Castro - Telescope Tree
Height: Elevation: 5,765 ft (1,757 m) GPS Latitude: 36.14408
Volume: Creek: Freeman Creek GPS Longitude: -118.50209
Width: Grove: Freeman Creek Grove Discovery Date: August 1930
Age: Park: Giant Sequoia NM Discovered By: S. E. Hockett

Notes: Castro, named for Ralph Castro who carved his name inside the trunk in 1939, is a large, fire-hollowed giant redwood. Naturalist Wendell D. Flint described Castro as a great Telescope Tree and the most impressive tree of its kind he had seen.

Drive: Castro is 244 mi (393 km) south of San Francisco near the city of Porterville.

Northbound: From U.S. Interstate 5 North, transfer to California State Route 99 North. From California State Route 99 North just north of Bakersfield, transfer to California State Route 65 North toward Porterville. Near Porterville, transfer to California State Route 190 East.

Southbound: From U.S. Interstate 5 South in Sacramento, transfer to U.S. Highway 50 East toward South Lake Tahoe. Drive east 1.7 mi (2.7 km) on U.S. Highway 50 and transfer to California State Highway 99 South. Near Tipton, transfer to California State Route 190 East toward Porterville.

From Porterville, drive east 41 mi (66 km) on California State Route 190, past Camp Nelson, and continue straight onto County Road M107 (Great Western Divide Highway) past the intersection with Forest Service Road 21S50 (North Road). Drive south 10 mi (16 km) on County Road M107 (Great Western Divide Highway) and turn left onto Forest Service Road 22S02 (Last Chance Road). Drive east 4 mi (6 km) on Forest Service Road 22S02 (Last Chance Road) and turn left onto Forest Service Road 22S82 (Lloyd Meadow Road) toward Lloyd Meadow Trailhead. Drive north 17 mi (27 km) on Forest Service Road 22S82 (Lloyd Meadow Road) and turn left onto Forest Service Road 20S78 toward George Bush Tree. Drive west 1 mi (2 km) on Forest Service Road 20S78 to the parking lot at the end of the road.

Road Warning: Great Western Divide Highway (County Road M107) and Forest Service Roads 22S02 (Last Chance Road), 22S82 (Lloyd Meadow Road), and 20S78 are closed during winter. Depending on weather conditions, these roads are usually open from May through November.

Hike: GPS-assisted navigation is recommended for this hike. From the trailhead at the western end of the parking lot, hike southwest 0.1 mi (0.3 km) on an unnamed trail to the junction with Bush Tree Trail loop. Turn left at the trail junction and hike south 0.2 mi (0.3 km) on Bush Tree Trail to George Bush Tree which stands beside the trail on your right. Turn left near George Bush Tree and hike south 20 ft (6 m) to the junction with Freeman Creek Trail. Turn left/east at the trail junction and hike east 0.3 mi (0.5 km) on Freeman Creek Trail to the trail exit point near 36.14813 -118.50275. Leave the trail here, and, using a GPS device, hike south 0.3 mi (0.6 km) off-trail, across Freeman Creek, to Castro. After visiting Castro, hike west 250 ft (76 m) off-trail to Great Goshawk.

Rating: Moderate One-Way Distance: 0.9 mi (1.4 km) Ascent: 244 ft (74 m)
Time: 45 min Off-Trail: 0.3 mi (0.5 km) Descent: 130 ft (40 m)
Castro Tree Hike Map

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