Castle Rock Trail to Saratoga Gap Trail and Ridge Trail Loop

MODERATE 689 reviews
#1 of 9 trails in

Castle Rock Trail to Saratoga Gap Trail and Ridge Trail Loop is a 5.5 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
5.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1213 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

rock climbing

skiing

trail running

walking

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

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
8 days ago

Nice views along the trail, variety of wildlife - tons of flowers and trees sighted. May get hot in the summer but was great for a 70-80 degree day with plenty of shade.

hiking
9 days ago

beautiful scenery and ideal for morning hikes for the crisp air and pretty dew on foliage. definitely looking forward to hiking some of the other trails at Castle Rock next time.

9 days ago

Very nice hike

hiking
11 days ago

I love coming here. The views are amazing

hiking
12 days ago

There are lots of great trails in this park, but make sure to take a photo of the map at the beginning so you stay on the trail you want to be on. Also, the parking fee is $8.

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

Very moderate. On the weekend busy but parking was easy. The rock sculpting was impressive, worth a look. A bit foggy when I went but lots of good trail viewpoints. Sounds from the distant gun range echo like thunder from afar.

hiking
29 days ago

EXCELLENT trails - amazing views - and not so difficult.
parking is a bit of an issue.
highly recommended..

1 month ago

Lovely short hike!!!

1 month ago

Great cliff side hike with periodic framed views west. A few boulder scrambles but well-maintained trail. Obnoxious gun fusillades at the Goat point on the weekend.

1 month ago

Very nice trail with diverse scenery. Great views from the rock climbing spots.

1 month ago

You get to see people rock climbing its pretty cool!
Nice Hike

hiking
2 months ago

Went early on Sunday morning, 3/4. Take the unmarked trail to the left of the trailhead sign to go directly to Castle Rock. Didn't seem worth it to me, but to each their own. Some snow on the ground from yesterday's storm, with the sun melting snow in the trees. Wasn't expecting rain! Once I got to the falls I didn't need my raincoat. Despite the rain from yesterday, the falls were just more than a dribble. Nice hike on the Saratoga Gap side, but the Ridge trail gave much better views. It was more difficult with roots, steeper climbs, and boulders/rocks on the path, but worth it. Took me 3.5 hours with a lunch break. Nice area just west of Goat Rock to have a picnic. I hope to come back one day to do the Skyline to the Sea hike. Love having a wooded trail this close to home!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail, with a few rocks to casually climb and get hidden gorgeous views:)
Trail itself is well maintained.

hiking
2 months ago

Many ups and downs. Great mountain views. Fun to watch rock climbing and bouldering.

hiking
2 months ago

Wet nice spot to hike, the views are incredible at some points, there is a look out deck about 2 miles in, and if u go a little further, there’s a huge rock on the edge of the cliff if ur brave enough to climb and sit and take an amazing photo..definitely would return here.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful nature. A touching calmness.

3 months 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!

3 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months ago

great walk and climbs rock.

hiking
4 months ago

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

4 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!

5 months ago

Very nice view.

trail running
6 months ago

Mostly climbing but got some mileage in

hiking
6 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
6 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.

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