Castle Peak Trail

HARD 33 reviews
#5 of 116 trails in

Castle Peak Trail is a 5.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Soda Springs, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.8 miles 1745 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

skiing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

cross country skiing

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

One of the easiest peaks (9100') to hike in the Tahoe area and is doable as a day hike from the Bay Area. As you approach Donner Pass from the west on I-80, you can't miss Castle Peak on the left. To get to the trailhead, take the Boreal exit (between Soda Springs and Donner Lake.) From the Boreal parking lot go under the freeway and follow the road up to the right and find a place to park. If you have a 4WD with high clearance, you could follow the dirt road and shorten the hike by a mile or two. Start the hike by following the dirt road. In a mile and half the trail will start to climb and you'll reach a junction at Castle Pass. The PCT crosses this junction. Turn right and follow the ridgeline up to Castle Peak. From the ridgeline you look to your left (north) and see a beautiful green valley and ahead and to the right you can see your destination. Simply follow the well defined trail to the top. The climb gets quite steep (1300' gain, mostly in the last 2 miles) and I recommend hiking poles if you have them. If you have the time, you can also hike over to Andesite Peak or Basin Peak.


5 days ago

hiking

The views at the top are amazing


6 days ago

Great my 10year old did it with no problem!


23 days ago

backpacking

Great up n down. Very loose footing along the last mile to the top, hiking poles are highly suggested.


23 days ago

hiking

Gorgeous panoramas. Challenging hike especially along the top ridge where it's very loose.


25 days ago

Awesome. 3 miles out and 3 miles back. Last mile was best. Hiked across the ridge line and the cool wind made it a delight. Dual hiking poles made downhill loose rocks very helpful.


1 month ago

A great hike with fantastic view. Be prepared for high winds along the ridge line


1 month ago

Great trail.


1 month ago

Stunning views on this beautiful hike. Decided to do it instead of Shirley Lake hoping for less crowds and it worked. We parked along the road and walked 1.5mi to the trailhead. Great way to warm up before hitting the steep hiking trail. It gets steep and is rocky, yes. I would have been in trouble with out sticks. Made it to the tippy top. Oh! The wild flowers are giving a spectacular show right now.


1 month ago

really nice hike. moderately busy on the way up. the hardest part of the ridgeline is pretty slippery so make sure you wear some shoes wth good traction. there's some great views and the area is very relaxing and quiet! castle peak is one of my favorites spots so far and what's great is there's many more trails to keep the challenge going. I also climbed Andesite peak on the way back and that is also extremely slippery. enjoy the hike!


2 months ago

hiking

Very difficult hike in the sense that it is fearful and exciting. I broke my ankle at the very top last summer and had to hike all the way down on my own with broken bones. This hike is very sketchy coming down because it is very loose, gravely, and, steep (but so worth it, beautiful & amazing!!!) so be prepared to take it easy. Depending on where you park your car will greatly depend on your mileage. Enjoy!


5 months ago

One of my favs always and forever. Great views of Tahoe. Any time of year is good. A great snow shoe hike.


6 months ago


7 months ago

hiking

This is actually a very nice trail with great views from the top. You don't really get to the very top unless you bring climbing gear or have very large juevos.( did I spell that right? ). The reason I only gave it 3 stars is that for about 90% of the trail you get to enjoy the background noise of Interstate 80. It's not overly loud, but it's there. A definite drawback if you want solitude, though not a reason to skip this trail.


9 months ago

hiking

Hiked from the parking area with the dog up Castle Peak then across to Basin Peak and down past Peter Grubb Hut and back. It was very windy as usual, with tiny patches of snow on the North sides of the peaks, but well worth making the trip up before the mountains get their winter coats.


11 months ago

hiking

Jumped on trail at rest stop east of Boreal. Trail head to the right of building. Ended up walking about 8.5 miles to top of Castle Peak About first 3.2 miles was variable terrain, mostly shaded. Beautiful wooded forests. Came across 4 trail runners. We decided to stay on trail rather then going down to dirt road that is identified as Castle Peak. Much more quaint trail, less exposed. Last mile or so, up to the peak, is a pretty good incline, very gravelly, rocky. You get to an outlook, thinking it's the peak, to realize you have maybe a quarter of a mike more to climb. It's worth it. Panoramic views. Wear good shoes; walking stick helpful. GPS navigation on Alltrails came in extraordinarily helpful as there are many trails branching off of trail.


1 year ago

Great hike. First mile and half you share with mountain bikers, equestrian and maybe a few rogue trucks, second part is straight up hiking and rewards are awesome at the top of the peak. Strongly recommend good grip hiking boots as lots of skidding on little rocks. Went in August and it was a little smoky obscuring view just very slightly. Plan to definitely return in June for more clarity and see the windflowers.


1 year ago

hiking


1 year ago

hiking

one of our favorite! great for training, lot of climbing to the peak, loose rocks last mile or so. have gone up the ridge and gone the PTC through Round Valley which is more forested. Hv hiked in snow and warmer weather. hike along trail to Peter grub hut, hike up to Andersite peak,endless trail possibilities in such a beautiful area!


1 year ago

hiking

Great hike, even in March during a dry season.


1 year ago

hiking

Excellent day hike. Some snow but you could walk on top of it. Wished I'd had a good map to identify more of the visible peaks.