Castle Dome Trail

HARD 99 reviews
#2 of 6 trails in

Castle Dome Trail is a 7.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Castella, California that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from April until November.

7.7 miles
2,752 feet
Out & Back






no dogs

3 minutes ago

I got the chance to hike this trail on August 17, 2018. I started from the parking lot at the top in the park. the first 3 tenths of a mile are easy, but when you get to where the trail starts, it goes up and continues up and switches back and forth. it does level from time to time and eventually gets rocky because you are in the crags. If you aren't a skilled hiker, give yourself time and breaks often. take lots of water and if you want take the trail to Indian springs to fill up your water bottle. also if you start the hike from the upper parking lot, the climb is only 2.8 miles one way. My suggestion, go as far as you can, but get to at least where the trees start to think, so you can get a closer look at the crags. Well worth it.

14 days ago

went last year. got whooped and had the time of my life. anazing area. can't wait to go back.

Fabulous climb

2 months ago

Amazing trail. This hike was a challenge for me. The time I did this hike,I was a lot heavier and had trouble breathing. I would like to go back and do it again.

2 months ago

easy trail, moderately steep on some portions but no clue why its rated as hard. boring hike most of the way, once you get into the crags its cool. the dome scramble isnt bad, reviews on here seem to reflect pansies not willing to live a little. pilot rock is way more dangerous and thats a breeze. do yourself a favor and summit the dome

2 months ago

This hike was harddddd. It was completely uphill for the first half, and if you’ve taken a couple months break from hiking like I have then it will be a struggle for you. But the views at the top are lovely and scrambling up the rocks was pretty fun. A great workout and fun time overall! Just make sure you bring lots of water (did this hike in 90 degree weather and wished I had brought more with me) and enjoy!

3 months ago

Awesome hike. Hard, but doable.

4 months ago

Awesome hike and views! Brutal if you don’t stop and rest a lot. Or if the tiny upper lot is full so you have to park and hike from the lower lot, adding ~1 mile and ~500 elevation to the hike up. Can’t beat the experience or the climbing opportunities!

5 months ago

Beautiful hike! Please take hiking shoes when you go! there is snow up top rocks get slippery & could get dangerous. There was a hiker who broke their ankle & rescue had to come. But other than that awesome hike! amazing views I recommend... you’ll definitely cross out leg day with this hike lol. Hike safe out there yall!

5 months ago

A short drive from highway, this trail was a welcome break during a day of driving. Great views of Castle Crags, Mt Shasta and the Gray mts. Ancient granite defines the upper portion of the trail, beautiful! Campsites look nice for car camping, kind of lame that state park day use fee is required. The State Park is acting as gatekeeper to the Castle Crags wilderness area which contains nearly the entirety of Castle crags and begins just a short way in this trail. Shenanigans

5 months ago

Beautiful hike. Once above the trees you can see Mount Shasta and Shastina. This would probably be a national park in many other states. We loved it.

7 months ago

The hike is uphill the entire way but worth it once you get to the top.

7 months ago

not moderate fairly strenuous hike about 6 miles rt....unrelenting uphill after 1st .25 mile

7 months ago

I was the only car at this parking spot all day. The start is so easy that I thought I was on the wrong trail. And there are numerous trails that cross this path, keep checking All Trails. Then I got near the’s easy if you’re a billy goat. Nah. But it was pressing on the legs and cardio...but well worth every step.
The first few miles is an extremely quiet trail until you connect with the trail to the top.
Do it if you want some solitude. (Only downside: Road noise for a good is a major highway)

9 months ago

Beautiful views and well kept trails. This is not a “moderate” hike, it’s definitely hard.

10 months ago

Since the upper lot was full I needed to add an additional mile onto the hike each way which worked out just fine. I believe it ended up being 8 miles total. If you don't want the extra mile, I would recommend going in the morning.

I really appreciated that most of the trail (until the end) was mostly shaded. I loved the second half of the hike, it had beautiful views! You have to be up for some semi scrambling at the end to see the best views. If you scramble around the big tall rocks at the top you'll get breathtaking views of Mt. Shasta.

I'd definitely do this hike again! Next time I would bring a book and lunch so I could enjoy hanging out at the top longer.

11 months ago

Views, easy to follow, options and a great workout

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Strenuous! Amazing! Worth it! The closer you get to the top the harder the trail is to follow. But it all worked out! Loved it! Highly recommend it!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

We accessed castle Dome trail by driving to Castle Crags State Park. The ranger told us to drive all the way to the Vista Point and the trail is opposite the parking lot. From the vista point, you have to hike 2.8 miles to reach the dome. This is a better approach for us since the trail is challenging because of the elevation gain. You also have to hike rocky and exposed areas. The climb is definitely worth it since you get a great view of Mt Shasta and the dome at the top. On our way back, we went to the vista point which is about 0.25 miles from the parking lot. Don't miss it! Overall, it gives you a total of 6.1miles which is a good day hike.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Important note: there is no parking lot for this hike. You'll park on the side of the road. We were warned by a ranger that car break-ins have occurred and there was indeed broken window glass on the ground.

If you drive one exit south to the park entrance you can pick up the castle crags hike which duplicates a majority of this hike and does not leave out any of the fantastic scenery. I highly recommend that hike.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Very cool. Has views of Shasta throughout hike. Would recommend.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Very vigorous but worth the hike! When you get to the trail end, be sure to climb to the top of the dome!

Thursday, June 01, 2017

One of the best hikes out there. Strenuous but well worth the views from the top. Incredible.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Definitely worth it!!! Stunning view when u reached to the top.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Beautiful hike!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The trail head is just off of I5 and you can park for free. As you face the PC trail sign walk left a hundred feet or so to the trail head. The hike was great. Well worth the 2 hour drive. The trail is rated moderate but I would say it is between moderate and hard.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

A fun trail with a good bit of elevation gain compared to the distances traveled. Stared just before 11, but with warmer weather coming up I would recommend going earlier! The top has some sweet views and great spots to do some rock climbing and scrambling!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The hike was challenging but AMAZING! Waterproof clothes a must. Tall hiking boots recommended to keep feet dry. Take snow poles for extra support! We went at 10:30 and it was perfect! I would not go any later as it's not safe depending on weather conditions. We started at the vista point and it was like 4.5 miles round trip.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Overall wonderful hike with fabulous views of Shasta and Castle Crags. We went in early March and hit some snowpack about a half mile from the end. It was packed down and quite slippery, so it didn't seem safe to continue. We had hiking boots but no crampons or axes, so we turned around.

The rocky area after the Wilderness marker was a bit tricky. Sometimes it was hard to see where the designated trail was. I'm a bit nervous about heights, but it wasn't bad for me.

We did the Indian Springs spur. It was very warm here (seemed about 75 F) and a nice place for a snack or lunch. Good views here as well, and there is a water source (but I would filter it).

We went slow and were on the trail for four hours.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Beautiful views and a good workout on a well groomed trail. Can't ask for more than that.

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