Back to index Castle Rock Hike
Trip Date:  02/16/2018

: 4.0 Miles

Vertical Gain: 700'

Group Size: 3

Hike Rating:  Easy  Moderate  Hard  Strenuous
Castle Rock route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Mt. Rose Tamarack Peak Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 59.779, W 119 53.794     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates  
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   For parking at the Castle Rock trailhead (Kingsbury North,) take Highway 207 east from Lake Tahoe Blvd for a couple miles, and then turn left on N. Benjamin Dr.  Follow this road around (it turns into Andria Dr at one point) until you reach the end of the pavement and the parking area for the Tahoe Rim Trail hike.
Hazards of Note:   There are a number of TRT junctions along the way so be sure to keep following signs toward Castle Rock.   Crowd Factor:   Moderate; popular with dog walkers
General Notes:
Start the hike at the Tahoe Rim Trail kiosk near the western side of the parking area.  The trail will head uphill almost immediately, and then begins a trek through a forested section over the first mile.  To the south there will be views of Monument Peak at the HEavenly Valley Ski Resort, and you can even see Freel Peak and Job's Peak behind it on a clear day.  
The first junction will have the Tahoe Rim Trail heading to the right, and you will continue straight along your current trail.  About a quarter mile past this will be the junction to another trail, and you will want to stay to your left from this point.  Not quite two miles into the hike will be a junction to the right, signed for Castle Rock.  Take this junction and head a half mile along a gradually elevating trail until you see Castle Rock ahead.  There are use trails all over the area, but one of the best views without climbing to the top of the rocks themselves is near the south (left) end of the formation.  There are spectacular views of Lake Tahoe from this spot.
Heading back down the trail, turn right at the junction, and then follow the trail for about half a mile until you reach the road, just about 2/10 of a mile south of the parking area.

A snowy parking area with the TRT Kiosk visible just to the left of center in this picture.  Heading up the paved road is the way toward Genoa Peak a few miles north along a trail which parallels the Tahoe Rim Trail. Parking Area and TRT kiosk
The rocky trail early along the trek toward Castle Rock. Early Climb
Mark and Greg B making their way up a trail which should be covered in snow on this mid February day in a normal snow year. Continuing up
Monument Peak to the south with Freel Peak just visible in the background. Monument Peak
About a third of the way through the loop a first view of Lake Tahoe and the Desolation Wilderness area behind it makes for a series of spectacular views. First Tahoe view
There are three main junctions along the way which point to various destinations for those making the Tahoe Rim Trail circumnavigation of the entire Lake Tahoe area. Junctions to watch for
There was a little more snow on the last trail split up to Castle Rock, but we should have required snowshoes this time of the year.
Heading toward Castle Rock
Monument Peak is once again clearly visible to the south when you get up to the actual Castle Rock formation. Monument Peak
Lake Tahoe, however, is typically the main draw from up here. Lake Tahoe
The view of Lake Tahoe, the town of South Lake and the Western Tahoe Mountains from Castle Rock is worth the effort to get to this amazing place. South Lake Tahoe
Myself and Greg B at our lunch viewpoint near the southern part of Castle Rock. Lunch selfie
HEading back along a mostly snow-free trail at 8000' in the middle of winter. Headed back
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike