Castle Rock State Park
My weekly ramble #33
Monday, time for a recap of the weekend. Tom Brady dropped the ball. Justin Timberlake did not sing a duet with a hologram of Prince, but it was still a cool halftime show. And on Saturday I took my girls to one of the best known parks in the Bay Area. Castle Rock State Park is an immensely popular park. Lots of visitors are rock climbers, carrying their equipment and big pads to climb the large tufa formations. The other visitors are hikers who come to enjoy the spectacular views of the Santa Cruz Mountains with the Pacific Ocean in the distance.
Castle Rock does not have a whole lot of great hikes, but the loop we did, combines all the popular features of the park: views of the waterfall, rock formations and the magnificent view of the San Lorenzo River Valley from one of the highest spots in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
In order to find parking you either need to come early or to be patient. We got lucky after just a few minutes and started our hike from the Main Entrance. We did a 3.6-mile loop which took us about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
You start walking downhill on Saratoga Gap, then keep left to get to the waterfall overlook. On the platform there were some climbers who were about to repel down the cliff to eventually climb back up.
We continued on Saratoga Gap and really enjoyed the views and walking in the sun. The park lives up to its name and parts of the trail are quite rocky. I loved to see all the moss covered trees and ferns during our hike. In places it really looked like an enchanted forest.
We took the Interconnector trail to get up to Goat Rock.
My daughter took these pictures at the Emily Smith Observation Point.
I found the backside of the sign even more interesting.
More photographs from my daughter.
Overall, a beautiful hike with my girls. Afterwards, we treated ourselves with a velvet bundt cake 🙂
Castle Rock – check!
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. — John Muir