Castle Rock State Park is a really popular outdoor destination here in the South Bay. The park features several hiking trails, rare rock formations, camping, beach access (if you are willing to hike for it), and beautiful yet petite waterfalls. It is a favorite day trip for locals here in the San Francisco Bay Area!
There are several hiking trails in Castle Rock State Rock. The one I believe is the most beautiful, is the Castle Rock Falls trail. This roughly one mile trail, offers fun for the whole family. It’s an easy-to-medium hike, which features fun rock formations; kids enjoy climbing the rocks along the trail. Near the end of the trail, there is an overlook where you can see a beautiful waterfall. It isn’t a huge waterfall like Niagara Falls, but it is petite, fast-moving, and really pretty. The kids love it!
The end of the trail also offers beautiful views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and valley. We took my daughter’s girl scout troop on a family hike to Castle Rock Falls a week ago, and it was so much fun! The girls enjoyed the hike and loved climbing on all the rocks. Since they are middle-school age, the top of the rocks turned into fun photo opportunities. (Of course we always keep photos opps safe! You won’t find these girls on the news for trying to get an Insta photo at the expense of safety. These are trained girl scouts who know safety comes first!) But, I digress. . .
If you are looking for a beautiful trail the entire family can enjoy, Castle Rock State Park is a great place to go! There are several trails to choose from, but I highly recommend hiking the Castle Rock Falls trails to see the beautiful waterfall, and enjoy the fun rock formations along the way. Your kids will love it! I mean, kids love climbing on rocks, so of course they will have fun!
When you visit, there is a parking lot which is $10. At the end of the parking lot, there are bathrooms. There are also pamphlets available with maps and information about Castle Rock State Park. The pamphlets will give you information about all the trails in the park.
If you are looking for free parking, you can park nose first along highway 35 right after the parking lot entry-way. If you arrive after 9am, and the close parking is already taken, you can drive a mile down highway 35 and there is a free overflow parking lot. I highly recommend, no matter the time of year, to arrive around 8am in order to park where you want to park, and enjoy the trails without the crazy crowds.
Visit Castle Rock State Park like a local!
In addition to arriving at 8am, go in the off-season. The weekends during the summer are way over-crowded. I recommend going during the week if you want to visit during the summer months. Otherwise, the best time to go is during the fall, winter, or spring seasons.
Castle Rock State Park is located at 15000 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos, CA 95033; which is highway CA 35.
Have you been to Castle Rock State Park? Which trail is your favorite?
Thanks for stopping by!