Trail Center logo
Related Pages

Current Projects

Past Projects

Trail Building


Trail Center Info
Calendar & Activity Guide
Trail Building
Maps & Publications
Who We Are
Outdoor Recreation Guides
Photo Gallery
Site Map
Contact Us

Trail Center
3921 E. Bayshore Rd.
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Ph.: (650) 968-7065

Project Information Sheet

Castle Rock Trail reroute

Castle Rock State Park
Dec. 1998-Feb. 2000

Background: Castle Rock Trail is one of the most heavily-used trails in Castle Rock State Park. The western half, between Castle Rock and Saratoga Gap Trail, shows the impact of the many visitors, as well as the effects of poor design, in the form of serious erosion and a network of adjacent social trails. The Trail Center is rerouting the existing trail to create a better experience for visitors, as well as reduce future maintenance problems. After the new route is constructed, the existing trail, along with several social trails, will be closed and restored to a natural state.

Project Description: The work begins in January 1999 to the southwest of Castle Rock (see map for lettered locations):

  • Castle Rock Trail, Section 1. [Winter/Spring 1999] Approx. 1100 ft. of trail. From the saddle [A], the trail climbs to the southeast and circles around a low knob. In order to gain elevation without encountering large rock outcrops, a climbing turn will be constructed on the knob [B]. The trail approachs the existing trail at the low saddle [C], then turns to continue climbing to the southeast. At the southwest ridge below Castle Rock, the trail would switchbacks [D] and travels northward below Castle Rock. It meets the existing trail at the trail sign northwest of the rock [E].
  • Castle Rock Trail, Section 2. [Summer 1999-Winter 2000] Approx. 1910 ft. of trail. The junction at Saratoga Gap Trail moves eastward by approx. 30 ft. to the east side of a small drainage [F]. Two small plank bridges will be constructed to cross the arms of the drainage. The reroute crosses the current trail at 230 ft. [G], then climbs the north side of the ridge. It crosses the ridge below a low knob, approximately 400 ft. west of the saddle [H], then turns east and traverses the south side of the ridge until meeting the current trail at the saddle [A]. Formal access to the old road which travels the south side of the ridge will not be provided, though a 300 ft. volunteer trail currently exists [I]; this route serves climbers accessing rocks southwest of Castle Rock Falls.
  • Restoration of Existing Castle Rock Trail and Social Trails [Summer/Fall 1999] The section of existing trail between the saddle [A] and Castle Rock [D] and associated social trails [J] will be closed and restored as soon as the reroute links those points. The remainder will be closed upon completion of the reroute between the saddle and the Saratoga Gap Trail. Closure and restoration will be accomplished with a combination of natural materials to block access to and to cover old trail tread, water diversion, and split-rail fence.

Technical Specifications:
  • Trail Width: 3 ft.
  • Maximum Grade: 10% (with exceptions up to 12%)
  • Outslope: 2-3% (standard)
  • Flagging: At grade level (consult crew leader)
  • Hazards and Other Considerations: poison oak, wasps (possible), ticks, rattlesnakes
  • Expected Number of Workdays: 11-12
  • Access to Worksite and Parking: Parking at the main Castle Rock parking area on Highway 35, 3 mi. south of Saratoga Gap (Highway 9).
  • Water, Restrooms, Picnic Area: No water or picnic facilities available. Restrooms at parking lot and Castle Rock.

Emergency: 911 from phone at parking lot (cell phones may not work in this location)

Nearest Hospital: Santa Clara Medical Center, 900 Kiely Blvd., Santa Clara. Travel north to Highway 9, turn right and go through Saratoga Village; veer right to Saratoga Ave. Travel 5.5 mi. to Kiely Boulevard; turn sharply left and go 1.7 mi. (approx. 30 min. travel time)

Driving Directions: From Hwy 85, take the De Anza Boulevard West exit and travel approx. 3 mi. to the Saratoga Village. Turn right on Highway 9 and go west approx. 7 mi. to Highway 35 (Saratoga Gap). Turn left and travel 3 mi. south to Castle Rock parking).

Additional information: We celebrated the 1999 National Trails Day - cosponsored by Any Mountain Ltd. - by completing the reroute between saddle and Castle Rock. We closed the old trail and worked to speed up the recovery of the badly impacted route by breaking up the old tread, halting erosion, and covering over much of the old tread with natural materials. Photos of the event are available from our gallery page (with photos from other workdays available soon). Thanks, volunteers!

     For additional information on the National Trails Day event, see the Trail Center flyer ([HTML] or [PDF]), Any Mountain Ltd. flyer (PDF) and press release, and event schedule, work descriptions and notes for volunteers.

     You may also be interested in the California State Parks site for Castle Rock


Trail Center logo
Copyright © Trail Center. All rights reserved.

Please contact the Web Manager for corrections or comments.