A Hands-on Education Experience for Students

Students have the ability to learn first hand about the natural wonders of Castle Rock State Park. Field trips delve into concepts such as geology, Native American peoples, wildfire ecology, and watersheds. These field trips focus heavily on involving the five senses to create a strong connection to nature, the concepts studied, and to provide excellent information retention.


Tour Options

*School tours are free with a reservation at least 14 days in advance.  A minimum donation of $1/person is suggested.

Castle Rock Loop Trail

Description: Hike the Castle Rock Loop with a park interpreter! This hike showcases the decomposers of the forest, the unique tafoni rock formations, interspecies competition, wildfire ecology, and native land management practices.
Grades: Walk is geared towards Grades 3-6, but it can be adapted for other grades. (Contact park staff for more information).
Duration: 90-120 minutes, depending on whether or not the group wants to have lunch at Castle Rock.
Standards: 2-ESS1-1, 2-ESS2-1, 4-ESS1-1, 4-ESS2-1



Kids2ParksKids2Parks is an innovative park-equity program to bring students from Title 1 schools to State Park field trips for free. 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/k2p


 Basic Tour Information

  • All tours with students (K-12th grade) require a ratio of at least one adult chaperone per seven children. If this is a hardship for your school please call (831) 291-8273 to discuss this with the staff.

  • Adult chaperones and teachers are in charge of discipline and first aid on tours.

  • Up to 2 tours can be scheduled per day on Wednesdays and Thursdays with the start times being 10:00am and 12:30pm.

  • There is no charge for school tours. School groups grades K-12 who have made a reservation at least 14 days in advance will receive free parking passes in a confirmation packet.  A minimum donation of $1/person to our non-profit association is requested. The donation provides funding for future educational tours and special events. Other groups (senior citizens, scouts, etc.) and individuals pay parking fees as follows: $10 per automobile, $50 per 10-24 passenger bus, $100 per 25-or-more-passenger bus.

  • BLACKS ROAD IS NOT PASSABLE BY BUSES AND SHOULD NOT BE USED. Please plan alternate travel route for field trip. 


How to Make a Reservation

Please click here to request a virtual Castle Rock school program. In-person programs are not available at this time.