then unfortunately couldn't determine which way to go for the falls. I would rate this on the more difficult side of moderate.
After the first 1/4 mile or so the trail is mostly shaded; good for escaping the sun. There are some good vantage points for nice views, but mostly a very quiet hike where it would be easy to zone out and clear your mind if it weren't for having to so closely monitor your footing.

Also, at the trailhead it is posted that a pass is required to enter and must be displayed on your vehicle left at the lot.

I would go again if only to try to get all the way to the falls.

The pictures and other people’s reviews are somewhat deceiving. The Fisherman’s Camp Trail vía Tenaja Falls splits about a hundred feet from the trail head. Fisherman’s Camp is to the left and the falls are to the right. The trail that is 4.5 miles is the one headed to Fisherman’s Camp and while the river runs along this trail, you will not find any falls.

The trail is lightly traveled. You will find about a mile in that the trail splits into a lower and higher trail. You can choose to hike either trail because they both join up later in the hike. There are a lot of overgrown bushes and grass. So expect to move these out of the way. Which is why i gave it a 3 star rating. However, the views are amazing.

Nice trail on a cool day. According to Strava, the distance was 7.1 mi, so a bit longer than what AllTrails claims.

Very green vegetation, beautiful trees and interesting rocks. It rained earlier this week and there were areas that were a bit muddy. Elevation gain at beginning of hike.

Good hike! Trail is a little narrow in places. Dogs should be well leash trained for faster easier hike. My puppy is good, but still a little zigzaggy making it difficult at times! Our actual mileage to 4 Corners and back was 6.5 miles.

Hiked this 12/21/2017 as a loop starting at the Fisherman’s Camp trail head ending at the Tanaja Falls trail and hiking the road back to start.

No water at the campsite but a lot of standing water down the trail but lots of solitude. It’s well marked but narrow. Very beautiful and quiet. Will definitely be a go to overnight trip spring/ summer.

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