nature trips

trail running


Along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Castle Rock State Park 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 popular with rock climbers. The forest here is lush and mossy, crisscrossed by 32 miles of hiking and horseback riding 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. Primitive campsites for backpackers are the only overnight facilities. Equestrians are urged to call ahead for current trail information, and smokers are advised that, due to high fire hazard, smoking is prohibited on the trails within Castle Rock State Park. Dogs are not allowed on the trails or in the campground. The park is located on Highway 35, just 2 1/2 miles southeast of the junction with Highway 9.

-easy to moderate hike, ran most of the trail
-sun was intense, trees provided partial shade
-highlight was the rock climbing and navigating your own path up and into the rocks
-would love to do this one again some day

if you're looking for a super remote trail away from everything...this may be for you! but for us - not so much. kept on having to look back on our phone and map to see if we were heading in the right direction. cool trees though views were underwhelming considering other parks in the area.

Great workout!

Good trail. Gets a little dusty in the middle with no shade. I went on a really hot day so while the views were really good the heat killed the mood.

Very scenic hike. Starts with a gradual 1000ft descent followed by an ascent about half way through. The hike is not challenging, however the trail is very scenic, with a lot of amazing panoramic views. Do not let some negative reviews discourage you. The last part of the hike does take you on a private road through a household community, but I actually enjoyed seeing all the upscale houses. No reason not to hike this trail.

16 days ago

This was an amazing hike. The views are insane! Definitely moderate so be prepared. My BF and I loved it