Cutter Scout Reservation

Cutter Scout Reservation is currently CLOSED due to wildfire damage.

Cutter Scout Reservation Update and FAQ - October 2023

Cutter Scout Reservation Update and FAQ

October 2023

What happened? 

Cutter Scout Reservation was severely impacted by a wildfire called the CZU Lightning Complex that passed through camp in August of 2020. Many large structures were burned to the ground including the Harkson Lodge, the Camp Ranger home, the maintenance warehouse, all shooting sports ranges, certain latrines, one of the cabins, the Minto tent platforms, the waterfront, and much more. Our electrical and water infrastructure were completely burned and damaged. Some of the other campsites were also lost and many trees were burned in various parts of the camp. 


What has been happening in camp since the fire? 

The main road to camp, Highway 236, was initially closed by San Mateo County for hazard tree removal and repairs.  This closure limited our access to camp for almost two years. It has been partially reopened and we have more access to the camp property. We have been working to clean up fire debris, hazardous waste, and burned building materials and to remove hazard trees that were severely burned or infected with a fungus. Work on restoration of some electrical infrastructure to restart one of our two wells that will provide much needed water for fire suppression and additional camp remediation operations is moving forward.  


Fall 2023 Update  

The Council’s top priority is to ensure that the Camp will be safe for Scouts to be on property.  We continue to remove many burned and fungus-damaged trees. Unfortunately, far more damaged trees have been discovered and identified to be removed than initially thought resulting in a much longer clean-up effort. And while Hwy 236 has been re-opened, China Grade Road has deteriorated due to years of heavy equipment travel from Cal Fire, neighboring landowners, and Council-usage since the fire. Many large potholes have developed making the drive into camp unsafe for passenger cars. In addition, the in-camp roads need additional repairs, and we are working on repairing several culvert pipes. As a result of these issues, we simply cannot open camp this year and volunteer work opportunities are not yet available. 


What are the plans to reopen Cutter Scout Reservation? 

We hope to reopen camp to unit weekend camping as soon as we can reestablish basic electrical and water service, rebuild roadways, and clear campsites and any main areas of the dangerous hazard trees. Initial work will also include refurbishing the Troop Services Building (TSB), pool shower house, and pool.  We’ll continue to restore lost roadways, trails, and campsites. This hard work will most likely continue into 2024. 


What are the long-term plans for Cutter Scout Reservation? 

The Council has a task force that is meeting monthly to plan and implement ongoing improvements. Eventually we hope to move some Council and District programs back to Cutter along with opening Camp for unit weekend camping and hiking treks. The Council committees are monitoring membership trends, Scout unit demand, and overall needs of the Council to determine the best course of action. 


Can we volunteer to help? 

Currently camp is simply not safe to open for volunteers and youth. Access has been limited to certain Council-level volunteers, contractors, and trained sawyers who are assisting with hazard tree removal. Financial support is always welcome and there is a link on the Council website to donate to our efforts. As soon as it is safe to allow more volunteer access and work parties, we will provide an update. 


THANK YOU for your support of Cutter Scout Reservation and the Pacific Skyline Council! 


Cutter 50th Anniversary Celebration! (Reception, Reunion and Rededication)

Help us celebrate 50 years of Cutter camping memories with our Rededication Ceremony! Rededication Weekend & Recognition BBQ at the famous Cutter Scout Reservation!

Get on the Cutter 50th mailing list for details to come!

  • Date TBD
    In-town Reception, Reunion & 50th Anniversary Celebration (Elks Lodge, San Mateo)
  • Date TBD
    In-camp Rededication Ceremony & Chuckwagon BBQ
Cutter Scout Reservation sign

Cutter is over 300 acres in size with a lake, full sport shooting area including an archery range and BB gun range, a magnificent pool as well as four cabins that can sleep eight people each.

Please drive 10 mph or SLOWER on the unpaved parts of the road to camp, to help preserve them. Parking is limited, carpooling is strongly encouraged. Thank you!

Cutter Scout Reservation is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, San Mateo County, approximately 54 miles from Palo Alto. Cutter is about 2,200 feet in elevation and is in some of the last old-growth redwoods on the west coast.

Cutter Scout Reservation is a full-service camp. It can camp up to 600 people, or as few as ten. Harkson Lodge boasts first-class cooking, dining and sleeping areas. The dining hall will seat up to 200 people and the sleeping area can accommodate 20-30 people. Harkson Lodge is ADA accessible including shower and toilet facilities. In addition, there are numerous camping sites, trails, a chapel, picnic tables and a full trading post to purchase items to make your camping experience easier.

Cutter is an excellent location for Cub Scout Family camping. We have sites that can handle large or small groups, along with several open spaces for games and outdoor fun.

Cutter is available for your special outing or event. Church groups, youth organizations, school groups and other Scouting units can rent the facilities at Cutter for a day event, a sleep-over, or a week-long event.


Cutter Scout Reservation
2500 China Grade
Boulder Creek, CA 95006 (Google map)

For further information or reservations

Contact the Foster City Service Center (650) 341-5633.

Helpful Documents

Maps, fee schedule, rental policy, etc.


See what Cutter Scout Reservation looks like.


Make a reservation for your family, Scouting unit, or group.

BSA Accredited Camp logoAccreditation

Cutter Scout Reservation is fully accredited by the National Council, BSA and operates under the strict health, safety and management guidelines established by the Boy Scouts of America, the State of California, and the County of San Mateo.