Looking for a great trail in Castle Rock State Park, California? AllTrails has 10 great hiking trails, trail running trails, walking 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 7 moderate trails in Castle Rock State Park ranging from 3.7 to 9.1 miles and from 787 to 3,179 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!


nature trips




no dogs

bird watching

trail running

wild flowers


Situated in Santa Cruz Mountains, Castle Rock State Park features mossy forests with Douglas-fir, coast redwood, and madrone trees. The park's unusual rock formations are a big hit with rock climbers. The park boasts 32 miles of hiking trails and horseback riding trails that link up with an extensive trail system that connects the Santa Clara and San Lorenzo valleys as well as Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and the Pacific Coast. This beautiful California State Park is great place to take a weekend trip from the San Francisco Bay Area or San Jose and enjoy some bird watching or hit up the picnic areas, but be advised that basic backcountry campsites for backpackers are the only camping option. Equestrians are urged to call ahead for current trail information and due to high fire hazard, smoking is prohibited on the trails within Castle Rock State Park. Dogs are also not allowed on the trails or in the campground. The park is open sunrise to sunset.

-more bugs than other hikes I've been on, it might be because of summer? (idk) -the best views are going to be outside of the foresty areas -what's really cool about the place is the unique climbing experience on the trails something about this place doesn't wow me, i won't be back

I would recommend you carry enough water, ensure you have battery backup for your mobile phone. Signal coverage is very poor and having *AllTrails* helped me load my map very easily and also gave very detailed trails. It is peak summer so I would think this trail is best taken in spring.

Great hike for a family. Mostly easy. Amazing views and plenty of places for kids to scramble on the rocks. It was also mostly empty on a Thursday morning/afternoon. Plenty of parking available.

We did this hike on 6/2 as a training hike for summer. There are sections that are rocky and a few times where you will be doing some light scrambling. The first half of the hike is mostly downhill and then the back side is mostly just straight up. Some nice views on the first part of the hike before being back in the trees the latter half. We started in the late afternoon and ran into mosquitoes near the end, so be prepared. Overall, a moderate to difficult hike, depending on your hiking/fitness levels.

over grown
23 days ago

Depending on the time you go there is limited unslight for about a 3rd of the trek. Some of the spots are little choppy and you can tell there's been limited maintenance, but once you're in the gun-range area its well maintained.

Amazing overlooks. A little shaddy at the beginning, get hoodie. Relatively easy to park at 3pm memorial day.

28 days ago

Awesome!! So so beautiful. Def crowded parking - we just got super lucky. Love all the rock scrambling - but def not a good hike if you have issues with heights. Nice mix of shade and exposure. Definitely more than 5.5 miles!

I would recommend the trail for those who are training and/or preparing for the Spartan or Terrain Race. Half part of the trail is very scenic with a little bit of rock climbing and half part is all trees. There's a lot of shades. I got there around 8:26 AM and there was a lot of parking. People started coming by 8:45 AM and by 9:00 AM parking is already full. There are public toilets available.

Nice shaded trail, slight ascension sporadically. Saw vultures feasting on carcass in recent trip.

Beautiful views. Challenging trail with rocks to climb over. Crowded at times. Will be back again.

We arrived at 10am on a Saturday and at that time it was already very hard to find a parking lot. The view is amazing and some part of the trail is a little bit hard. Overall we are happy we made it.

Great hike! Parking is insane right now... get there early

Agree with the rest of the reviews that this is a nice scenic trail with different terrains (trail was easy, but to new hikers, this may be the perfect length & challenge). Part of the trail was shaded, but parts were exposed. Waterfall was flowing nicely, but can only be viewed from afar. The steam flows were light, even with the abundant of rainfall from Feb & March. The rock formations were very cool. There are bathrooms located at the front parking lot & one near the first loop. Hiked this on a Friday, and there were just a few hikers. We parked on the street outside the park. Calculated 6 miles RT.

Great trail. Different types of terrain. Lots of hikers & rock climbers during the weekend. Make sure to get here early, as parking spaces can quickly fill up.

Definitely a popular trail even on a raining and rather cool-April day. Beautiful trail, serene hike although often interrupted by loud shouts of rock climbers perhaps. A portion of the trail required climbing over large rocks, and with a sea of fog next to the sheer cliff and gusts of wind passing through, it was kind of scary! Would like to go back when the weather is nice and the view is clear. Parking lot is small and fills up fast, even the street parking was full.

Some parts can be a challenge due to rocky terrain. Beautiful vista and enough tree shade to cool down on a sunny day. Waterfall was rapid due to abundant rain. Will do this one again

Very scenic. Lots of rock climbers during the weekend. We hike 8.7 miles to finish the trail, but got off trail twice. Highly recommend!

trail is short but so good, interesting terrain, nice shades, rock formations, beautiful waterfall, crowed during weekend (parking very difficult).

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