Castle Peak

HARD 14 reviews
#108 of 193 trails in

Castle Peak is a 12.1 mile out and back trail located near Aspen, Colorado and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and horses and is best used from March until November. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
12.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,547 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

horseback riding

The highest mountain in the Elk range with a fun permanent snow field. From the parking lot hike up into the basin across the snow fields. The easiest route is to stay on the left side of the basin and do an ascending traverse along the snow. When you enter the basin that is just below Castle Peaks summit look to your left and you will see a strong trail that leads to Castles NE ridge. Take this trail to the ridge, then follow the ridge proper the rest of the way to the summit. Several trails lead off to one side or the other of the ridge that appear easier at first, don't be fooled stay on the top of the ridge.

off road driving
7 days ago

We hiked both Castle and Conundrum on Saturday, August 11th and the conditions were perfect! I noted in the activity “off road driving” , because my review is trying to give what I think is a more accurate description of the road up to Montezuma Basin.

We rented a stock (bare-bones) Jeep Wrangler with street tires on it and drove all the way to the top of Montezuma Basin (around 12,800 ft). Many of the reviews we read stated the road was too difficult to drive. Our plan was to drive as far as we could and then park. I would agree four wheel drive is a must, but with careful wheel placement/driving it is actually not that difficult. My husband is an experienced 4x4 trail driver, so if that describes you, I would recommend driving up as far as you can go.

My only complaint of the trail is hiking on an old road is lame, so it was fun to drive up as far as we could. Doing this also cut out about 10 miles round trip, which on this particular trail was welcomed. Not the prettiest scenery along the trail we’ve seen, although the views from the summit are spectacular.

hiking
22 days ago

A great day, but it would have been better if we’d had a high clearance 4x4 to drive further up the road. We drove to a beautiful campsite about 1.3 miles up the road and hiked from there after sleeping the night before. The initial several miles are on a Jeep road that continually deteriorates as you climb. Once we reached the end of the road the real fun began. We had a fun snow climb up the right side of the snowfield. Steep, like climbing an expert ski run. We then picked up the trail and reached the ridge up Castle. Definitely follow the advice to stay in the ridge. I got sucked into following a trail to the right and had to climb a nasty, steep, and loose couloir to regain the ridge. Once I got back to the ridge it was easy going to the top. We then descended to the connecting saddle and climbed Conundrum, as well. The descent from the connecting saddle into the basin is loose and has a risk of rockfall after the snow melts out (like yesterday).

The hike out the road to our campsite was long but went well. All in all, a great day!

hiking
1 month ago

Relatively terrifying. Decent amount of exposure and loose rock. Unfortunately this trail is wearing down badly making it a little more difficult. Huge thanks to the ladies who picked my friend and I up and drove us up the 4x4 road to save us some time, and thank you to the more experienced climbers out there who helped us find a safe route down from the summit.

Good luck getting up this road even with 4WD— you’re going to need pretty high clearance on this one. I would also recommend prior experience on 14ers, unless you’re fearless.

trail running
11 months ago

pretty lame trail... its a rocky jeep road almost all the way up until the last 1000ft

hiking
Monday, October 03, 2016

Did a combined trail of Conundrum and Castle Peak. More technical than I was expecting (narrow ledges and scrambling). There was a lot of loose dirt and rock, which made it difficult to hike without slipping. However, there was a huge snowpack we slid down to cut off some mileage, which was amazing. Definitely worth it to bag two 14ers.

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Sunday, July 09, 2017

hiking
Sunday, June 25, 2017

hiking
Thursday, June 08, 2017

Sunday, July 05, 2015