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Summit Castle Peak

Soda Springs, California

based on 2 reviews



6 miles

Elevation Gain

1800 ft

Route Type



Added by Mike Fennell

The tallest mountain in the Tahoe Donner area, Castle Peak is easy enough to conquer in a few hours while rewarding you with stunning 360 degree views

The trailhead is very easy to access as it is just off Highway 80 at the Boreal Mountain exit. When taking the exit, take a turn to the North, rather than to Boreal on the South side of the Highway.

On busy summer weekends this trailhead can get quite crowded so you may have to park at the bottom of the road less than 100 yards from the Highway 80 off-ramp. The first mile of the trail is actually a forest road and you can take your 4x4 further up if looking to shorten your hike or even car camp in the National Forest. 

From the trailhead to the Peak is about 3 miles and the trail is well maintained so easy to follow. The first couple of miles head Northwest on a gradual slope until you reach Castle Pass, which junctions with the Pacific Crest Trail. Once on top of this pass, follow the Castle Peak ridgeline to the Northeast. After about a half mile along the scenic ridge the trail will become steep as it wraps around the northern slope of the mountain until you reach the actual peak. It's pretty obvious to follow since the south face of the mountain is made of sheer rock cliffs. Be careful of loose rocks when reaching the summit. 

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

Summit Castle Peak Reviews

- The overview is pretty spot on. If you park at the bottom (where the pavement ends) be sure to stay right at the immediate fork, then left at the next to keep on the main road. On our visit 4x4 wouldn’t have been necessary but the road was potholed/rutted so clearance would have been. From here it’s a steady incline up the road to start. If you drive to the base of Castle Pass it’s quite a bit shorter and you’ll jump right into to the main climb of the hike. It’s steep, dusty, and rocky so choose appropriate footwear. If you’ve got time, extend the trip and hike out to Basin Peak too.

I thought it would be a lot harder seeing as this hike is rated advanced. I personally thing it should be rated at moderate. So beautiful up there lots of dogs:)

Leave No Trace

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