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Castle Rock Trail - 1W03
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mini location map2019-07-06
13 by photographer avatarSunDevil3
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Castle Rock Trail - 1W03Big Bear - Jacinto, CA
Big Bear - Jacinto, CA
Hiking avatar Jul 06 2019
Hiking1.20 Miles 770 AEG
Hiking1.20 Miles   2 Hrs      0.69 mph
770 ft AEG      15 Mns Break8 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Prepping for a 3-day GCNP backpacking trip this October with my 8 year old daughter so figured Big Bear would be a good place to get some high altitude training in for that.

What a beautiful trail this is! Abundant shade from that harsh sun exposure up above 7k ft and it felt quiet and peaceful for a trail as heavily trafficked as this. The trail gets a bit difficult to follow as you near the peak but there are so many acceptable "wrong" routes to take across the rock at that point it does not matter much.

About one mile in, we spotted a decent path to scramble up the castle boulders so we diverted from the prescribed trail at that point. We made it all the way up to the second tallest of the boulders which, from our path, appeared to be the highest you can get without ropes (or some serious cojones.) There was probably another way to free climb up to the highest boulder had we continued to the end of the trail but I did not see one from my vantage point. There was a group of about eight climbers who got to the top of the big rock about the same time we arrived atop it's slightly shorter sister rock but they certainly came better prepared than we did.

Hike out is an easy descent back to the TH.

NOTE: Parking is very limited immediately at the TH with spots for only about 6-8 cars on the side of the road. Rangers had wisely advised us to keep any parking outside the white fog lines at the side of the roadway lest you get ticketed or-- seemingly just as likely-- destroyed by one of the many locals who drive like a bat out of hell around those mountain curves. More parking is available in small pockets/pull-outs up the road in either direction for those who don't mind a little extra walking to/from the TH.
Throwing a Wendy
"Being unselfish is a natural high, like hiking or paint thinner."
- Homer J Simpson
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