Castle Dome Trail
Length: 5.5 miles (to Castle Dome), 7 miles (including Vista Point Trail and Indian Springs Spur)
Elevation Gain: 2,135 feet
Season: All year
State Park Fee: $8, $7 senior discount
The Castle Dome Trail climbs through forested area before popping you out between Castle Dome and the Crag’s eastern face. The trail is steep and starts without exceptional views, but the final third of the trail makes it all worth the trek, with a scenic ascent through granite pinnacles with amazing views of the Grey Rocks, Castle Dome and Mount Shasta.
Before heading out on the main trail, it is a worthwhile warm up to walk the easy 0.25 mile path to a vista point. Though this adds 0.5 miles to the overall effort, the trail is ADA compatible and very, very easy.
It is important to note that the name of this trail is a bit misleading, as it does not lead to the summit of Castle Dome. Instead, the trail ends near the base of the dome. It is possible to reach the summit, however, there is some very dangerous exposure and should not be undertaken without sound judgment and safety precautions.
While on the topic of safety, it’s also important to remember that this is rattlesnake territory in warm months.
Want more information about Castle Crags State Park? Click here!
From the Castella exit on I-5, proceed a few hundred yards west on Castle Creek Road to the entrance to the State Park. Turn right into the park entrance and pay the $8.00 at the guard station. Turn right immediately after the guard station and continue through the campground. Just beyond the campground there is a turnaround. Use the turnaround if your vehicle does not have a tight steering radius. From here it is a little over a mile up a winding, one lane road to the trailhead.
The park is open from 6AM to 8PM. There is no overnight parking at the trailhead. Camping sites can be reserved online with the CA Department of Parks and Recreation, click here!