rock climbing

Adventure Out!

Cliff Hodges is psyched to help people learn to have the kind of fun he had growing up in Santa Cruz.

Castle Rock SP Climbing

The Vaquero sandstone found throughout Castle Rock is grippy. It's also fragile after a rainstorm. Photo by Paul Hagey.

On the eastern edge of the Santa Cruz Mountains, just uphill from Saratoga and about 25 miles due north of Santa Cruz, lies the 5,200-acre Castle Rock State Park, a climbing and hiking destination with 35 miles of trails over diverse terrain that will make the naturalist’s heart sing.

Castle Rock SP

Castle Rock State Park, one of the Bay Area's favorite places to climb and boulder. Photo credit: Blase Iuliano.

A rock climbing playground near the summit.

Castle Rock To Remain Open

Castle Rock State Park, once slated for closure, is getting a fresh lease on life. Photo by Tomwsulcer/Creative Commons.

A gift from the Sempervirens Fund—and the state's commitment to restitution after last summer's scandal—keep the Santa Cruz Mountain park off the 'closed' list.

Panther Beach

Duck through the hole in the wall at Panther Beach to get to a wide-open expanse of sand. Photo credit: Malikas99.

The magic and power of waves and rocks.

Pinnacles NP

Two hikers look up Condor Gulch Trail at Pinnacles National Park. Photo credit: Miguel Vieira/Creative Commons.

Dramatic volcanic spires and soaring California condors