Sanborn Skyline Park to Castle Rock State Park is a 14.3 mile loop trail located near Saratoga, California that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as difficult offers a number of activity options.
All-day trek takes the best trails at two great parks along Skyline Boulevard southwest of Silicon Valley. This is a great route for expert hikers -- it starts out in the lush redwoods of Sanborn Skyline County Park southwest of San Jose, climbs to Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35) and crosses over to Castle Rock State Park, where it takes the popular Saratoga Gap Trail and returns to Sanborn Skyline. Note this is very strenuous outing -- 16 miles with over 3,000 feet of elevation gain -- but could be an excellent training hike for High Sierra adventures like Yosemite's Half Dome. The views of the Santa Cruz Mountains are awesome at Castle Rock. On your way back, check out Indian Rock, just off the Skyline Trail -- it's one of many fascinating formations along this route. Trails on this hike: First leg from Sanborn Skyline: Sanborn Trail to the top of the ridge near Highway 35. > Skyline Trail till you see the crossing to Castle Rock State Park. Second leg from Castle Rock: Saratoga Gap Trail to Trail Camp > Service Road to Loughry Woods Trail > Cross Highway 35 Third leg: Skyline Trail back to Sanborn Trail > San Andreas Trail back to the parking lot at Sanborn Skyline Park.
This trail was a nice work out and a lot of fun! It's got a challenging assent with nice tree coverage, once you cross skyline road you get some wide open sky and nice views, then the decent is quick mostly down hill so you can move fast. It took me about five and a half hours with almost no breaks except to take photos.
If you think of parking at Sanborn County Park, beware that they only open at 8:00. Except from that great trail : physical ups, easy to run flats, rocks to practice agility and technical downs. Extensively used AllTrail map and that saved me several times : thanks guys !
I recommend parking on Skyline at Saratoga Gap, Skyline Blvd. at Highway 9 (free parking). Hike south down trail parallel to Skyline and cross street to get to Castle Rock. Go early, because Castle Rock can be crowded. I've down this hike in both directions, and this direction provides the best views. The views on the Castle Rock trail are magnificent. Once in Castle Rock, I took Goat Rock Trail to Ridge Trail to Saratoga Gap (where the trail camp is), to Frog Flat, Saratoga Gap, Travertine Springs, Saratoga Toll Road, Achistaca Trail, Hickory Oaks and back up Saratoga Gap Trail. I'd give the trail 5 stars for it's wonderful views and beauty, but that trudge up the hill at the end in the heat was tough.