Castle Peak Trail

HARD 92 reviews
#5 of 107 trails in

Castle Peak Trail is a 5.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Soda Springs, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1860 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

cross country skiing

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

One of the easiest peaks (9100') to hike in the Tahoe area and is doable as a day hike from the Bay Area. As you approach Donner Pass from the west on I-80, you can't miss Castle Peak on the left. To get to the trailhead, take the Boreal exit (between Soda Springs and Donner Lake.) From the Boreal parking lot go under the freeway and follow the road up to the right and find a place to park. If you have a 4WD with high clearance, you could follow the dirt road and shorten the hike by a mile or two. Start the hike by following the dirt road. In a mile and half the trail will start to climb and you'll reach a junction at Castle Pass. The PCT crosses this junction. Turn right and follow the ridgeline up to Castle Peak. From the ridgeline you look to your left (north) and see a beautiful green valley and ahead and to the right you can see your destination. Simply follow the well defined trail to the top. The climb gets quite steep (1300' gain, mostly in the last 2 miles) and hiking poles can be useful. If you have the time, you can also hike over to Andesite Peak or Basin Peak.

22 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

I just did this hike in the deep snow. I was almost completely unprepared for it and it was great! Everyone I passed had skies or snowshoes and hiking poles, but I just had my leather boots and some determination. It took me 2 and a 1/2 hours to get up and only 45 minutes to come down. I loved every minute of it. It was all worth it when I got to the ridge.

1 month ago

The trail is all covered with snow. It is difficult to go to the top the last 200 yards. It can be icy too.. it took us a longer time to hike this trail because of snow.

hiking
1 month ago

snowshoeing
1 month ago

We didn't make it all the way to Castle Peak as we made it about two miles out and then headed back. Lots of fun, great views!

2 months ago

3 months ago

skiing
3 months ago

snowshoeing
5 months ago

5 months ago

snowshoeing
6 months ago

snowshoeing
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Really enjoyed this hike. Easy going at the beginning and gets increasingly difficult. The last push is very steep and rocky. Slipped on the loose rocks on the way down a couple of times. Hiked through packed snow about 1/3 of the time but it was sunny and warm the whole time. It took about two hours getting up, at a leisurely pace, and about half the time down.

7 months ago

7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

The hike was not as challenging as I had thought it would be. It was iced up pretty good and with out shoe chains or crampons it was slick! 35 mph wind on top and 34deg at the bottom.
I think I'll go back once we have some fresh powder and shoe in when less people are around.

hiking
8 months ago

Good hike. Only 4 stars because if the long fire road run in. Last part is steep but not as bad as it sounds. The last scramble is a true class 3. Great views and interesting geology.

hiking
8 months ago

Not too bad until you get to the final haul up the peak, then it's a killer, but the view from the top makes it completely worth it!

hiking
8 months ago

Awesome hike