Hike #15: San Bruno Mountain State and County Park, Summit Loop

Location: South San Francisco

Distance: 3.5m

Entry Fee: $5

Molly, Paul, and I decided to give San Bruno mountain a try on Sunday morning (Paul had been wanting to do this hike for a while.)   After a Saturday night out of drinking and (more) Mexican food with old friends, we woke up to a bright sunny morning and headed for the trail around 10:30am.

San Bruno mountain sits in between Daly City, South San Francisco, Brisbane, and Colma.  It was first discovered by Gaspar de Portola in 1769, but wasn’t really explored until 5 years later when a few other Spanish soldiers climbed to the top and named it after the patron saint of one of the soldiers, Bruno de Heceta.

The instructions said this hike was best in spring…but be aware, if you do go in the spring, the foliage is OUT OF CONTROL.  This is kind of awesome…new flora everywhere you turn and some really beautiful spring flowers…but poison oak is rampant.  And aggressive.

The first half of the trail runs relatively close to some busy roads and sections of the trail are severely overgrown.  As you get to higher elevation, the traffic sounds fade away, the militant greenery lets up, and you get some nice views of Daly City and Colma.  The elevation isn’t bad but the trail is mostly exposed.  Even in the cooler weather, with the clear skies and bright sun we got pretty hot on the way up (something to keep in mind if you’re doing this hike in the summer).

After about an hour and a half of wading through the overgrown trails and dodging Viet Cong poison oak we (sweatily) arrived at the peak.   At the top of the mountain sit two large transmitters for KNTV and KRON…not the most beautiful addition to the hilltop, but they’re kind of impressive close up…and you get some more great views of the surrounding cities as well as San Francisco, Marin, and the East Bay.  One thing to note, the way the trail is situated he hike up is almost 2/3 of the entire route.  The way down goes by much faster.

Hike #15: hot success.  Another short route close to the city, a nice hike for a clear day…though it did seem longer than 3.5 miles.

Lessons learned: wild cucumbers are toxic if ingested; groups of old people with walking sticks like to do this hike

Flora and Fauna: lupine, manroot (aka wild cucumber or old man in the ground), johnny-jump-ups

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