Castle Rock State Park Loop

San Francisco, California 94128

Castle Rock State Park Loop

Castle Rock State Park Loop Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"A short backpacking trip to a lightly traveled trail camp, this adventure rewards with fantastic sandstone boulders and towering views of the San Lorenzo River and Pescadero Creek watersheds."

More Castle Rock State Park Loop Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Classic Hikes in Northern California (The Mountaineers Books)
John R. Soares & Marc J. Soares
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"This journey in Castle Rock State Park has many features: sweeping vistas of Monterey Bay, odd-looking sandstone slabs, and groves of black oak and coast live oak. Explore the recesses of Castle Rock’s sandstone caves."
"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, 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 along the way."

Castle Rock State Park Loop Trip Reports

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Really nice hike, even on a crowded Sunday. Lots of time under forest canopy, then an extended period exposed to full sun (warm in July!). Great views over huge forested valleys leading towards Santa Cruz - who knew we had all that wilderness right here?! We did the Rocks loop (.8 mile) then the "short" loop (3.1 miles) towards the campground - turned arouind at the interconnnecting trail - and it was the perfect length. If it's warm, go in the AM or very late afternoon to avoid baking and bring about twice the amount of water that you normally bring for a 2 hour jaunt - it really cooks in summer.
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Nice walk, but very warm in exposed areas. Bring plenty of water. Sounds from gun range very annoying in parts.

Castle Rock State Park Loop Photos

Trail Information

San Francisco
Nearby City
1,900 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Views, Waterfalls
Castle Rock State Park
Local Contacts
Castle Rock State Park Map by California State Parks and the Portola
Local Maps

Trail Log