Trails.com is merging with AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Castle Valley Loop Trail

EASY 35 reviews
#76 of 193 trails in

Castle Valley Loop Trail is a 3.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Soda Springs, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 3.6 miles Elevation Gain: 600 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Awesome hike. Beautiful wildflowers, loved the ridge. Lots of mosquitos and steep downhill.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

The trail is well maintained and moderately trafficked as described. The views are beautiful and bountiful wild flowers. I only gave a star less because we were absolutely covered in mosquitos... wear long clothes

hiking
6 months ago

Simple and easy if you don’t want to climb the peak itself. Beautiful wildflowers in spring.

Monday, October 08, 2018

A really nice hike. Note that at the initial trailhead from the gate you take the right “road/trail”. The road to the left leads somewhere else. Not too many people. Quite a few dogs, if that matters to you. There is a LOT of fire road to walk on. If you’re there on the weekend you will likely encounter several trucks. But, it’s beautiful and a breath of fresh air, literally.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Fun trail! Best views of Castle Peak at the beginning of the loop and again at the end. Shaded by trees through most of the trail loop, but does get hot getting to the loop and when you finish the loop where most of the trees are off the path. Some of the trail is an off road track for trucks, so if you want a shorter hike you can drive your truck to the top of the loop and hike to Castle Peak from there.

hiking
Monday, August 27, 2018

Excellent 1-hour loop, if you are on-the-way to the Bay Area or Reno Tahoe areas. Easy access right off I-80 on the Castle Peak / Boreal exit. There are so many trails that connect in this area, as the Pacific Crest Trail leads straight through. We were headed to Nevada City and wanted to do a hike in the Donner Summit area that is short enough for about an hour, but long enough to feel like a hike. The Castle Valley loop fit the bill. Varied terrain. Shade from towering Douglas Fir layered with lichens and moss, green and beautiful. Striking meadow. Contrasting views of Castle Peak. There is one trail fork that has no marker. If you come back the same way, just look for the rock signal. Also good, this trail connects with the Summit Lake and Castle Peaks trails. You can connect to the Donner Summit rest area if you like. Overall, we will take a group on this trail again for one of our trekking pole adventures. Excellent starter group hike, not too steep. - Mike & Angel EarthTrek Gear

hiking
Saturday, June 23, 2018

Fun trail, with gradual incline. Fun to run but in certain parts be careful of rocks / snow. Great views at Castle Rock Peak.

hiking
Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Nice hike on a packed snow trail. Went to the ridge for nice views of Castle Rock, wasn't clear if the full loop would go thru, given the snow, which was light for the time of year. We did it in hiking boots without problems, but most were using snowshoes or back country skis.

snowshoeing
Tuesday, January 30, 2018

First part of the trail was packed down and snow shoes weren’t even necessary, but when I turned off to head across the valley it was completely untracked! Follow the blue diamonds to stay on the trail. FYI there were a couple tricky stream crossings with steep snow banks

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Great loop. Best view of Castle Mountain ever!

hiking
Saturday, July 08, 2017

I took this hike with my wife and two boys, 6 and 9. We only did the western side of the loop, going up to the ridge at the join-up with the PCT, which is about 2 miles one way. The trail itself was mostly a dirt service road. The path was well-maintained, with tree clearing and rocks added at washout points. The snowmelt had been enough to be mostly clear near the bottom, with drifts on the last half mile up to 6 feet near the ridge, but still passable on foot. When you reach the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), take 5 minutes to go up the ridge for splendid views of Castle Peak and two valleys. The biggest challenge was poor signage on the route. The forest service signs don't recognize this path, just marking it as a road with no clear connection to the PCT. There are side routes without clear signage. I met someone on the trail who talked about getting lost twice. Fortunately, the AllTrails app was accurate and I was able to use the map via app to make the right decisions at 3 crossings.

hiking
Thursday, September 01, 2016

I hiked this loop at the end of my work day, I'll definitely be back to check out the surrounding trails. Nice views and easy walk. Trails are well marked but I went the wrong direction a couple times (I wasn't paying attention). I easily got back on track but be aware their are a few other trail heads leading off of this route.

recorded Castle Peak Trail

hiking
22 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

recorded Paradise Lake Trail

hiking
2 months ago

recorded Castle Peak Trail

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

recorded Castle Peak Trail

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

snowshoeing
8 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

10 months ago

hiking
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

hiking
Saturday, June 09, 2018

hiking
Thursday, January 04, 2018

hiking
Thursday, September 07, 2017

Load More

Featured Trails