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A beautiful wooded loop with openings for views of the Santa Cruz Mountains.


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Map Key

3.6

Miles

5.8

KM

86%

Runnable

3,137' 956 m

High

2,632' 802 m

Low

658' 200 m

Up

692' 211 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

28%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Overview

The views are spectacular and really show off the beauty of the Santa Cruz area. This is definitely a great climber's trail with boulders and routes along the way, especially on Castle Rock Trail.

Runner Notes

Great trail running with slight, but good inclines and plenty of space to run.

Description

Start on Castle Rock Trail. You'll get to a big climbing spot that is pretty recognizable, and if you go around that, the trail continues until you hit the falls. Some parts of the trail are a bit small, but pretty easy to find. Climb the short hill to get up to Saratoga Gap Trail and take a left.

Follow the Saratoga Gap Trail and be sure to enjoy the amazing views of the Santa Cruz Mountains along the way. Take a right onto the short Interconnector Trail to connect to Ridge Trail on the right and follow this trail back to Saratoga Gap Trail again. Make a left and you'll be headed back to the main parking lot. In this direction, Saratoga Gap Trail has amazing views of the valley.

Contacts

Shared By:

Anina Middleton with improvements by Jamie Sullivan

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 45 votes

#228

Overall
  4.6 from 45 votes
5 Star
62%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
4%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#29

in California

#228

Overall
27 Views Last Month
16,757 Since Dec 21, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

3%
5%
82%
3%
8%
0%

Photos

The blue mountains of Santa Cruz!
Jan 22, 2016 near Monte S…, CA
One of many views from the Castle Rock Loop.
Dec 21, 2015 near Monte S…, CA
Beautiful valley view
Nov 11, 2019 near Monte S…, CA
Castle Rock Loop walk.
Feb 10, 2023 near Monte S…, CA
Mossy rocks in Castle Rock State Park.
Dec 31, 2015 near Monte S…, CA
Sunny and surprisingly windless afternoon on a dusty, one-lane trail. Looking south-southeast.
Sep 7, 2019 near Monte S…, CA

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