Tucked within the mountains surrounding the Bay Area, Castle Rock State Park is a simple excursion, perfect for hiking, camping, or mountain climbing.

Right off the bat, we walked by some patches of snow on the bottom (which left the bottom a touch slippery), but it didn’t deter us from our hike, because the snow later melted along the trail.

Starting off, we decided to require a loop trail: the Saratoga Gap trail which then led to the Ridge Trail. Along the way on the trail, we discovered Castle Rock Falls, where Kings Creek drops off a cliff. The viewing platform also gave us a view of the distant mountains and was an honest place for us to require a fast break for water and snacks.

We then continued along the Saratoga Gap trail. the trail was slightly rugged, rocky, and overall varied elevation. As we hiked within the afternoon, the sunny trail ran along the mountainside, giving us a view of the encompassing mountains and valley within the distance. Along the way, the Patrick Charles Allen Memorial Grove could be a nice clearing with a seating room that enables for a fast snack and water break.

On our way back, we discovered multiple spots great for mountain climbing. Although there could also be some serious rock climbers out here with ropes and hooks, there have been some medium sized rocks that were perfect for us to climb to urge an honest view. an honest area that offered intermediate rocks was Dan Seldow’s Fraggle Rock Grove; the rocks there had good footholds and handholds that led up to a surprising view on top of the rock. Lastly, the Ridge Trail led us to some more rocks, including Goat Rock, a preferred bouldering spot for several rock climbers.

The overall terrain changed from towering, dense redwood trees to a rocky landscape dotted with trees and dry grass. The trail loop took us an hour to complete, and for those that also want to explore the Saratoga Gap trail, we recommend bringing sunscreen, comfortable hiking clothes, some snacks, a bottle, and durable shoes!