Castle Rock State Park

Casual Hiking at Castle Rock on the Ridge Trail

The Bay Area Ridge Trail gently dips and rises through a shady mixed-growth forest and sandstone outcroppings at Sanborn County Park and Castle Rock State Park. The well-used path roughly parallels Skyline Drive along the eastern ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains above the Silicon Valley.

We are hiking the 400-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.

TRAIL MAP (date hiked)

  • Sanborn County Park
  • Sanborn County Park
  • Castle Rock State Park
  • Castle Rock State Park
  • Castle Rock State Park
  • Castle Rock State Park

Our Journal: Sanborn County and Castle Rock State Parks

Some Ridge Trail segments climb mountains. Other nodes leave hikers exposed to the sun across vast expanses of grassland. We’ve encountered a scramble or two. The trail at Sanborn County and Castle Rock State parks, however, provided a nice respite from these and other challenges we’ve encountered on our Bay Area hiking odyssey.

Sometimes it’s nice just to park along the side of a road and follow a shady meandering trail through the woods. (We could have shared this hike with our grandchildren.) The sandstone formations were a bonus. If you’re on foot, be sure to take the hikers-only detour to the rock outcrops a mile or so from Saratoga Gap.

The only downside was noise from traffic on Skyline Drive and from the outdoor shooting range at the Los Altos Rod and Gun Club, adjacent to the state park on the other side of the highway.

Miles we hiked


(with returns and connectors)

Elevation gain






Our Progress Hiking the Bay Area Ridge Trail – 215 out of 400 miles


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