Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Caste Rock State Park hike

This past Sunday, Oct 30, I met my friend L, and we went hiking at Castle Rock State park.  This is a state park that was on the list of California state parks slated to be closed next year (2012) to save the government money.  I want to be sure and hike there lots before it closes.  When we arrived there, the parking lot was nearly full and the off street parking was also filling up.  We parked across the street about 50 feet from the entrance.  The ranger actually asked us to move the car.  L had parked it parallel to the street and the ranger requested she park it perpendicular.  L decided to park across the street as there was a big ditch on the side we were on and she did not want the nose of her truck to get stuck in the ditch.  

After getting the parking figured out, we walked to the restroom and then headed out to the Ridge trail.  The first beautiful sight you get to see on the Ridge trail is a deck built right next to a water fall.  We went out on the deck and admired the view of the falls and the view from the ridge top.   We had the deck to ourselves for the short time we were there.  We then continued on the Ridge trail with our eventual destination being the Castle Rock campground.  I love this portion of the Ridge trail.  It meanders slightly up and down and has many many lovely views of the mountains and valleys of the Santa Cruz mountains  At one point it has a cable set up to help one scramble up a rocky portion of the trail.  I love rock scrambles so felt right at home.

We soon arrived at the campground and discovered that the old trailer with a make shift office in it had been removed since the last time we ventured here.  Instead there was a nice picnic table in its place.  We chose to sit at the other older picnic table in the shade.   Soon another party of hikers showed up.   This was a collection of adults and boys.  The boys were very rambunctious and were having the time of their lives hitting trees with sticks while the adults settled at the picnic table to eat their lunch.

After lunch we retraced our route back to the car.  We enjoyed the hot afternoon sun shining on us when we reached the exposed sections of the Ridge trail.  We had gotten a little chilled sitting in the shade for lunch.  There is nothing quite like hiking on a beautiful trail with the sun warming you up and the blue sky making for stunning views.  It was so peaceful and so toasty warm.  We got back to the car at around 2:30 p.m.   We probably hiked about 6 miles.

Pictures from the hike are at