California Historical Landmarks in San Mateo County

California Historical Landmark 27
Portolá Expedition Camp
Hillcrest Boulevard at Interstate 280

Portolá Expedition Camp
Click Photo to Read Plaque

First Camp After Discovery of San Francisco Bay

On November 4, 1769, the expedition of Captain Gaspar de Portolá, after crossing Sweeney Ridge, beheld the Bay of San Francisco for the first time. That night they camped at a small lagoon now covered by San Andreas Lake. Finding the Bay too large to go around and thinking they had bypassed Monterey Bay, the expedition camped here again on November 12, 1769, on their return to San Diego.

First made a State Registered Historical Landmark No. 27, June 15, 1932. This site was rededicated as a U.S.A. bicentennial project of San Andreas Lake Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution and the City of Millbrae, California on November 6, 1976.

Location granted by the State of California.

Monument base of serpentine rock, the official rock of California, furnished by the San Francisco Water Department.

Portolá Expedition of 1769

Under orders from King Carlos III of Spain, Gaspar de Portolá i Rovira and Franciscan Father John Crespi marched north from San Diego on 14 July 1769 with sixty-three soldiers and one hundred mules.

Their destination was Monterey Bay, but they missed the fog-shrouded bay and instead became the first documented Europeans to see the San Francisco Bay.

Just seven years later, Spain founded Misión San Francisco de Asís on 29 June 1776.

The California Coastal Trail traces much of the route, and twelve California Landmarks in San Mateo County commemorate the expedition:

October 23: Mouth of Gazos Creek
October 24: Mouth of San Gregorio Creek
October 26: Tunitas Indian Village

October 27: Mouth of Purisima Creek
October 28: Mouth of Pilarcitos Creek
October 30: Martini Creek

October 31: San Pedro Creek
November 4: Sweeney Ridge
November 4: San Andreas Lake

November 5: Cañada de Andreas
November 6: San Francisquito Creek
November 11: Cañada de Reymundo

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