A Nice Hike at Castle Rock State Park

Castle Rock is one of the many beautiful parks and open-space preserves that lie along Skyline boulevard, which runs near the summit of the Santa Cruz mountains west of the Bay area.

It has also been called “swiss cheese state park” because of the distinctive rock formations. Recently I enjoyed a hike there with my friend Luiza, who took the photos. It was supposed to be a group hike with my Almaden hiking group but we were the only two that made it, and had a good time anyway. This was about 3 hours, 8 miles with 1200 feet elevation gain. There is a lot of rock scrambling which is slow for OGs like me, especially when we’re gunshy from recent rehabs. But I was a lot faster on the more walkable trails in between.

This is one of the many beautiful panoramas looking out on the Santa Cruz mountains:

A nice lookout point:

Luiza at another lookout:

The trail winding through some woods:

A really unusual multibranch tree we passed:

One of the “cheesy” rocks. This is a rock climbers mecca:

Another nice panorama:

Here we are at a nice lookout. There’s a beautiful waterfall here in the spring but this time of year it was a trickle. But the view was still spectacular:

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