Getaways · Hikes

Backpacking Castle Rock

Just back from a 2-day backpacking trip to Castle Rock State Park with Treks and Tracks, and here’s what I learned.

This is where Bay Area rock climbers hang out. Literally.

Castle Rock’s famed sandstone outcrops have eroded over eons to form unique pits and pockmarks called tafoni that honeycomb the surface, making them ideal for climbing and bouldering.

Castle Rock
Castle Rock
Easter Island Moai? Nope, just a local boulder. We call him Ziggy.
Bay Area microclimates will keep you guessing.

It was in the mid-60s when we left Marin, and well into the 80s by the time we got to Los Gatos a couple hours later. And climate change experts fear the increase in temperature and decrease in rain here will continue, endangering wildlife. Fortunately for now, spring wildflowers put on a colorful display.

This is one of the highest ridges of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

And true the old adage, the higher the climb, the better the view.

You never know who you’re gonna meet.

Our Treks and Tracks guide turned out to be Angel Rodriguez, who survived 21 days with boas, tarantulas and swimming with Caimans in the wilds of Nicaragua on Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid!

AngelNeedless to say, we were in pretty good hands. And Angel was a rockstar guide, imparting not just survival tips but insights on the answers to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. And it wasn’t 42.

And last, but definitely not least: I can haul a 35-lb pack uphill for 4 miles!

Or at least, it felt like uphill, both ways.

Osprey Packs



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