Castle Rock State Park
Castle Rock State Park
4.5
6:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
6:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
6:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
6:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
6:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
6:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
6:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
6:00 AM - 7:00 PM
About
This popular park is ideal for hikers, backpackers, and rock climbers, and perfect for day trips.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Castle Rock State Park and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles105 reviews
Excellent
62
Very good
35
Average
6
Poor
1
Terrible
1

5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Friends
Although I have lived in California most of my life and have traveled to more than 33 countries, this park is a hidden treasure . The Ohlone Indians once thrived here for centuries.
You can walk from the park to Ana Nuevo which is a 30 mile trek from Skyline Blvd .to the coast. It is a lifetime goal that I want to pursue with my children.
The rock formations look like they came from the Lord of The Rings.

Please be sure to pay the nominal fee to preserve the park, it’s obvious that the Rangers stationed here truly care about this park. They ensure the park is spit shine to put it bluntly.
Written March 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Angela
Austin50 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016 • Family
We went to this park for the first time this week. It was overall a great park, with lots of scrambling over rocks, if you like that sort of thing. Castle Rock itself is NOT to be missed -- the rock formations inside the caves are really amazing. I am mostly writing this review to provide some information that I think would have been helpful for me to have before we left.

1. The park station is basically a kiosk in a parking lot, and it is only manned on the weekends. If you park in the lot (please do -- doesn't it seem right to support your local wild spaces?) it will cost $8. You have to have exact change, in cash, or a check (!). They have tiny envelopes where you fill out your personal info and insert your payment, then rip off the top of the envelope to put on your dashboard to show that you have paid.

2. It's not busy on the weekdays, or at least not when we were there (Tuesday at 10:00). We saw 4-5 other groups of hikers. Plenty of parking in the parking lot at that time.

3. It was COLD up there! We were lucky to run into a park ranger while we were there, and she told us that it can be 20 degrees colder up there than in San Jose. It was probably in the mid-50s in downtown San Jose when we left, and I doubt it was over 40 when we got to Castle Rock. Wear layers!

4. The trails. One trail is 1/3 of a mile to Castle Rock -- that trail leaves from the lefthand side of the parking lot (as you turn in). It's a fairly steady uphill, but a smooth path and even maybe an old logging road in part. Castle Rock is great for kids who like to scramble around on boulders, and wonderful for exploration, even though the main rock formation isn't all that big. The trail is entirely in the forest.

5. The waterfall and scenic overlook. The waterfall isn't much to see (we were there two days after the park ranger told us they had gotten 9 (!) inches of rain), but the view is great, and the sheer cliff that the observation station perches on is pretty impressive. The trail is 95% in the forest.

6. Goat Rock itself. The hike along the Saratoga path was pretty rough, and in places it wasn't clear which was the right way to go. At the end of the path you have a choice of approach to Goat Rock. Professional climbers will go down to the left to scale the tall, clifflike side, while the rest of us want to keep to the right and take the trail (and all those stairs, whew!) to the top of the rock. You can climb the rock from that side with a little effort -- my 10-year-old figured out that there are sort of natural handholds in the rock that you can use to pull yourself up. Just be careful of the drop on the other side! The view is totally worth the effort to haul yourself up there. Do note that the rock is sandstone and is slippery, especially when wet. The trail is half forest and half exposed mountain top: it was cold in the morning when we got there but we were hot by the time we got to the top of the rock!

7. The drive. It took us about half an hour from the Whole Foods in Cupertino (280 and 85), but we went through Los Gatos. We could have exited 85 to Saratoga Ave and cut off 5-10 minutes. The drive up is gorgeous, but really narrow in places with lots of blind turns, and a shocking amount of cyclists -- please be careful!
Written October 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

roald852
Los Gatos, CA41 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2018 • Friends
There are plenty of trails to keep you hiking for the day. A nice quick hike is down to the falls and you’ll have a view that is awesome. There is some decent climbing for those that want to get out of the gym and not have to drive all the way to Yosemite. Castle Rock, Goat Rock, and the falls are the main climbing areas. It can get pretty busy so the be ready for the crowds on a nice day.
Written September 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

deepchi
California313 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Couples
Too crowded on weekends.
Dusty and dry. Better off going in the winter or late spring. No water in the waterfall or creek bed.
Shooting range noise and jet overflights ruin the experience.
Weird ranger.
Maze of unofficial trails.
Place feels somewhat worn out due to overuse.
Bad parking situation.
Written October 26, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Subramanian P
Tiruchirappalli, India65 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016 • Friends
Castle Rock state park has 2 easy 2 moderate and 2 strenuous trails. We took the moderate one saratoga gap trail till camping grounds and on the way saw goat rock. It was a good hike for 2-3 hours in total.

Parking costs 8 dollars . Hike is pretty good and it is a good place for people who have fun climbing rocks . Also there are boudlers or rock formations on the trail. You may need to climb a few to get across. Also at one point there are steel ropes drilled on rocks for you to hold and across as it is too steep. Overall this park has variety of ferns, wild mushrooms and trees and it is good adventure with nature.
Written December 3, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

venkat39
Chicago, IL42 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Couples
Great winding road up from Los Gatos to the park (about 20 min from Los Gatos). Parking is $8 but looks like you can park right outside the lot for free. Restroom was horrible. The hike itself was wonderful. Go on a sunny day though, so you can see the views. There are two trails: Saratoga gap trail and Ridge trail.
Written May 19, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lokeyh
San Jose, CA29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Friends
This is a great area to hike. We took the longer trail (5.8 miles round trip) to the campground. You can see Santa Cruz Mountains along the way and the views are spectacular. There are some sections of the trail that have tricky footing, so be careful.

There are free parking outside the entrance of the park. If you arrive slightly late and all the free parking lots are taken up, you can park at the entrance of the park for $8.
Written October 22, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Harry T
Bay Area34 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2018 • Solo
There are many trails and several loops. Beautiful falls.
Some of the trails are a little scary with anchors on the cliffs to hold onto. Some actual climbing areas always seem to be in use.
Written August 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CaliforniaMomOfTwo
Scotts Valley, CA72 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Friends
Castle rock is always gorgeous. All legal parking often gone by 9am on weekends especially in summer, then cars will pause right on skyline and wait for something to open up - this is crazy! Skyline is state highway 35! Just because it’s in the woods doesn’t mean you can stop there.
Written June 25, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maria2882
Tel Aviv, Israel77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017
I love this hike. It is easy, has beutiful views and a waterfall. It coudl be a bit slippery at places so be careful.
Written January 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 98
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Castle Rock State Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Los Gatos HotelsLos Gatos Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Los Gatos
All things to do in Los Gatos
Day Trips in Los Gatos
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars