Crystal Springs to Pulgas Water Temple is a 5 mile moderately 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 and running and is accessible year-round.

Length5.0 miElevation gain423 ftRoute typeOut & back
kid friendlyHikingRunningLakeViewswild-flowersWildlifeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)
Tips
Getting There

For updated closures and more information, please review the park's website. https://sfwater.org/index.aspx?page=93

San Mateo county has Canada Road closed to traffic to allow people to bike on Sunday's from 9-3. Best to go during this window as the trail is near the road for most of its length and it is nice to avoid the noise of cars.

from 280, take 92 west and turn left at Canada road. Trail head is about 1/4 mile up on the right (lake side) of Canada road.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (107)
Photos (289)
Recordings (106)
Completed (365)
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Katherine Snedigar
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HikingMuddy

The trail was oddly quiet on the Saturday afternoon that we checked it out - no complaints there! Parking was easy and plentiful despite all of the bikers. I'm not sure why this trail is considered "moderate" as it was an easy trail. Any inclines of note were short and nothing ever felt treacherous. I would say this is the perfect hike for a beginner, but if you hike a lot you won't feel very accomplished. The water temple was very nice and despite being closed, they left their port-o-poties open as well as their reservoir water fountain...very kind of them and much appreciated. The views were decent although there are huge portions with fencing because they are trying to protect the land near the reservoir - fair enough. Please remember, no dogs or bikes on this one.

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Alex J. Zhang
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Hiking
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Jasmine King
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 2, 2021
Hiking

Really pretty area with some nice views of the reservoir. Trail runs right between the road and a fence, which I wasn’t crazy about. Lots of mud after the rain. The water temple is worth seeing but the parking lot and grounds are currently closed. Porto potties and water fountains are still accessible at the temple during the midday hours.

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Rosario Alvarez
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Walking
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Yika Luo
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Nice short hike

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Alice Leung
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Hiking

Didn’t like the trail is fenced all the way , not good view at all.

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AllTrails User
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Hiking

easy hike, beautiful view.

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Vadim Zaliva
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Hiking
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Stephanie Amir
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Hiking

The access to the temple and gardens are closed. We also encountered a skeleton carcass of a large animal on the trail. Other than that it was a pleasant weekday hike.

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Bianca Lingscheit
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 18, 2020
Walking

Great little walk with a nice view of the lake and then the water temple! Not much shade so I recommend wearing a hat or going early. There is one narrow path that has lots of poison oak so be careful

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Clinton St. Clair
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Hiking

Great views of the reservoir and temple water shed.

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Alan Sato
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HikingGreat!
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Yoichiro Nakada
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Hiking

Half moon bayの帰り。霧と夕日。強風。

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Hugo Garcia Trabanino
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Hiking

Sunny, open and easy

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Sean Kim
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Hiking

Very little shade, but an easy hike! Not very crowded, and the water temple area has mask requirement. Bring water and watch out for poison oak on the side.

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Samman Thapa
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Hiking

Easy. Next to road and something to see at the end.

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Linda Chung
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Hiking

Trail was ok. You basically follow a chain link fence all the way there. You’re walking along the lake-ish. It’s definitely empty so you’ll get some quiet time with the random lizards. Not much of an incline or decline. Just a meh trail. The end is awesome but you have to trek back which definitely felt faster than the way there.

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Erik S
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HikingOver grown

Very ugly trail leading to a beautiful scenic stop where the water temple is!

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Ivan Ponce
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Running

The gate at Pulgas Temple was close! Visiting hours are from 9am to 330pm Monday thru Friday, closed on weekends

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Ashton Meginnis
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HikingMuddy

A big fence right next to you and the highway on the other side. Some nice views but you feel claustrophobic for most of it and have no sense of escape

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Jeffrey Dunn
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Hiking

There is a chain link fence running right next to the trail, for most of the hike. On the other side is the highway. OK for a walk, if you are nearby, but not a great way to visit nature.

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Vivian Cs
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Hiking

not as good as the Sawyer camp trail

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Kim Pham
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Hiking

Crystal Springs is beautiful, but have to be seen through chain link fence.

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Sarah McGeehon
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Hiking

The temple at the end is so gorgeous and serene. Highly recommended. Bring a water bottle to fill up there too!

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Lily Black
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Hiking

There is no access to general public. Tried to get there thru the main entrance and thru Filoli side roads. Not sure though if it is closed permanently or seasonally.

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Ruth Dugdall
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The walk, as others have said, is completely ruined by the tall barbed wire fence - completely unnecessary, we have walked around many reservoirs that don’t employ such aggressive boundary techniques. However, the water temple is beautiful and peaceful and made it worthwhile - this is what gets the stars! But if the temple had been closed I would have been disappointed by this hike.

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Dylan Taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 20, 2017
Hiking

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.

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Stacy B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 19, 2017
Hiking

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.

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Marydol Bordner
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Hiking

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.

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shane mcgrath
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Hiking
First to Review

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

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