Call the park
Castle Rock State Park
Registration Opens February 1 for California State Parks Backpacking
For a complete list of trips and more information, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/backpacking.
Visiting Castle Rock
Castle Rock State Park is a land of sculpted sandstone, lush forests, and sweeping vistas. From one of the highest ridges in the Santa Cruz Mountains, park visitors enjoy hiking, backpacking, and horseback riding. Rock climbers explore the park's caverns and rocks, including the namesake Castle Rock. Plant-lovers come for California black oaks, knobcone pines, and high-elevation coast redwoods. The park’s 34 miles of rugged trails conveniently connect to an extensive trail system that links the Santa Clara and San Lorenzo valleys to nearby Big Basin Redwoods State Park and open space preserves on the Skyline to the Sea Trail.
Primitive campsites for backpackers are the only overnight facilities. Equestrians are urged to call ahead for current trail information, and smokers are advised that, due to high fire hazard, smoking is prohibited on the trails within Castle Rock State Park.
• Park hours are from 6 a.m. to sunset, including all trails. Only campers registered in backpack trail camps may remain in the park overnight.
• Except for service animals, dogs are prohibited throughout the park.
• Glass containers and smoking are prohibited throughout the park.
• Bicycles may be ridden only on the Skyline and Service Road trails.
• Horses are permitted on designated equestrian trails only. Please check the map before your ride.
• Firearms or any device capable of harming any person or animal are prohibited— including BB guns, spears, bows, arrows and slingshots.
• Fires are permitted only in designated fire rings in the Castle Rock Trail Camp during the OFF fire season. Gathering firewood, including twigs and leaves, is prohibited. Firewood is sold at the Castle Rock Trail Camp.
• Quiet hours are 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily.
• Please respect private property rights and stay on designated trails.
• All natural and cultural features are protected by law. Do not pick wildflowers, mushrooms, or other plants, or remove any park feature. Do not deface rocks with graffiti or feed, disturb, or harm wildlife.
• Beware of rattlesnakes, ticks, and poison oak in camp and on trails.
Location - Directions
The park is located on Highway 35, just 2.5 miles southeast of the junction with Highway 9.
Latitude / Longitude: 37.2317 / -122.1158
Summer weather is hot and dry. In winter, mountain peaks may be dusted with snow, and temperatures can drop below freezing. In any season, the weather can change quickly.
Available Activities and Facilities at Castle Rock State Park
Hike or Bike Campsites
Drinking Water Available