Hike: Castle Rock State Park (South Bay)
Distance: ~6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,100' (Moderately Strenuous)
Est. Time: ~5 hours (including a lunch stop)
Parking: $8 (bring exact cash!)
This will be a joint event, with HCSV (the Harvard Club of Silicon Valley). Enjoy a wonderful hike with fellow MIT alums, Harvard friends, and guests. See http://www.harvardclubsv.org/e
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.
For more information about Castle Rock State Park, visit the park's web site:
You can download a brochure with a trail map from:
Carpooling is strongly encouraged, due to limited parking at the trailhead.
We'll hike ~0.5 miles along the Saratoga Gap Trail. At the intersection, stay to the left and continue along the Saratoga Gap Trail. Hike along this trail for another ~2 miles, to the Castle Rock Trail Camp. For the return portion of the hike, stay to the left at the intersection and hike up the Ridge Trail, via Goat Rock. When the Ridge Trail terminates at the Saratoga Gap Trail, turn left and follow the Saratoga Gap Trail all the way to the trailhead.
We'll do an optional ~1 mile extension at the end, along the Castle Rock loop just south of the park entrance.
No Dogs (sorry!). Dogs are not permitted at this park.
Warning: This is a moderately strenuous hike. Please be sure that you are comfortable with this level of effort before joining us.
What to Bring:
Start your day with a hearty breakfast. Bring water (at least 2 liters per person), lunch, snacks, hat, windbreaker, and multiple layers of clothing. Sunblock and sunglasses are advisable. Bring $8 cash, to pay for parking.
ALERT: Poison oak grows beside some of these trails. Be advised to wear long trousers, and stay on the trails.
Where we will meet:
We will meet in the parking lot at the park entrance (on the west side of highway 35, ~2.5 miles south of the intersection with highway 9).
If there's any ambiguity about the weather on the day of the hike, check the forecast on the morning of the hike.
If it's raining significantly, the hike is cancelled. If the weather is ambiguous, we will send out an email to the registered participants on the morning of the hike.
Joining any hike is entirely voluntary and participants assume any and all risks associated with the activities. By registering or attending this event, participants agree to the conditions posted at: