Castle Rock is a prominent granite outcrop visible from the Stateline casino area of South Lake Tahoe. It is easy to reach, but requires a bit of technical climbing skill and comfort with exposure to reach the true summit. A slightly lower pinnacle offers equally astounding views of the Tahoe Basin.
To reach the peak: travel down the "forest service road" 13N80, trending downhill and generally following the drainage of Burke Creek until the trail veers away from the creek itself. The trail then traverses below a granite capped hill and up through a small canyon between this hill and Castle Rock. The trail then levels out at a broad forested saddle. To hiker's left (roughly south, south east) Castle Rock rises through the trees. Sighting a smaller granite outcrop on its flanks is a sign to begin climbing uphill. You can choose a variety of climbers trails (marked by cairns) or simply travel cross country up the hill until Castle Rock is seen through the trees.
Once you attain the base of the peak, travel towards Lake Tahoe, hugging the base of the rock until you find a chute in between the highest point and a lower pinnacle
Climb this chute and at the top, head left towards a dihedral split by a hand crack that runs through the highest rock, the summit itself. Climbing this crack, will bring one to the true summit (about 80 feet of class 4 with a few class 5 moves).
I only recommend climbing to the top if experienced with exposed summits and technical climbing. The crack can be protected really well, most parties choose to solo it. The smaller pinnacle to the right of the chute is a worthy objective for those with little to no climbing experience and offers great views
From SF, Sacramento: travel up US 50 towards South Lake Tahoe. Continue past Stateline until Kingsbury Grade-hwy 207 is reached. Take a right on 207 and travel roughly 3 miles to a sign reading "Brautovich Park", turn left here on No. Benjamin Drive.
From Carson City and Southern CA: Travel up US395 until Hwy 88 west is reached. Take 88 until it meets Hwy 207-Kingsbury Grade. Travel up 207 past Dagget Pass until you reach a sign reading "Brautovich Park", turn right here on No. Benjamin Drive.
From all directions: Continue up No. Benjamin drive until it BECOMES Andria Drive. Continue on Andria Dr until the road ends in a US Forest Service gate. The trailhead is another Forest Service gate downhill (southeast) from the roads end gate. Park here and begin the trek.
National Forest Rules apply. Trail can be hiked or snowshoed or ski toured in all seasons since the road is plowed up to the roads end gate.
Camping is allowed within 300 feet of the trail and 200 feet away from water, LNT ethics apply.
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