We ended up not following our AllTrails after a fork in the road heading towards the campsite, and were pretty pooped so decided to camp there off Sawyer Campsite Rd. People had clearly used the shore as a campsite before as there was a makeshift fire pit and some cleared areas for tents. water and views were beautiful, and it was a nice place to rest after the 6 miles in. Rain started pretty heavily (and being close to the water probably didn’t help with humidity inside the tent) and our rain fly was unwilling to cooperate so we got a bit wet. The home back in the rain was fine. A couple slippery spots but very doable. Overall great time here even though we weren’t at the official campsite.
This is a review of the Sawyer Park primitive (dispersed) campsites along the San Gabriel River Trail. There are no facilities or amenities are this campsite. Leave No Trace principals should be practiced.
Upon entering one of the access points, park your car for free near the trailhead. It is good to advise one of the park administers that you will be hiking or place a note inside your car that you are hiking.
The Sawyer Park site is only accessible by hiking or by a boat. It is about 5 miles from the Tejas Campground and 5 miles from Cedar Breaks Campground. This is primitive (dispersed) camping. There are a few areas with clear land or tent pads where you may camp. But there are also zones where you may simply camp wherever you can setup a tent or hammock. There is an old latrine at this site, but it is in poor shape and no-one really uses it. Be prepared to dig a cat hole.
Many people stay at this site while hiking the San Gabriel River Trail. The trail circles Lake Georgetown and is 26.2 miles. It passes through forests, grasslands, over some small hills and across a few tributaries.
In the summer be aware that the combination of the temperature and the exposure can make this trail uncomfortable to hike. Take precautions, drink lots of water and stay in the shade all that you can. While you may be hiking within site of Lake Georgetown, it is not always convenient to access the water. So carry plenty of water while hiking - at least 2 liters.
The trail is getting more and more popular with backpackers, so it is likely that you may see others on the trail. On weekends you may encounter scout troops practicing backpacking. During the weekdays you may not see a single person. Dogs are allowed on the trail, but it is nice to keep them on lease.