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.

First half of the trail is great, but the second half takes you on a local road which i didn't love. Would recommend instead taking the trail further east and coming back via skyline blvd trail.

It is quite challenging but the views are spectacular. Go only if you are experience hikers! There were a lot of bugs end of august, we had bug repellent but they just keep attacking...

8 days ago

This is one of my favorite and usual hiking trip. Castle rock's main and complete hike throughout the park (that can be done in few hours). Although all parts of this trail are good, but lately, there have been lot of bugs and mosquitos around the whole trees and shade (80% of trail). Irritating and takes away 1 star.

15 days ago

Arrived early around the time the park opens to avoid the crowds on the holiday weekend. Really enjoyed the amount of shade and the views. Didn't mind the rocks either added a bit more of a workout.

15 days ago

San Lorenzo River is pretty. However, after crossing the river, incessant sounds of gunshot continued through Travestine Springs Trail and most of Saratoga Gap Trail. Sometimes the sounds were very close and extremely made me uncomfortable. There were lots of bugs flying around me all through the hiking. Strongly recommend to carry repellent.