Backpack Castle Rock State Park

Added by Pascual Dutton

Skip the full campgrounds, these campsites are first come, first served. Hike from the parking area on the Saratoga Gap Trail 2.6 miles to camp. This is a great campground if you're looking to do a little bouldering as well. Duration: Overnight.

Castle Rock Trail Camp has a different policy than other backcountry camps in the area (i.e. campsites along Skyline to the Sea). This campground is open all year and is available on a first come, first served basis. If you can, grab a spot a Frog Flat Camp. To get to the camp, park your car at the entrance to Castle Rock State Park. From there, it's a 2.6 mile hike along the Saratoga Gap Trail to reach the Castle Rock Trail Camp and another 0.1 miles to Frog Flat.

These 20 campsites are pretty rustic, but have trash receptacles, bathrooms and the campsites include picnic tables and fire rings. Fires are not permitted during the dry season, but you can bring a gas camp stove. During the wet season, wood is for sale.

The cost for using a campsite is $15.00 per night. This includes overnight parking for one vehicle. Each additional vehicle is $8.00 per night. To register and pay your fees, check in at the Entrance Station at the Castle Rock Parking Lot. If you arrive when the station is not staffed you can use the self-registration envelopes. Make sure you bring exact change or a check to use in case you must use the self-registration. Place your receipt on the dashboard in a visible place as proof of payment. Rangers will verify payment.

It's a good option to call the park first to find if you need to find out more camping information or to check for park closures: (408) 867-2952.

Photo:Sourav Das

Read More

Tags

Camping
Backpacking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

1 mi hike from Gun Club

FYI, the campground is only a mile off Route 35 via the service road whose trailhead is next to the nearby gun club. Not the best option for those looking to park as close as possible; but if hiking in from preserves to the west, this can shorten your day by ~3.5 miles, which I appreciated after a 10mi hike over from Monte Bello Open Space Preserve.

Great spot near SF!

Lots of great camping sites. We took the saratoga trail there and the ridge view back. Get to the parking lot early and don't be a a-hole, park close to the cars next to you; therefore allowing as many cars in the parking lot as possible. The rangers are really nice, so are the other campers/hikers. Careful lots of bees and mosquitos. All around great spot for a weekend trip.

Quick Overnight Hike

Nice place for an overnight hike if you don't have to time to travel too far from the Bay Area. It's about 2.6 miles to the backpackers camp from the parking lot. You can only park in this lot, not in the street if you are staying the night. I suggest the sites where 13 is grouped at. Much better and more spacious than the the other ones. Site has running water and put toilets. All around good spot for beginners.

Stay Nearby

Los Gatos, California

Sunrise Point

Sunrise Point is a micro climate of the Santa Cruz Mountains with an elevation of 2,000 feet about sea level. Sometimes above the fog and clouds and some times in the thick of it! You will be surro...

From $125/night

Pescadero, California

Santa Cruz North / Costanoa KOA

Santa Cruz, California

Artemis

This campsite is steps away from stunningly beautiful hiking, bicycling and horse trails in the redwoods that open up to the ocean and Santa Cruz mountain views to the west; to the east is a worki...

From $100/night

Santa Cruz, California

Outsite // Santa Cruz

You'll be living in a beach house just 100 paces from the water. Make the most of the open plan kitchen and living space when you're working from home, making dinner or hanging out with friends. Yo...

From $60/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Backpack the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail

    Want to experience one of the bay area's most memorable backpacking trips? We've got the details to get you out on the trail.To start the trek, drop your car at the Castle Rock State Park Parking Lot, which is located ~2.5 miles south of the junct...

    30.8 miles

  • Hike the Saratoga Gap Trail

    The Saratoga Gap Trail is relatively lightly trafficked trail that is good year round, although waterfalls peak in late winter and spring. Overall, this 4.7 mile partial loop hike is moderate, with about 1000 feet in elevation change. Trailhead el...

    4.7 miles

  • Hike Sanborn County Park via the San Andreas Trail

    This is a moderately rated 4.2 mile trail that winds through the redwoods west of Saratoga.  It features a dirt trail with tall trees and a creek.  The hike is very tranquil and there is lot s of greenery.  There are big rocks in the creek that ca...

    4.2 miles 1282 ft gain

  • Lost Mine Trail Run

    Communes, dairy, and gold. These words are not often associated with trail running, but out on Monte Bello Ridge and Black Mountain which rise high above Silicon Valley, you might just hear them uttered.From the parking area in Skyline Open Space ...