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Castle Peak Trail is a 6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Soda Springs, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, snowshoeing, and backpacking and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1,811 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

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
bugs
no shade
rocky
4 days ago

Despite the difficulty, this trail is for sure heavily trafficked. The approach is very mild, but has lots of running and sitting water so be prepared for bugs. Once you hit a mile and a half, the accent is pretty in your face; most of it is along a ridge which allows for some nice views. The trail isn’t in the best shape because so many people hike it, just be careful: Slippery and Steep. Also be prepared for a windy summit!

hiking
rocky
scramble
10 days ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
11 days ago

hiking
rocky
11 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

did this hike on 6/18/20, sunny, warm no wind and snow not an issue. Eye popping views. Don't really need poles for going up but you'll be glad you have them on the way down. Made it halfway up the crevasse to the Castle Peak geologic marker at the high point. Have fun

hiking
14 days ago

Super Trail.

hiking
14 days ago

Great trail and wide so good for social distance hiking. Very steep and rocky at top. Really need hiking poles.

hiking
14 days ago

Trail was in good shape and clear, very minimal snow to worry about. Be prepared for a windy summit. My favorite hike in the Truckee area.

hiking
15 days ago

There is very little remaining snow and none of it is an impediment to reach Castle Peak. We also hiked the ridge over to Basin Peak, which was also clear of snow, then returned via the PCT through Round Valley. Climbing out of Round Valley to Castle Pass we encountered quite a bit of snow, but hiker tracks made it easy to stay on the trail. Melting snow made the trails wet in many places but there was nothing we couldn’t easily get around. There was extreme wind, particularly on the lower ridge leading up to Castle Peak and the ridge between Castle and Basin Peak. Both summits were actually quite calm, though, and the views—ranging from Mt. Lassen north to the Crystal Range south—were amazing.

hiking
21 days ago

Very hard but worth the views

hiking
27 days ago

Open all the way. Some snow. Get vista

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
29 days ago

Pretty views. A decent amount of snow around the bottom. About a mile from the top the trail gets a little tough to follow and is rocky and steep.

hiking
icy
snow
1 month ago

Thanks for tips - start with day boots - turn around first mile and changed to snow boots - plenty of snow. Once at the summit all dry. Perfect watcher - clear day and cool tempatures.

recorded Castle Peak Trail

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Plenty of snow to throw around in late May.

hiking
icy
scramble
snow
1 month ago

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Fun hike. Not super challenging but easy to access from the highway. It was pretty much covered in snow the entire way. Stay left at the beginning when it forks

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Trail was pretty easy to follow. About 85% covered in snow and does get slushy later in the day, good shoes will help. No snow at the peak. First 2 miles were easy and became steep about a mile and half away from the summit.

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

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