Castle Rock State Park, Saratoga Gap Trail


Location: Los Gatos, Santa Clara County
Hike Date: 2017, June 10, Saturday
Hike Stats
: 5.4 miles, 4 hours, 1700 feet

Previous Visit: 2015, October 4, Sunday

One of the Sandstone Outcrops on the Saratoga Gap Trail

Exquisite sandstone formations and sculpted caves are among the treasured features within this park’s vast wilderness.


For my previous trip to this state park in 2015, check out this post.
For other trails in Castle Rock State Park, check out this post on Skyline to the Sea Trail.

TOP
* Parking* About the State Park
* Restroom* Route
* Trailhead* Route Map
* Exposure* Shots from the Hike

PARKING

  1. Parking LotCastle Rock State Park Parking Lot. No cellular reception inside the preserve.
  2. Parking Fee: $8 inside the parking lot, which can get full quickly on weekends. Street parking is free, but even the street parking spots are limited.

RESTROOM

Next to the parking lot/trailhead (‘A’ in the route below)

TRAILHEAD

Next to the parking lot

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EXPOSURE

Mostly shaded, some parts exposed

ABOUT THE STATE PARK

  • Castle Rock Falls – there is an observation platform
  • Numerous sandstone outcrops with ‘tafoni’ formations including the Castle Rock and Goat Rock
  • Panoramic views
  • Russell Point

ROUTE (LOOP, CLOCKWISE)

  • Trailhead (A)
  • Lower trail at the fork after the bridge, signs for ‘Campground’ / ‘Castle Rock Falls’ –> Saratoga Gap Trail (B)
  • Ridge Trail (C) — turnaround point
  • Stairs down after the Goat Rock –> Ridge Trail (C)
  • Saratoga Gap Trail (D) — repeat of a part of ‘B’

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ROUTE MAP

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SOME SHOTS FROM THE HIKE

Restroom Next to the Parking Lot
Restroom Next to the Parking Lot
Saratoga Gap Trail (B)
Saratoga Gap Trail (B) – also the way to the Castle Rock Falls
Panoramic View of the Santa Cruz Mountains
Panoramic View of the Santa Cruz Mountains
A Creek Bridge
A Creek Bridge
Turning Around to the Ridge Trail (C)
Turning Around to the Ridge Trail (C)
Tafoni Ribs Inside a Sandstone Cave
Tafoni Ribs Inside a Sandstone Cave
Ridge Trail (C)
Ridge Trail (C)

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Some of the plants spotted in the park:

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2 thoughts on “Castle Rock State Park, Saratoga Gap Trail

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