King-Castle Trail

HARD 11 reviews

King-Castle Trail is a 9.1 mile out and back trail located near Blue River, Oregon that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
9.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1942 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

walking

forest

views

muddy

Directions from Springfield: Drive on Highway 126 for 2 miles to Horse Creek Road 2638. Turn left and follow this road about 2 miles to King Road (No. 2639). Take King Road approximately 3.5 miles to the trailhead.

hiking
9 days ago

Great trail so long as you take it to the top. The total mileage with going to the peak is around 11.2 miles which means start early, especially this time of year. Beautiful views from the top. Not much snow except for the last mile or so but even then it's flattened out by hikers. If you don't want to do the entire hike, you can drive up the majority of the way, hike the last mile, and still see the view.

hiking
3 months ago

The trail is degrading from mountain bikers. A lot of fine dirt on the trail. One down tree on the trail near the trailhead and another one by NF-482.

The short gravel road to the parking spot has about four big pot holes.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

According to the two GPS units I had "on board", this trail is between 11 and 12 miles when going from the trailhead just off E King Road to the summit. The main track on Alltrails stops 1.25 miles short of the summit.
A few key observations:
This is a mixed use trail favored by mountain bikers; while every biker i met on the trail was was courteous and following trail etiquette, walking up or down when folks are zipping down the single track requires a bit of extra caution. Also, bike use makes for different erosion patterns that sometime calls for adjustments to walking patterns (i was reminded of that the hard way, sliding on a finely grounded dirt layer on top of hard-packed earth... elbow open to the joint and a few stitches :-) in the ER that evening).
The parking at the trailhead is convenient but not. overly spacious (about 8 or 10 cars)
There are several ways to get to the summit (if views are mostly what you are after). Starting on E King Road is not the easiest one. Instead you can get to about one mile of the summit by car on O'Leary (dirt) road. Or you can use the Castle Rock Trail #3506 off Cougar Creek Road (that seems to shave 3+ miles off the total out-and-back).
The E King Road version of the trip will appeal to you if you enjoy (changing) forest walks on a well cut trail and/or if you are looking for a good workout at 6 miles and 3K cumulated elevation gain.
The views from the summit are sweeping, overlooking the McKenzie Valley East to West with the added bonus of the 3 sisters in the background (best view of the sisters appears to be from the saddle just below the summit).
The map on Alltrails shows only 3 switchbacks just below the summit but it is closer to 10 to reach the very top.
The summit is relatively small and free of vegetation on the West side while a small copse of tree provided welcome shade on the 80+ degrees day i made the climb.
I only gave 3 stars because there are so many stunningly beautiful hikes around... but this is no trial to thumb one's nose at. Good place to go when snow is still obstructing hikes in higher altitudes.

6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Coupled with Castle Rock trail, started at E. King Road trailhead and hiked under canopy to Castle Rock, great view, moderate-hard due to climb and switchbacks, watch out for single-track mtn bikers speeding down trail

trail running
8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Saturday, January 30, 2016

hiking
Monday, July 21, 2014

A beautiful hike thru the lush forest surrounding McKenzie Bridge/Rainbow that rewards you at the top of Castle Rock with a birds-eye view of the McKenzie River Valley. With all the trees below, it's tough to make out much more than the golf course and some of the homes, but it's still a sweeping view and the hike up really makes you feel like you accomplished something. Despite the climb, whoever routed this trail did a nice job because it's difficult without being overwhelming and it took only about 2:10 to get to the top. One final warning: Keep an eye out for mosquitos in spring. Oops, almost forgot - light crowds.

Friday, March 28, 2014