Sunrise to sunset
Trail Camps require registration or reservations.
Castle Rock State Park
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Registration for California State Parks Backpacking Adventure opens February 1. For more information, click here.
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.
Castle Rock Trail Camp
The trail camp is open year round on a first-come, first-serve basis. It has trash receptacles, bathrooms, and 20 campsites with picnic tables and fire rings. Wood is available for sale during the wet season. Fires are not allowed during fire season. The cost is $15 per campsite per night. This includes overnight parking for one vehicle. Each additional vehicle is $8 per night. To register and pay your fees, check in at the Entrance Station at the Castle Rock parking lot. If you arrive when the station is not staffed, you can use the self-registration envelopes. Make sure you bring exact change or a check to use in case you must use the self-registration. Place your receipt on the dashboard in a visible place as proof of payment. Rangers will verify payment. For more information about camping and fire closure dates, please call Castle Rock State Park at (408) 867-2952. For more information and reservations for Waterman Gap Trail Camp, please visit the Santa Cruz Mountain State Parks Backcountry Trail Camp Page. California State Parks offers naturalist-led backpacking adventures in the Santa Cruz Mountains. For more information, please click here.
Basic Park Information
*Please note there is no visitor center or store facilities at Castle Rock.
FEES: There is a $8 vehicle day-use fee. [Regular Sized Auto: $8 (Senior $7, age 62 or older); Bus Parking (10-24 passengers): $50; Bus Parking (25+ passengers): $100]
*Please bring cash*
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.
Kids2Parks is an innovative park-equity program to bring students from Title 1 schools to State Park field trips. The program, a partnership between California State Parks and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, increases the number of students who have visited a state park or beach by reducing barriers to access. The program offers transportation funding for field trips to select Title 1 schools in Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. For more information, and to apply please visit www.thatsmypark.org/visit/k2p/.
Available Activities and Facilities at Castle Rock State Park
Hike or Bike Campsites
Drinking Water Available