Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail: Castle Rock Route

HARD 17 reviews

Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail: Castle Rock Route is a 27.8 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Los Gatos, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 27.8 miles Elevation Gain: 2,998 feet Route Type: Point to Point

backpacking

camping

hiking

trail running

beach

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

no dogs

This map shows the full Skyline-to-the-Sea route from the Castle Rock State Park entrance. Be advised that trail camps may not have trash collection and/or water available; check park conditions before starting out. Reservations are required to use the campgrounds and you may need up to a two month lead time. Call 831-338-8861 for same-day reservations.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Amazing mini-thru-hike. Campsites have running potable water, Jay Camp HQ has all the amenities and fully stocked (beers!). The third day was by far the best part of the trail through beautiful redwood groves and the highlight Berry Creek Falls. Can't wait to do it again, next time with my kids. Mosquitos were pretty brutal (July) when standing/sitting still, so bring plenty of repellent!

hiking
1 month ago

How could a walk through the majestic redwoods be anything but a 5-star experience?! Could the signage have been better? Yes. But, have you ever seen great signage at a state or national park? We did the classic Skyline to the Sea hike over 3 days and 2 nights, starting at Castle Rock parking lot and ending at Waddell Beach. My wife and I both drove separate cars since there isn’t a public transit option, or a reliable taxi/Uber option from either location. After dropping off a car at Waddell we drove to Castle Rock to start the trip. Day one we hiked to Waterman Gap. The signage was pretty poor and confusing at times so think about downloading a GPS guide (we paid for All Trails pro) that works offline and talk to people on the trail if you have questions. From there we went to Jay Camp at the Big Basin headquarters. Both sites had bathrooms and potable water. The walk from Jay to Waddell Beach was incredible! So hard to put into words. Trekking through giant redwoods for hours, mostly under the shade, so much green! There were some fallen trees along the way but it was all manageable. The final 1.5 miles to Waddell Beach felt longer than it was because we were tired and the trail borders the edge of a rocky hillside. But coming around the corner to see the ocean and feel that cool breeze is worth every step. I’d highly recommend this hike to anyone with some backpacking experience. In total we probably did about 30-32 miles, but like I said the hike is easy to moderate, and the campsites have amenities to make things easier. Can’t wait to go explore the Santa Cruz Mountains again!

hiking
3 months ago

My son and I did this trail May 9-11, 2019 and had a fantastic adventure! The creeks we’re running strong, the trails were in great shape and the landscape was beautiful. I would have given it a 5-star rating but the road noise while on the trail and at Waterman Gap Campground has to be taken in to account. I’ll for sure do this trail again!

Great for a 3-day backpacking trip near the Bay!

hiking
bugs
rocky
3 months ago

Did this trail April 25th-28th 2019 spread out over 3 nights. Stayed at castle rock campsite, waterman gap, and jay camp in big basin. Had great weather all 3 days. We parked our car at waddell beach and had a friend drop us off at castle rock trail head. Started late Thursday 25th around 8pm and hiked to castle rock campsite then began the decent to waterman gap the next morning. Waterman gap is a nice camp site just be ready with the bug spray as we got rushed by mosquitos.The decent to big basin (jay camp) was the best part of he trip, nice and cool with some of the best views that are remarkably beautiful through old growth redwoods. Our last day down to Waddell beach was also quite nice but had a lot more traffic. Definitely a challenging hike but well worth the efforts! Only complaint is that the trail can be very vague and makes you question whether your heading in the right direction. Would do again in a heartbeat!

Nice two-day trip. We started at Waddell beach, camped at Waterman Gap, and finished at Castle Rock. The views aren’t that amazing, but the trail is nice and well-maintained.

hiking
10 days ago

backpacking
3 months ago

backpacking
4 months ago

hiking
Friday, August 04, 2017

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday, September 24, 2016

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