Castle Rock and Goat Rock Trail

MODERATE 562 reviews
#1 of 8 trails in

Castle Rock and Goat Rock Trail is a 5.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Los Gatos, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1151 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

no dogs

Great views, challenging hiking in the hills southwest of Silicon Valley. With lush woods, gorgeous vistas, challenging trails and remarkable stone formations, Castle Rock State Park is a highlight reel for hiking in the San Francisco Bay Area. You'll find a fascinating mix to trees -- gnarled oaks, towering Douglas firs, bark-shedding madrones -- but the rocks steal the show. Large formations called "tafoni" (which look like the work of honeybees on steroids) formed over eons as weathering processes gradually reshaped the stone. Castle Rock is the most notable tafoni formation, but there are many more in the park.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful nature. A touching calmness.

23 days ago

After taking a slight detour on to to castle rock trail, we headed back to Saratoga gap trail then on to goat rock trail. Tried to go on a side trail (climbers only trail) seen on this map to bypass backtracking but it is apparently private property— there was even a sketchy red sign saying people should “heed the warnings”.. didn’t risk it. We went left at the fork on Saratoga to castle rock falls first, then back around down (or up rather) ridge trail. Overall, great hike!

1 month ago

Great hike. Wear a good pair of hiking shoes, bring two bottles of water, snacks, and a trekking pole to help with the incline.

hiking
1 month ago

We didn’t have as much time as we would have liked, but we will definitely be back. This trail has lots of gnarly rocks on either side, which I enjoy. There was a little scrambling to be done in the way to Goat Rock especially, but nothing too bad. You can see across Monterey Bay from the top of Goat Rock!

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice hike. Castle Rock falls is very dry compared to the spring but still fun to watch the rock climbers. Parking is always a nightmare if you get here too late. Overall a super fun day out!

hiking
1 month ago

Can get a little chilly in the winter months, but offers beautiful views of the forest and valley as well as lush green vegetation. Most parts of the trail are easy, but there are a few rock scrambles, especially around Goat Rock.

hiking
1 month ago

great walk and climbs rock.

hiking
1 month ago

Went there few times with friends. Always enjoyed the nice view and trails.

2 months ago

Amazing views of Santa Cruz mountains. Fun trail that winds in and out of forest giving a good workout. Beautiful ‘tafonis’ and variety of trees. Highlight was the goat rock itself where we watched an elderly person free solo the goat rock!

2 months ago

Very nice view.

trail running
3 months ago

Mostly climbing but got some mileage in

hiking
3 months ago

Hike took about 2 hours to complete. A little bit more challenging than expected but you can definitely do this as a newer hiker. Shade was about 80%. For the sunny portions of the trail, make sure you bring enough water to stay hydrated! Would recommend bug repellent for those who are prone to getting bug bites (bugs we're aggressive at the start of the hike).Would definitely recommend! The views of the mountains are priceless!

hiking
3 months ago

A more populated trail at first but eventually the people will thin out. Surprisingly challenging in a few spots. Great for a quick hike with fun rocks to climb through and around.

hiking
4 months ago

-easy to moderate hike, ran most of the trail
-sun was intense, trees provided partial shade
-highlight was the rock climbing and navigating your own path up and into the rocks
-would love to do this one again some day

hiking
4 months ago

Great workout!

hiking
4 months ago

Good trail. Gets a little dusty in the middle with no shade. I went on a really hot day so while the views were really good the heat killed the mood.

4 months ago

Good

4 months ago

This was an amazing hike. The views are insane! Definitely moderate so be prepared. My BF and I loved it

hiking
5 months ago

It is quite challenging but the views are spectacular. Go only if you are experience hikers! There were a lot of bugs end of august, we had bug repellent but they just keep attacking...

hiking
5 months ago

This is one of my favorite and usual hiking trip. Castle rock's main and complete hike throughout the park (that can be done in few hours). Although all parts of this trail are good, but lately, there have been lot of bugs and mosquitos around the whole trees and shade (80% of trail). Irritating and takes away 1 star.

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