Castle Rock, Saratoga Gap and Ridge Trail Loop [CLOSED]

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Castle Rock State Park

Castle Rock, Saratoga Gap and Ridge Trail Loop [CLOSED] is a 12.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Saratoga, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 12.4 miles Elevation Gain: 2,237 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

running

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

closed

no dogs

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 there is currently no vehicle access to this trail or others in the park. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30355 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 of 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) 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
6 days ago

I went there today, the trail it was 14.7 miles. I liked it but it’s hard to figure out when the trails start or finish. I’ve been confused so many times.

hiking
6 days ago

Trail is beautiful. It is at least 2 miles more than the mentioned distance. It is very easy to get lost with the big loop, it is definitely recommended to download the maps before starting. Also the map doesn’t cover the waterfall or may be I missed a turn or something.

The view is good, but the map isn’t accurate

Comment from AllTrails

- 2 days ago

Map has been updated, thank you!

The trail is nice and way longer than stated (over 11mi)

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Este es un lugar muy bueno para caminar hermosas vistas pero lo mejor de todo son las rocas

Beautiful place with lots of sun and shade it’s open to hike but you can’t park inside

2 months ago

Does anyone know if this trail is open?

hiking
2 months ago

I thoroughly enjoyed this trail! Walking along the side of the mountain with a amazing overlook of trees and mountain ridgelines in the distance. Lots of rocks along the side to sit on and enjoy the view. I found the map helpful. I started following signs to the waterfall then continued along Saratoga trail and turned right when I got to the campsite. I took the pass to goat rock instead of following the loop all the way around. Nice and cool in the woods and lots of greenery! No ppl on March 25 earlier in the day but many groups started showing up after 3.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

The narrow rocky trails were super cool! It’s a bit crowded, though. Go early for a parking spot.

hiking
2 months ago

Good hike that never got too steep but the main issue we experienced (and several other hikers) was confusion as to where to go. We were on Saratoga Gap then went right to Goat Rock and there wasn’t anything telling us that Ridge trail picked up behind it, the sign is for campsites which is the direction to go. We ended up somehow looping around Goat rock 3 times during our hike. We did find the continuation of Saratoga Gap and took it to the end, where the sign again says Campsites and that’s where the correct way to go is if you’re doing the full loop. We had a lot of people asking us where to go during the entire hike and it was our first time too, so it was the blind leading the blind. Sometimes we hiked on what we thought were trails to only find a dead end. It’s annoying but then we kept in mind the whole point is to hike, even if it’s repeating steps and being a little lost. But rather than adding a lot of extra stairs to our hike and feeling uncertain as to where to go, it’s a good hike with nice views, some sun and a little shade. Go early to try to avoid crowds and get free parking outside of the entrance on Skyline. Also, it was very cool to watch people practicing rock climbing.

hiking
fee
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous place to wander around. Fairly steep and portions are rocky, but the amazing views are well worth it. We did find the trail map a bit confusing— recommend taking a picture of the color-coded kiosk map when you arrive and using that as your reference point. Looking forward to our next hike here.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful breathtaking place!!! the water fall was pretty dry the hike is easy not to challenging make sure ur wearing hiking shoe

hiking
3 months ago

Very nice hike, but no way it's easy as another hiker said. Lots of scrambling over rocks and long moderately steep stretches. Mostly shady. Don't count on water at the Castle Rock Trail Camp. It's shut off.

Easy 5 mile hike. 1000ft elev gain. Took us about 2 hr 30 min. Definitely not a moderate hike.

Well-maintained, popular trail with mix of hikers, runners, and climbers. Mostly wooded with plenty of shade and great views of the surrounding mountain range. No dogs allowed, and can be a bit crowded on weekends. Would recommend arriving well before 9:00 am on weekends to avoid issues with parking - lots do fill up and outside parking on the highway is restricted.

hiking
3 months ago

Excellent trail for hiking. Completed it in counter clockwise direction. Luckily got a parking. Highly recommended.

hiking
3 months ago

this trail is awesome. really beautiful views and not too challenging. the only bummer is the awful parking. make sure you get there early!

hiking
3 months ago

The trail is not difficult except for some areas where you have to climb rocks. If you are backpacking in, the sound from the gun range is very loud at space 13, where we were. That was disappointing.

hiking
3 months ago

Really lovely trail though with some scrambling so definitely not for those needing flat paths. Well maintained and phenomenal views. Go early as it gets busy and the parking lot fills up.

Good loop trail with great view and opportunity to do some rock climbing

3 months ago

beautiful location with some great Vista points along the trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Great Trail, went around noon,view is stunning! Goat Rock has to be visited, so pretty and exciting trail.

Really loved this trail with beautiful rock formations and shady trees. Great hike for any day!

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