Castle Rock State Park, Los Gatos

4.6
#4 of 13 in Things to do in Los Gatos
Castle Rock State Park is a 5242acre state park of California, USA, located along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains and almost entirely in Santa Cruz County, with parts extending into Santa Clara County and San Mateo County. It embraces coast redwood, Douglas fir, and madrone forest, most of which has been left in its wild, natural state. Steep canyons are sprinkled with unusual rock formations that are a popular rock climbing area. The forest here is lush and mossy, crisscrossed by 32mi of hiking trails. These trails are part of an even more extensive trail system that links the Santa Clara and San Lorenzo valleys with Castle Rock State Park, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and the Pacific Coast. Due to its overnight parking lot, Castle Rock is a popular starting point for the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, a 30mi trail that begins near by at Saratoga Gap and leads to Waddell Beach north of Santa Cruz. There are two walk-in campgrounds within the park for overnight backpacking.
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Castle Rock State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
79 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • I love this hike. It is easy, has beutiful views and a waterfall. It coudl be a bit slippery at places so be careful.  more »
  • Ever since we found this gem, we've returned many times throughout the year. The winter months tend to be damp and cold. The moisture keeps the forest cool, especially in the first part of the hike, a...  more »
  • Beautiful park with pretty well marked trails - some better than others. Lots to see, from beautiful vistas, waterfall, rock climbers, etc. New signs at parking lot trail head make it easy to choose a...  more »
Google
  • I went with my mom on a cloudy, slightly rainy weekend. We had a beautiful hike, and took pictures among some lovely trees and gorgeous rocks. Even though it was a Saturday, it wasn’t too crowded, thankfully, since it wasn’t the choicest weather, but it didn’t make the hike unpleasant at all. We were hiking through the woods most of the time and barely felt any raindrops, and we got to see some spectacular mist/fog in the valley. It’s a fun hike with a few places where you can climb around on rocks. We even saw someone rappelling down a rock. If you’re planning a trip, but the weather is slightly rainy, I definitely suggest that you go anyways, because you’ll avoid the crowd, and much of the trail is through dense enough foliage that the rain wouldn’t be too much of a bother. Just as long as the rain doesn’t get heavy!
  • Beautiful place. The trails are awesome, albeit a bit challenging for the casual hiker. The views are breathtaking and the big eroded rocks in the park are quite unique. There's nothing quite like sitting on a perched rock with a view of the Santa Cruz mountains, while having a picnic.
  • Tried to go see the waterfalls here. Pretty beautiful. One thing the other reviews don't mention is the you can't really touch the water. It's accessible only to those who can do rock climbing. There is only a view point to look at the waterfalls and no way to actually go near it. Otherwise, a very scenic and lovely place to hike. Also, parking is bad. We had to wait like 30min to get a spot. You can't exactly park outside on the roads.
  • Great trails of varying difficulty and length to hike. Amazing scenery. A bunch of beautiful rock formations perfect for climbing around on. My fearless kid had a blast. One thing to expect, a lot of boulderers. I mean A LOT! They are like the hipsters of nature. Not as friendly as your hiker and more than a bit snooty.
  • The park has great trails for hiking with awesome views on the forest toward the ocean. There are nice rocks apparently very popular for training rock climbing. The only negative point imo is that the park is too popular. If you prefer more quiet places that might not be the best pick around but also you have to come early as there are not a lot of parking spot and most of the roads around are no parking.
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