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#52 of 90 state parks in California

Best trails in Castle Rock State Park

2,648 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Castle Rock State Park, California? AllTrails has 12 great hiking trails, trail running trails, forest trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 9 moderate trails in Castle Rock State Park ranging from 3.7 to 12.4 miles and from 793 to 3,179 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

Within a short drive from Santa Cruz, San Jose, and San Francisco, miles of hiking trails, and coastal redwoods as far as you can see... What more could you ask for? Castle Rock State Park is a great place for a hike or some rock climbing. There are picnic areas and restrooms onsite.

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Map of trails in Castle Rock State Park
Park information
Acreage:
5,242 acres
Park hours
Monday
8:00 am - dusk
Tuesday
8:00 am - dusk
Wednesday
8:00 am - dusk
Thursday
8:00 am - dusk
Friday
8:00 am - dusk
Saturday
8:00 am - dusk
Sunday
8:00 am - dusk
Contact
408-868-9540
Helpful links
Top trails (12)
#1 - Castle Rock, Saratoga Gap and Ridge Trail Loop [CLOSED]
Castle Rock State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1446)
Length: 12.4 mi • Est. 5 h 59 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 What is open now due to COVID 19? Castle Rock State Park is open from 8:00 a.m. to sunset. The Kirkwood parking lot. Day-use parking fees will be collected at the kiosk. Protective measures are in place for visitor and staff safety. Credit card payments are encouraged. Masks are required at the kiosk in accordance with the Santa Cruz County health order. Trails – Trail systems that allow for social distancing are marked as one-way. Select restrooms in the proximity of the parking lots will be available. What is closed? Falls Overlook Interpretive Shelter and connector trails leading to the Interpretive Shelter Connector trails leading to Castle Rock Trail Camps and trailhead for Skyline To The Sea trail Amphitheater at Kirkwood entrance All picnic tables/benches Sempervirens Point and Overflow dirt parking lot Great views, challenging hiking in the hills southwest of Silicon Valley. With lush woods, gorgeous vistas, challenging trails and remarkable stone formations, Castle Rock State Park is a highlight reel for hiking in the San Francisco Bay Area. You'll find a fascinating mix of trees -- gnarled oaks, towering Douglas firs, bark-shedding madrones -- but the rocks steal the show. Large formations called "tafoni" (which look like the work of honeybees) formed over eons as weathering processes gradually reshaped the stone. Castle Rock is the most notable tafoni formation, but there are many more in the park.Show more
#2 - Ridge Trail to Goat Rock Overlook, Emily Smith Observation Point, and Saratoga Gap Trail [CLOSED]
Castle Rock State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(383)
Length: 3.7 mi • Est. 2 h 2 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 What is open now due to COVID 19? Castle Rock State Park is open from 8:00 a.m. to sunset. The Kirkwood parking lot. Day-use parking fees will be collected at the kiosk. Protective measures are in place for visitor and staff safety. Credit card payments are encouraged. Masks are required at the kiosk in accordance with the Santa Cruz County health order. Trails – Trail systems that allow for social distancing are marked as one-way. Select restrooms in the proximity of the parking lots will be available. What is closed? Falls Overlook Interpretive Shelter and connector trails leading to the Interpretive Shelter Connector trails leading to Castle Rock Trail Camps and trailhead for Skyline To The Sea trail Amphitheater at Kirkwood entrance All picnic tables/benches Sempervirens Point and Overflow dirt parking lotShow more
#3 - Saratoga Gap Trail and Ridge Trail Loop [CLOSED]
Castle Rock State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(214)
Length: 5.2 mi • Est. 2 h 7 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 What is open now due to COVID 19? Castle Rock State Park is open from 8:00 a.m. to sunset. The Kirkwood parking lot. Day-use parking fees will be collected at the kiosk. Protective measures are in place for visitor and staff safety. Credit card payments are encouraged. Masks are required at the kiosk in accordance with the Santa Cruz County health order. Trails – Trail systems that allow for social distancing are marked as one-way. Select restrooms in the proximity of the parking lots will be available. What is closed? Falls Overlook Interpretive Shelter and connector trails leading to the Interpretive Shelter Connector trails leading to Castle Rock Trail Camps and trailhead for Skyline To The Sea trail Amphitheater at Kirkwood entrance All picnic tables/benches Sempervirens Point and Overflow dirt parking lotShow more
#4 - Big Basin and Castle Rock Loop [CLOSED]
Castle Rock State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(159)
Length: 7.1 mi • Est. 3 h 39 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 What is open now due to COVID 19? Castle Rock State Park is open from 8:00 a.m. to sunset. The Kirkwood parking lot. Day-use parking fees will be collected at the kiosk. Protective measures are in place for visitor and staff safety. Credit card payments are encouraged. Masks are required at the kiosk in accordance with the Santa Cruz County health order. Trails – Trail systems that allow for social distancing are marked as one-way. Select restrooms in the proximity of the parking lots will be available. What is closed? Falls Overlook Interpretive Shelter and connector trails leading to the Interpretive Shelter Connector trails leading to Castle Rock Trail Camps and trailhead for Skyline To The Sea trail Amphitheater at Kirkwood entrance All picnic tables/benches Sempervirens Point and Overflow dirt parking lotShow more
#5 - Castle Rock Nature Trail [CLOSED]
Castle Rock State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(126)
Length: 1.6 mi • Est. 49 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 What is open now due to COVID 19? Castle Rock State Park is open from 8:00 a.m. to sunset. The Kirkwood parking lot. Day-use parking fees will be collected at the kiosk. Protective measures are in place for visitor and staff safety. Credit card payments are encouraged. Masks are required at the kiosk in accordance with the Santa Cruz County health order. Trails – Trail systems that allow for social distancing are marked as one-way. Select restrooms in the proximity of the parking lots will be available. What is closed? Falls Overlook Interpretive Shelter and connector trails leading to the Interpretive Shelter Connector trails leading to Castle Rock Trail Camps and trailhead for Skyline To The Sea trail Amphitheater at Kirkwood entrance All picnic tables/benches Sempervirens Point and Overflow dirt parking lotShow more
#6 - Saratoga Gap to Castle Rock Falls Overlook and Castle Rock Trail [CLOSED]
Castle Rock State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(84)
Length: 1.8 mi • Est. 1 h 4 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 What is open now due to COVID 19? Castle Rock State Park is open from 8:00 a.m. to sunset. The Kirkwood parking lot. Day-use parking fees will be collected at the kiosk. Protective measures are in place for visitor and staff safety. Credit card payments are encouraged. Masks are required at the kiosk in accordance with the Santa Cruz County health order. Trails – Trail systems that allow for social distancing are marked as one-way. Select restrooms in the proximity of the parking lots will be available. What is closed? Falls Overlook Interpretive Shelter and connector trails leading to the Interpretive Shelter Connector trails leading to Castle Rock Trail Camps and trailhead for Skyline To The Sea trail Amphitheater at Kirkwood entrance All picnic tables/benches Sempervirens Point and Overflow dirt parking lotShow more
#7 - Castle Rocks Lower Loop [CLOSED]
Castle Rock State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(58)
Length: 6.3 mi • Est. 3 h 21 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 NOTE: As of July 2020, there are closures along this loop that may affect your hike. Additionally the trail should now be hiked in one direction. Please check here for updates: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=538 This route extends into Sanborn County Park. Summit Rock within Sanborn County Park is closed February 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/parkfinder/Pages/Sanborn.aspxShow more
#8 - Castle Rock, Goat Rock, and Indian Rock Loop [CLOSED]
Castle Rock State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(29)
Length: 6.7 mi • Est. 3 h 42 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 Please note that Summit Rock is closed Feb. 1 to Aug. 31, 2020. No access is allowed.​ This includes all boulder/climbing areas as well. Please see the open trails nearby for alternate hiking options. https://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/parkfinder/Pages/Sanborn.aspxShow more
#9 - Indian Rock Ranch Skyline Trail Loop [CLOSED]
Castle Rock State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(37)
Length: 9.1 mi • Est. 4 h 48 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 What is open now due to COVID 19? Castle Rock State Park is open from 8:00 a.m. to sunset. The Kirkwood parking lot. Day-use parking fees will be collected at the kiosk. Protective measures are in place for visitor and staff safety. Credit card payments are encouraged. Masks are required at the kiosk in accordance with the Santa Cruz County health order. Trails – Trail systems that allow for social distancing are marked as one-way. Select restrooms in the proximity of the parking lots will be available. What is closed? Falls Overlook Interpretive Shelter and connector trails leading to the Interpretive Shelter Connector trails leading to Castle Rock Trail Camps and trailhead for Skyline To The Sea trail Amphitheater at Kirkwood entrance All picnic tables/benches Sempervirens Point and Overflow dirt parking lot The trail begins at the parking lot at the Big Basin Way and Skyline Blvd intersection. Begin your brief jaunt down "Skyline to the Sea Trail". Take a left at the "Saratoga Toll Road Trail". Take a left at the "Travertine Springs Trail". Stay straight and take the "Saratoga Gap Trail". Take a right at the "Frog Flat Trail". Take a left at the "Service Road Trail". Cross Skyline Blvd and take a left at the next service road trail that will lead to "Skyline Trail" back to the parking lot. NOTE: You'll most likely hear some gunshots at times while on the hike; however, it's just coming from the Los Alto Rod and Gun Club Range.Show more
#10 - Michael's Summit Loop [CLOSED]
Castle Rock State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(33)
Length: 4.9 mi • Est. 2 h 48 m
Note: As of 8/19/2020, the park is currently closed due to the CZU Lightning Complex Fires until further notice.Show more
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