Michaels Summit - Route II
4.4 miles     1000 ft
24 Dec 2012

A decent cardiovascular workout through redwoods to a remote section of Castle Rock.

Location: Castle Rock State Park

Elevation Profile
Trip Planning

Trail Maps

» Official Trail Map: Good for trails near Park HQ. Other trails are not shown in this map.

» Official Trail MAp: Shows all parts of the park. Mileage and contour information missing.

» Redwood Hikes Map: Bay Area Trail Map: Saratoga to Big Basin, First edition, 2010. This is an excellent map sold by Dave Baselt ($6.95 in Dec 2011). This map is useful for exploring many parks in this area. Highly recommended for avid hikers.


To Michael's Summit (2.2 miles): From the pullout along Hwy 9, find a way to climb down and follow Saratoga Toll Road (0.1 miles) going north, until it reaches an intersection with a connector trail from the left. Continue along Saratog Toll Road (0.1 miles) to reach an wide gate on the right. Turn right and follow Kings Creek Canyon Trail (0.2 miles) to an intersection with an unnamed trail that goes parallel to San Lorenzo River. Continue along Kings Creek Canyon Trail (0.2 miles) → turn right on Michael's Summit Loop Trail (1.6 miles) to reach Michael's Summit.

To pullout along Hway 9 (2.2 miles): Retrace your steps to return to the trailhead.


  • Trail Closure: The hike to Michael's Peak was chalked out by using the RedwoodHikes Map which shows these trails. When I started to write this article, I discovered that this section of the park is actually closed, as shown in the Official Trail Map from 2011. An earlier version of the map marks it as 'Restricted Use Area' and an EveryTrail article by Antony mentions that docents are allowed to lead hikes here. Please call park authorities before planning a trip here.
  • River crossing: Early in the hike, Kings Creek Truck Trail has to cross San Lorenzo River. There is no bridge at this crossing. In Dec 2012, the river was passable after rains. Water was swift but only about 10 inches deep.
  • Experience: Michael's Summit Loop Trail is an awesome, shaded trail going through plenty of redwood trees. Kings Creek Truck Trail is a wide fire road which is exposed at many points. The summit has lots of trees, so clear panoramic views are not available. But there are a couple of benches cut out of large trees, which offer a good point to take a break and enjoy a quick snack.
  • Clockwise or anti-clockwise: The junction in the east between Kings Creek Truck Trail and Michael's Summit Loop Trail was unmarked. When climbing up King Creek Trail, it is possible to miss Michael's Summit Loop Trail. However, if you climb up Michael's Summit Loop Trail (a single track hiking trail), it is quite obvious that you have reached Kings Creek Truck Trail (a wide fire road). So it is best to follow the loop in anti-clockwise direction.

Location: Along Hwy 9, 1.4 miles east of intersection with CA-236. . No street address. Parking area is not visible in Google Maps.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: None (last visited: Jan 2012)

Capacity: Six to eight cars may be parked at various pullouts along this section of CA-9

Latitude: 37.208730     Longitude: -122.143210

San Lorenzo River

Very early in the hike, we had to cross San Lorenzo River by getting ourselves wet. The water was swift but only about 10 inches deep.

Full photo album — 24 December 2012

Photos are from a different hike with similar landscape: Michaels Summit - Route I.
Trails to Michaels Summit

Full photo album — 24 December 2012

Photos are from a different hike with similar landscape: Michaels Summit - Route I.
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