Castle Peak Trail

HARD 126 reviews
#6 of 114 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.

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

This hike is definitely for experienced hikers. I'd recommend going when it's about 50-60 degrees because most of the trail is in the sun. We ended up hiking about 2.5 miles more than the actual hike because we parked before the beginning of the actual trailhead. Oh well! If you have hiking sticks (especially anyone with knee or ankle issues), I'd recommend them, but my husband and I did the hike without them.

hiking
10 days ago

Great cool day for this hike... loved the entire thing. you pop out off the trees pretty fast and follow the knife edge up for some great scrambles and even better views. If you are in the Truckee area I say pop out and knock this one out. Keep a solid pace to get up there in a little over an hour so you can spend your time scrambling from turret to turret of the this unique castle and take in the views.

mountain biking
10 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

13 days ago

Loose gravel, a lot of sun exposure. At the peak there's a lot of rocks to scale and a great 360 view.

hiking
13 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

16 days ago

fun hike. you can make a loop of it, sort of...

19 days ago

I started at the trail head. Instead of going to Castle Peak I walked another five miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. Beautiful!

hiking
24 days ago

Easy access to the high country. Difficult due to elevation at the top plus loose gravel. Poles are definitely helpful. Beautiful fields of wildflowers and amazing view at the top

24 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

It's an amazing hike, but bring your sunscreen, most of it is in the full sun.

hiking
25 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

27 days ago