I did the short hike to Castle Rock on Sunday morning before heading home from a weekend spent in the area. The whole hike is just 2.5 miles round-trip, although before the road was built the hike up from the bottom was MUCH longer.
There was once a series of lookouts here. This is the one that was built in 1925:
The trees have really grown up since the last lookout was removed in the 1970s and you have to move around to different parts of the summit to see in the various directions.
Looking south and west:
Looking north and east:
The Three Sisters, backlit by the HOT morning sun:
I sat on the summit eating my snacks and enjoying the view. I had the place to myself for a little while, but then several loud families arrived in quick succession, so I beat a hasty retreat. On the way down I did some maintenance on the switchbacks, nearly every one of which had been short-cutted.
Great little hike where you get a nice reward for very little effort. It was perfect for a morning hike before the LONG three-hour drive home.