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Sanborn Skyline Park to Castle Rock State Park

HARD 59 reviews
#3 of 16 trails in

Sanborn Skyline Park to Castle Rock State Park is a 14.3 mile loop trail located near Saratoga, California that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as difficult and offers a number of activity options.

Distance: 14.3 miles Elevation Gain: 2,985 feet Route Type: Loop



mountain biking

rock climbing





wild flowers




no dogs

All-day trek takes the best trails at two great parks along Skyline Boulevard southwest of Silicon Valley. This is a great route for expert hikers -- it starts out in the lush redwoods of Sanborn Skyline County Park southwest of San Jose, climbs to Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35) and crosses over to Castle Rock State Park, where it takes the popular Saratoga Gap Trail and returns to Sanborn Skyline. Note this is very strenuous outing -- 16 miles with over 3,000 feet of elevation gain -- but could be an excellent training hike for High Sierra adventures like Yosemite's Half Dome. The views of the Santa Cruz Mountains are awesome at Castle Rock. On your way back, check out Indian Rock, just off the Skyline Trail -- it's one of many fascinating formations along this route. Trails on this hike: First leg from Sanborn Skyline: Sanborn Trail to the top of the ridge near Highway 35. > Skyline Trail till you see the crossing to Castle Rock State Park. Second leg from Castle Rock: Saratoga Gap Trail to Trail Camp > Service Road to Loughry Woods Trail > Cross Highway 35 Third leg: Skyline Trail back to Sanborn Trail > San Andreas Trail back to the parking lot at Sanborn Skyline Park.

18 days ago

Hiking here is a very good especially in summer. Lot of shades throughout trail and we missed the actual route and end up hiking additional 2 more miles which was good. While coming back felt like the whole route is full of downhill and trails mainly made up for mountain bikers but it’s worth for hiking as well. Overall I can say good and if you want to avoid sun and hike under lot of shades this would be the perfect place for hiking in summer during day times.

3 months ago

Views aren't much, but great training for bigger hikes. Lots of shade.

This should be considered steep, not hard.

4 months ago

Buggy in warm weather. Started midway off of Skyline near9

4 months ago

Good trail if you want to log miles and elevation and like a variety of scenery. It was misty and cold the entire day (mid-April) which was nice!

11 months ago

This trail is great for running and hiking. It took me just over 3 hours to complete, and it was well worth it. Well maintained trails in beautiful forests and redwood groves in the lower loop, and more challenging rocky terrain with beautiful views in the upper loop. Bring plenty of water and download the map ahead of time!

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Nice shade throughout. Beautiful change in climate and landscape between Sanborn and Castle Rock. Very hard hike but one of my favorites. Exhausted at the end of it.

Friday, July 13, 2018

We hiked twice in the last two weeks. First time we stopped at Skyline, because the mist was getting heavier; The second time we were sort of lost as the sign wasn’t quite clear after Skyline. There were many bugs flying around and it was not pleasant at all. We hiked 14.5 miles but only gained 2700 ft of elevation. We liked the first part, the bugs could be due to the hot and humidity.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Good hike even in hot weather as 80% of it is in the shade. We really enjoyed the workout and the views. Not crowded at all. Definitely recommend for trail running and for local summer hiking. It took us 6 hours to complete. Download the map - it gets confusing sometimes.

Friday, June 01, 2018

great hike

Monday, March 05, 2018

Sanborn was pretty with all the trees but kind of boring honestly. Once we crossed over to the castle Rock side on the Saratoga gap trail it was gorgeous! Make sure you've downloaded the map because some of the intersections aren't very well marked.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Sanborn Park is nicely shaded while part of trails in Castle Rock Park offers great view.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


Wednesday, August 09, 2017

This was one for the books. It was very hard, lots of elevation and luckily it wasn't too hot of a day! Great single track for most of it, some fire road, super exhausting!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Long and strenuous trail. In fact two trails combined into one.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

This trail was a nice work out and a lot of fun! It's got a challenging assent with nice tree coverage, once you cross skyline road you get some wide open sky and nice views, then the decent is quick mostly down hill so you can move fast. It took me about five and a half hours with almost no breaks except to take photos.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

If you think of parking at Sanborn County Park, beware that they only open at 8:00. Except from that great trail : physical ups, easy to run flats, rocks to practice agility and technical downs. Extensively used AllTrail map and that saved me several times : thanks guys !

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

I recommend parking on Skyline at Saratoga Gap, Skyline Blvd. at Highway 9 (free parking). Hike south down trail parallel to Skyline and cross street to get to Castle Rock. Go early, because Castle Rock can be crowded. I've down this hike in both directions, and this direction provides the best views. The views on the Castle Rock trail are magnificent. Once in Castle Rock, I took Goat Rock Trail to Ridge Trail to Saratoga Gap (where the trail camp is), to Frog Flat, Saratoga Gap, Travertine Springs, Saratoga Toll Road, Achistaca Trail, Hickory Oaks and back up Saratoga Gap Trail. I'd give the trail 5 stars for it's wonderful views and beauty, but that trudge up the hill at the end in the heat was tough.

1 month ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

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