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Castle Dome Trail, CA

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Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CA > Northern
5 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,572 feet
Elevation Gain 2,000 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,130 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.8
Interest Peak
Dogs not allowed
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9  2018-11-03 lojones5
4  2017-05-13 lojones5
11  2016-11-13 lojones5
6  2014-07-04 Booneman
Author lojones5
author avatar Guides 22
Routes 153
Photos 470
Trips 94 map ( 470 miles )
Age 26 Male Gender
Location Redding, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, May, Mar
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  5:56am - 6:08pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Named place Nearby
A Granite Spire Playground
by lojones5

This is an uphill trek to a huge granite playground with incredible views in every direction. At the end of the trail you can explore as much as you'd like around relatively easy to climb granite structures. You will reach cliff edges with sheer drops many hundreds of feet below. You will encounter sweeping views of the surrounding landscape, Mt. Shasta, and the impressive crags themselves. To top it all off, there is Castle Dome standing prominently like a smaller version of Half Dome--summitable to thrill-seekers with no fear of heights and an eye for bouldering.

There is no official trail up Castle Dome, nor any of the granite structures near trail end. The scramble up Castle Dome is doable for adventurers without significant climbing experience, but it is no simple endeavor. The last quarter of the climb has some dangerous exposure and should only be attempted by those confident in their bouldering skills.

Castle Crags was formed about 170 million years ago by rising lava beneath the Earth's surface that solidified and was eventually sculpted by glaciers and erosion into the state it is in today.

The hike is uphill and is mostly forested in the beginning which is nice, but fairly uneventful compared to what is yet to come. After a little over than 2 miles of uphill forest hiking, you will reach a nice sign indicating Castle Crags Wilderness over a background of your first glimpse of Castle Dome. From here on out the trail continues uphill, but the views become so great that you'll forget about yourself and just bask in the glory of the unfolding beauty as you trek onward towards the ever impressive granite formations. When you reach the end of the trail, you are going to want to explore some of the more accessible granite structures that are typically quite easy to boulder on up. Each will offer a unique and awesome view. Some spots will offer a fantastic view of Mount Shasta, and all will offer views of huge granite structures. Plan to spend some time at the top to make the most of your hike.

Water Sources
There is a side trail about halfway up to Indian Springs.

Castle Crags State Park offers camp sites before the trails begins. There is some evidence of camping on Castle Dome trail, but I don't believe it is allowed. Check with a ranger to be sure.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2018-11-28 lojones5

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Castle Dome Trail
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    One of my favorite trails near Redding. The views are spectacular with many granite structures, forest landscapes, and Mt. Shasta in the background. It was a great day for a hike, cool outside but not even jacket weather. Near the top it started very lightly snowing, but not even enough to warrant a jacket. It was a sunny snow. The clouds just added to the views and made for great photography. I saw some storms around Shasta. I sure was worn out after the hike though...I need to do more elevation gain hiking again.
    Castle Dome Trail
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I started this hike at the first parking lot right across from the small building where fees are dropped off. I was the only car in the lot, but met several people on the second half of the hike, so I think there is a different starting location that wasn't on my map. The first half of the hike was mostly through forest, but the second half becomes more granite and has some incredible views of the surrounding area as well as awesome views of the rock formations making up castle dome or castle crags. The trail ends near the peak, where there are many rock formations that can be further climbed including castle dome. The rocks are very easy to grip, which is helpful. More spectacular views from these taller vantage points, including a view of Mt. Shasta. This hike had over 3000ft AEG, and was a great workout that I wasn't quite expecting on my Sunday! Many great photos I'll add in a photoset.

    Permit $$
    CA State Parks - Fee: typically $2-$15 per vehicle, view more information

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Redding, drive North on I-5 to Castella and follow signs to Castle Crags state park. Pay the entrance fee and follow the road through the park until it becomes a one lanes road and ends at a small ~20 car parking lot by the trail head.
    page created by lojones5 on Nov 28 2018 10:37 pm
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