Castle Rock State Park

Los Gatos, California 95032

Castle Rock State Park

Castle Rock State Park Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Castle Rock State Park is on one of the highest ridges in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The hike features great variety: cool, dark mixed forests, creeks and a seasonal waterfall, dry, manzanita-lined ridges, grassy hills, oak savanna, and above all, rock formations. The boulders come in amazing shapes, with curves, crevices, and caves. On weekends, you will see climbers navigate their way up 90-degree rock faces with chalky fingers. The giant boulder that gives the park its name sits in high woodland toward the end of the hike. There are interpretive exhibits and scenic overlooks that show off the park’s 5,300 acres and over 50 miles of hiking paths. Trails Surface: Single- and some double-track dirt trail; rocky paths passing between giant boulders."

More Castle Rock State Park Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: San Francisco (Menasha Ridge Press)
Jane Huber
View more trails from this guide book
"Castle Rock is an appropriate, majestic name for a park with so much natural beauty. Starting at the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, this hike descends through an evergreen forest, winds through chaparral and oaks past massive boulders and smaller sandstone formations, offers fabulous, sweeping views west, and stops at a waterfall before returning uphill toward the trailhead. On the return leg, a brief detour visits the park’s namesake rock formation." Read more
"This hike explores the deep folds and rocky heights of Castle Rock State Park, perched up on the ridge of the Santa Cruz mountain range between the urban centers of San Jose and Santa Cruz. The dense oak forest of the park is studded with large granite outcrops that local rock climbers find irresistible. The park’s namesake Castle Rock is marked by strange honeycomb formations, but it is Goat Rock that provides the best views." Read more

Castle Rock State Park Reviews

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon2 Total
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
The scenery was beautiful. The only problem was the map vs trail markers - not well done. Also, several of the bridges on the trail are out, so be prepared to get your feet wet. I would still recommend this hike.
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
This was a very nice hike! We had emerged from the fog-filled bay to the sunny SC mountains for a nice meandering hike in Castle Rock. The first ~6 miles were very mellow, not a lot of incline/decline with soft needly ground cover. The vistas were breathtaking!

The "sunny south-facing slope" was pretty toasty, but followed quickly by more shade.

The two negatives: the gunshots ringing out from the gun club up HWY 35 (audible at the beginning and towards the end)and the time spent walking just below HWY 9 (for about 1/2 hour to an hour at the beginning).

Castle Rock State Park Photos

Show off your photography skills ... post your pics of this trail!

Trail Information

Los Gatos
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
3 hours
Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to dusk
Castle Rock State Park
Local Contacts
USGS Castle Rock Ridge
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018