Crystal Springs to Pulgas Water Temple

MODERATE 15 reviews

Crystal Springs to Pulgas Water Temple is a 5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Belmont, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
5.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
567 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

trail running

walking

lake

views

wild flowers

no dogs

Out and back with an amazing reward at the end

hiking
42 minutes ago

The Crystal Springs Reservoir is beautiful in the morning. As seen from Edgewood Road, thin clouds hover some hundreds of feet above the reservoir as the glistening water reflects the green hills like glass. There's one particular spot where the vegetation is wonderful mixture of green, orange, and red as it gives way to the water. Seeing it from my route to school each weekday morning, I wanted to spend a weekend day hiking along it.

Unfortunately, that did not go so well. My main issue is that there's a massive fence- seriously, six feet tall with barbed wire- separating you and the reservoir. Practically every view of the water is deeply dampened by the fence right alongside the trail. The beautiful views from sections of Edgewood Road are inaccessible or impermissible to travel to.

The trail seldom passes alongside the edge of the reservoir. It spends more time closer to the highway/road than to the reservoir, as the topographic map shows. The heavy vegetation and fence means that a good view alongside the edge of the reservoir is basically nonexistent. There does appear to be a trail that passes closer to the reservoir (look at satellite) but it may be trespassing.

If you're looking to hike along this area, I'd heavily suggest going to Huddart Park and marveling at the Redwoods. The Purisima Gulch Trail is tantalizing in the Winter. If you want to hike alongside the water, the Californian coast will serve you better than the fault reservoirs in this location. The paved Devils Slide trail or Muir to Rodeo Beach (in Marin) hikes would be worthwhile hikes on a sunny morning.

As beautiful as the reservoir is, this trail won't give you any reward. Look elsewhere in this area- there's many, many alternatives.

hiking
13 hours ago

The description in Getting There is spot on. This is a nice hike and I'm happy it's close to where I live. Some great views and lots of wildlife. I gave it 4 stars because of the fence that obstructs the view of the lake and because how close you stay to the state highway. There are only a few spots where you feel like you've gotten away from it all. So, why 4 stars and not 3? It's a nice trail and when you get above the fence line it's a beautiful view. I saw bunnies, deer, and even a tiny little snake. The payoff at the end is nice and they have port-a-potties in case you need it. Better than nothing. And you can refill your water. Close hike that's convenient and has a lot to offer despite the downside of the fence.

1 day ago

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

FYI: No dogs or pets allowed.
This place has some plenty of shades on a hot weather. The view of the lake on the side of the trail os also soothing and there are quite some number of squirrels lurking around. They also have a good number benches around and some tables at some areas. My goal originally was the Pulgas Water Temple, but there was an on-going construction at the dam thus i couldn't get through. One day if i get the chance i would definitely like to cycle on this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

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4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

this was a fun Sunday afternoon trail with a big payoff at the end.

hiking
4 months ago