Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hiking Sugarloaf Mountain: San Francisco Peninsula

The park has continued to be a bit of a mystery for me - I have yet to find an official site with a trail map. However, Google Maps comes through for me. You can see the starting point and the trails clearly on the map. This park is dog-friendly but full of critters, including a coyote that watched us from up the trail one day.

Starting at the intersection on the map, head west on Bartlett Way. There are a couple of houses on the undeveloped road (one of which has lost the bridge section of it's driveway - yikes!) then a large gate that enters the park itself. As you walk along the creek, you'll see evidence of an old home and horse corral that were on this road. There is a bit of urban myth / history about this area in this blog. Whatever the history might be, this stretch can be pretty lonely and just ... eerie. Can't explain the feeling, but it is odd.

Maybe part of the eeriness is from another random burnt-out car you'll find when you turn right up the Saltson Trail. The trail gets steeper and as you climb, watch the trees on the left. You'll see the car, part of the collective of burnt out cars in this area.

What the...? Not like there is a road nearby....
You'll reach a junction where you have a choice to make. The path the left takes you up to the houses. The path downhill takes you toward Laurelwood Park. To your right is a wonderful, steep trail to the top of the mountain! Go ahead, climb it! It rises at about a 45 degree angle in most places but it really isn't a long climb overall. From the top, you get 360 degree views of the area.

Fog in the distance, coming over the mountains
From the top, you can extend the hike down into Laurelwood Park where the trail narrows and can be heavy with poison oak. You emerge in the well-groomed park itself - a bit disconcerting after the wildness of Sugarloaf! Alternately, you can re-trace your steps - coming back down the path can be steep and there is loose gravel along the way. Watch yourself. 

And watch for coyotes, deer and bunnies watching you from the side of the trail. ;-)

-- Happy Climbing!

1 comment:

  1. This looks like an interesting place to camp out during summers. It will be good to know the real story behind that burned out car however.