Castle Peak Trail

HARD
#5 of 125 trails in Tahoe National Forest
Castle Peak Trail is a 5.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Soda Springs, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October.

5.8 miles 1745 feet Out & Back
kid friendly birding camping hiking nature trips skiing snowshoeing trail running walking forest views wild flowers wildlife
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Jamie Lucia
2 months ago

11 Completed10 Reviews

One of my favs always and forever. Great views of Tahoe. Any time of year is good. A great snow shoe hike.

Arthur Benemann
3 months ago

2 Completed1 Reviews

Robert Thille
4 months ago

16 Completed11 Reviews

This is actually a very nice trail with great views from the top. You don't really get to the very top unless you bring climbing gear or have very large juevos.( did I spell that right? ). The reason I only gave it 3 stars is that for about 90% of the trail you get to enjoy the background noise of Interstate 80. It's not overly loud, but it's there. A definite drawback if you want solitude, though not a reason to skip this trail.

Evan Hasse
6 months ago

2 Completed2 Reviews

Hiked from the parking area with the dog up Castle Peak then across to Basin Peak and down past Peter Grubb Hut and back. It was very windy as usual, with tiny patches of snow on the North sides of the peaks, but well worth making the trip up before the mountains get their winter coats.

Nicci Stine
8 months ago

7 Completed2 Reviews

Jumped on trail at rest stop east of Boreal. Trail head to the right of building. Ended up walking about 8.5 miles to top of Castle Peak About first 3.2 miles was variable terrain, mostly shaded. Beautiful wooded forests. Came across 4 trail runners. We decided to stay on trail rather then going down to dirt road that is identified as Castle Peak. Much more quaint trail, less exposed. Last mile or so, up to the peak, is a pretty good incline, very gravelly, rocky. You get to an outlook, thinking it's the peak, to realize you have maybe a quarter of a mike more to climb. It's worth it. Panoramic views. Wear good shoes; walking stick helpful. GPS navigation on Alltrails came in extraordinarily helpful as there are many trails branching off of trail.

Nicci Stine
8 months ago

7 Completed2 Reviews

Jumped on trail at rest stop east of Boreal. Trail head to the right of building. Ended up walking about 8.5 miles to top of Castle Peak About first 3.2 miles was variable terrain, mostly shaded. Beautiful wooded forests. Came across 4 trail runners. We decided to stay on trail rather then going down to dirt road that is identified as Castle Peak. Much more quaint trail, less exposed. Last mile or so, up to the peak, is a pretty good incline, very gravelly, rocky. You get to an outlook, thinking it's the peak, to realize you have maybe a quarter of a mike more to climb. It's worth it. Panoramic views. Wear good shoes; walking stick helpful. GPS navigation on Alltrails came in extraordinarily helpful as there are many trails branching off of trail.

Alexia Hall
9 months ago

2 Completed1 Reviews

Great hike. First mile and half you share with mountain bikers, equestrian and maybe a few rogue trucks, second part is straight up hiking and rewards are awesome at the top of the peak. Strongly recommend good grip hiking boots as lots of skidding on little rocks. Went in August and it was a little smoky obscuring view just very slightly. Plan to definitely return in June for more clarity and see the windflowers.

Anna Jerome
10 months ago

27 Completed1 Reviews

T Smith
1 year ago

128 Completed49 Reviews

one of our favorite! great for training, lot of climbing to the peak, loose rocks last mile or so. have gone up the ridge and gone the PTC through Round Valley which is more forested. Hv hiked in snow and warmer weather. hike along trail to Peter grub hut, hike up to Andersite peak,endless trail possibilities in such a beautiful area!

Maria Kolakowska
1 year ago

4 Completed3 Reviews

Great hike, even in March during a dry season.

Paul Honatke
1 year ago

41 Completed32 Reviews

Excellent day hike. Some snow but you could walk on top of it. Wished I'd had a good map to identify more of the visible peaks.

Johnna Magee
1 year ago

8 Completed3 Reviews

Shauna Cohenour
1 year ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Took my teenage girls for this hike and they really enjoyed it. They are looking to go back and bring friends. The view is amazing. Next time I will hike over the basin peak and walk along the ridge back to castle. Very enjoyable.

Emily Huska
2 years ago

6 Completed1 Reviews

Started the hike around 10:30 am and finished by 12:30. We were hiking quite fast and there is some snow and ice right now but the trail is able to by hiked with just running shoes. There were kids hiking it to but to the North side to the top a lady did slip down the snow about 20 feet so stay focused on where you put your feet. 48 F degrees on this Sunday. Well worth the light haededness and the view on top

Erik James
2 years ago

69 Completed3 Reviews

This trail is a fun hike or snowshoe trek depending on the season. The trail begins at the entrance to Castle Valley. The beginning of the trail is marked by the glacial carved granitic outcrops along the way, and after a mile or so the andesitic volcanic deposits replace the granite. Here, the two predominant rocks of the Tahoe Sierra are present: granodiorites of what geologists call the subjacent series, and more recent andesitic volcanic deposits of the superjacent series. The ridge tops here, including the turrets of Castle Peak are the younger volcanics. From the top of Castle Peak, rainfall on the west slope enters the Yuba basin where it drains to the Pacific under the Golden Gate Bridge, whereas rainfall on the east slope enters the Truckee River basin, where it flows to the Great Basin in Nevada.

Lynn Walker
2 years ago

22 Completed7 Reviews

Highly recommend doing this trail in the winter with snowshoes. I did it on a clear calm January day and the views were spectacular! We even glissaded down parts of the mountain. Super fun!

Rob Smith
2 years ago

2 Completed3 Reviews

Awesome hike. Make sure to watch your step as you go up the mountain. The trail is really soft with lots of loose rocks. It is well worth it when you get to the top it is an amazing view.

Boom King
2 years ago

44 Completed47 Reviews

Great easy to get to hike. Incredible 360 degree views. Careful of the east side since it is a bit if a drop but this is one of the easier climbs in the area. A use trail not far from the summit will take you to basin peak. Also options to hike in several directions from castle pass. The road into castle valley is not too bad but you do want a high clearance vehicle.

Matt Belben
2 years ago

64 Completed40 Reviews

An easy-to-get-to climb for a view of most of the northern Sierras. From the start: everyone seems to park at the end of the pavement on the road there, you can apparently park further on but don't try the dirt road without high clearance. There's a map at the trailhead showing the area, note that the section of this trail after Castle Pass isn't shown on any map, you just turn right at the pass and follow the user trail along the crest of the ridge. The climb is extremely steep rock and gravel with no switchbacks and not much traction. There are at least three "summits" here, all pretty close to the same height; the first you can get on top of, the other two are vertical pillars of jagged andesite, and the back side of the mountain is a sheer cliff. Visible northwest is the rather wicked-looking Sierra Butts viewed edge-on, and beyond that is Mount Lassen, 100 miles distant. We could also see the Sutter Butts, west at 80 miles, and hints of the coast range beyond that. A good trail if you just want to climb a mountain for a nice view.

Mandy Chinn
2 years ago

8 Completed4 Reviews

This was a beautiful hike. Gorgeous view and very challenging. There's a great camping spot 100 ft from the peak under the ledge facing the west side of peak. Built in fire fit! Coming down was challenging because of the loose rocks and scree. It took a little longer so bring trekking poles! And make sure your shoes have some tractions. Also, saw some beautiful butterflies, and lots a mosquitoes, they got me really good through my pants even! Bug spray is a huge must have!