Kirkwood Entrance Station Hours: 8am to 5pm, Monday through Sunday
Day Use Hours: 6am to Sunset.
Trail Camps require registration or reservations.
Guided hikes and other in-person park programs have resumed in Santa Cruz-area State Parks! Pre-registration is required. Visit www.santacruzstateparks.as.me to see the schedule and make reservations.
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.
*Please note there is no visitor center or store facilities at Castle Rock.
FEES: There is a $10 vehicle day-use fee. [Regular Sized Auto: $10 (Senior $9, age 62 or older); Bus Parking (10-24 passengers): $50; Bus Parking (25+ passengers): $100]
*Please bring cash*
NO CELL RECEPTION within the park and the surrounding area. Due to this, ridesharing services are not recommended.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS are available.
DOGS are prohibited throughout the park (except for service animals). Nearby Sanborn County Park allows dogs.
HORSES are allowed on Saratoga Toll Road which extends from Saratoga Gap to Big Basin Redwoods State Park.
BICYCLES are allowed on the Skyline Trail (Bay Area Ridge Trail) located on the north side of Highway 35.
DRONES are not allowed in the park. To protect wildlife and cultural resources, and for the safety and welfare of visitors and staff, the park is closed to the use of Model Aircraft, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and Gliders in flight.
GLASS CONTAINERS are prohibited through out the park.
SMOKING is prohibited through out the park.
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.
RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY rights and stay on designated trails.
NATURAL & CULTURAL FEATURES ARE PROTECTED BY LAW - Do not pick wildflowers, mushrooms, or other plants, or remove any park features. Do not deface rocks with graffiti or feed, disturb, or harm wildlife.
WEDDINGS, PARTIES, AND SPECIAL EVENT PERMITS please call (831) 335-6324 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking to share your love of these parks with the public? Or are you more interested in helping out behind the scenes, patrolling the backcountry and reporting trail conditions to park staff? Opportunities abound here at Castle Rock and Portola Redwoods State Parks!
The Santa Cruz District Wilderness Patrol program is seeking new volunteers! Volunteer responsibilities include roving interpretation, basic trail maintenance, visitor services (rules and regulations), and resource conservation (eg. invasive plant mitigation and interpretation of prescribed burns and areas impacted by wildfire). Wilderness Patrol Volunteers can patrol in Wilder Ranch, Henry Cowell, Nisene Marks, Portola, Castle Rock, or Big Basin State Parks, and are expected to work an average of at least 5 hours per month and should be able to hike at least 3 miles over varied terrain.Training begins mid May of 2022! To apply, please submit this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1yOB6SFga1-_dajvPcy6Ns1f-i_wUhnvrYN9iGFE90CM/edit?usp=sharing
This park is Crumb Clean! Watch this short video to learn about the marbled murrelet, an endangered bird that nests in the park, and how you can protect it. Vea el video en español aquí.