Short trail that lead to a nice big rock boulder overlooking the south bay. If it
too short you have few options to extend this hike.
The Summit Rock section access is only open at Sep. to Jun.
is open and recommended year-round, hiking within the forest so not direct sun
at summer or protection from direct rain or wind at winter.
note 1: This is part of the skyline trails, very good place for Mountain Biking.
note 2: Across the road there is an active gun range, so you do here the load shooting
note 3: This trail section can be crowded at weekends, but it is not so bad.
note 4: There are many other hiking options nearby, Castell Rock is just there,
and the popular skyline ridge trail is going parallel to the road. You can go
down all the way to Sanborn park down in valley below (need to climb up).
thoughts: I really like this section of the skyline trail (from Saratoga Gap to
Castell Rock and down to Sanborn park). It is excellent place to run/hike/bike in
the deep forest, it stays on the top of the ridge (without major climbs), part
of a very long trail (mostly single-track) provides good mountain biking experience.
nearby parking lot, it is a nice and easy old fire road trail, 0.8-mile-long,
going to Summit rock. The rock is an interesting outstanding bolder formation viewing
the south bay and covered with graffiti.
hike entrance is at Parking Summit Rock on hwy 35, you can also start at Saratoga
Gap parking (additional 1.8 miles) or even come from Castell Rock park entrance
(half a mile from the new parking lot to the Summit rock).
rock can be climb over (from the tree at the left side) and from the top you
will get the valley view.
the rock section, you can go back to your car on the same trail you came (overall
visit of 1+ hr) or you can extend this with a nice, less travel loop.
trail junction that lead to the Summit Rock (that has the sing on the gate) take
the trail that is going straight down, this trail is going steeply down until you
will reach a small stream (after 0.6 mile). From here you will climb for 0.5
mile until you will connect back to the skyline trail, here you will continue the
road trail to the right (the left single track, that say bike route, is the skyline
trail going parallel the road).
Another 0.7 mile on this trail will bring you
back to the trail junction near Summit Rock where you stated this loop.
this is additional 1.8-mile hike with some climbing back from the lower creek,
but it is a nice hike in the deep redwood forest and a lot less people are
Feb. and Aug. the rock access is close due to bird nesting, you can still hike
the trail but no Summit Rock access.
you will hear the loud gun firing noise from the shooting range across the