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Castle Rock State Park, Los Gatos

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.6/5 based on 65 reviews on the web
Castle Rock State Park is a state park of California, USA, located along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains. 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. Castle Rock is the starting point of the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, a 30mi trail that leads to Waddell Beach north of Santa Cruz. There are two walk-in campgrounds within the park for overnight backpacking. The 5242acre park was established in 1968.LocationThe park is located on California State Route 35 just 2.5mi southeast of the junction with State Route 9. It is located almost entirely in Santa Cruz County.
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  • Great place to visit, only about 30 min away from the city. nice, leasure drive on highway 9 short 1 mile easy hike to Castle Rock, and another 1.5mile to the waterfall. What is unusual about this wat...  read more »
  • Wanted to take a hike after a long time out of action and decided to try the Saratoga Gap Trail. It was a bit ambitious for someone seriously out of shape but very enjoyable. Excellent views and conve...  read more »
  • This was a mostly shaded ramble, figure eight hike. Very enjoyable. The rock formations were so interesting and fun to climb around on. 
  • We had a remarkable trip - once we found it! The directions you get the with the reservation are terrible. The campground was well maintained and the showers/bathrooms were phenomenal. We were there during the week and basically had the campground to ourselves - it was great. Really great access to the park and to City of Rocks. The stores in Almo both have anything you need/forget. Highly recommend !
  • Castle Rock is a fun playground for climbers of all levels. Bring a crash pad or two and enjoy a nice day of crushing boulders. Some of the grades seem a bit sandbagged for those of us who aren't regulars to these rocks. But like all crags, once you're use to the rocks, climbs seem easier. There are rope climbing routes throughout the park, as well. Tip: Like others have mentioned, get here early to find parking.
  • I can honestly say this is one of the best hikes I have ever been on. I went there with my cousins recently and took a 2.5 mi long trail that took us past Castle Rock falls. The trails here are rugged, steep, rocky, and absolutely gorgeous! There are lots of attractions all along the way ranging from breathtaking panoramas across the green valley to giant rocks begging to be climbed. The environment also has a healthy amount of variety, ranging from thick forest with bushes sandwiching the trail to sandy, rocky hillsides. Suffice to say that a good level of physical fitness is required for the trails at this park. There were often times where a trail would apparently end in a cluster of boulders. Turns out you gotta climb over the rocks to figure out that it picks back up 20 feet away at a different altitude. I totally love these kinds of things and so will you if you enjoy a challenge.
  • Great views, relatively shaded paths. About 6 miles roundtrip, 2.5 hours depending on the trails you take. Climb up goat rock for great views. Get here before 9:15am for easy parking.
  • A great place to hike. When the kids were younger, I started out with shorter hikes to the Castle Rock formation. As they got older we took longer trails to the water falls and Goat Rock. Now we go backpacking and stay at the trail camps. The Castle Rock trail camp is clean, has potable water, outhouses, and designated camping spots. I have never seen it crowded.
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