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Castle Rock State Park

Portal to the Santa Cruz Mountains

Not far from Silicon Valley stands a portal to another world where visitors can find a different type of connection—one to the Santa Cruz Mountains. Near Los Gatos, 34-miles of trails wind through Castle Rock State Park’s 5,300 acres of sandstone formations, forests, and vistas. Sempervirens Fund helped create Castle Rock State Park in 1968 and has since helped grow the park by 4,000-acres. Today, the new Robert C. Kirkwood Entrance, restored and built by Sempervirens Fund in 2019, helps more people enjoy the park with modern amenities. No matter the level of experience you are looking to enjoy, from short family walks to rock climbing or backpacking the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, Castle Rock State Park has just the right adventure.

Plan Your Hike

Address: Castle Rock State Park, Robert C. Kirkwood Entrance, 15451 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos, CA 95033

Hours: Check the park website for current Robert C. Kirkwood Entrance operating hours are 8:00 a.m. to sunset, daily. Weekdays are optimal days to visit the park to ensure you get a parking spot. NOTE: The Kirkwood Entrance gate is closed and locked every day at sunset.

Directions: click here for Google maps directions

Park Activities

At Castle Rock State Park, there is something for everyone:

Park Amenities

  • 90-car parking lot with environmentally friendly permeable paving. Parking is $10.00 per day, which you can pay for at self-serve kiosks. California State Parks Annual Parking Pass holders should display their pass when parking. The old parking lot, located about one-quarter mile further south on Highway 35 / Skyline Blvd., is reserved for overnight guests and may be used for overflow parking at the discretion of park staff. Overnight guests with reservations will receive a gate code to access the old parking lot. NOTE: The Kirkwood Entrance gate is closed and locked every day at sunset. Weekdays are optimal days to visit the park to ensure you get a parking spot.
  • A Native Plants Garden, planted and tended by the Amah Mutsun Land Trust and the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, that illustrates how Native Americans used local plants for medicinal and other purposes
  • A restored native black oak forest, planted with the help of Sempervirens Fund volunteers
  • Free Wi-Fi and a downloadable trail map app
  • Free charging stations for electric vehicles
  • 60-seat, accessible amphitheater for events and programs.
  • A drinking water station and accessible pathways and picnic areas
  • And perhaps most importantly: bathrooms with flush toilets!
  • Rentable facilities at the Robert C. Kirkwood Entrance include a projector and screen for outdoor movies and presentations at the outdoor amphitheater. Please contact the State Park Special Events Office for details.

People like you supported Sempervirens Fund’s purchase of the 33-acre parcel, which was a former Christmas tree farm. In total, Sempervirens Fund donors provided $8.7 million to design, plan, permit, and build this important addition to Castle Rock State Park. Thank you!

Volunteer

Throughout the year, Sempervirens Fund holds a variety of volunteer events, including invasive species removal, trail clean ups, and more! Check out our Volunteer Page for more information. You can also volunteer with the Amah Mutsun Land Trust in the native garden or with get involved with Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks.

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