Castle Creek Trail begins near the eastern border of the West Elk Wilderness on Lowline Trail. This junction lies at 9,672 feet and is very close to the end of Castle Creek Road. (Unfortunately, no access is allowed from Castle Creek Road because it leads through private property.) To reach this eastern terminus of the tread hikers must use Lowline Trail, from the north, or Mill Castle Trail, from the south.
Leaving Lowline Trail heading west the trail passes through North Cast Creek Valley then begins the ascent toward Castle Pass. The trail climbs approximately 1,300 feet in two miles. Several switchbacks lead to Castle Pass, which lies at 11,057 feet. From this pass users of Castle Pass Trail get great views of West Elk Peak. Several switchbacks help hikers descend into the Cliff Creek drainage on the western side of Castle Pass. The mileage from Castle Pass to Cliff Creek Trail is approximately three miles.
Very little water is available on this trail after leaving the North Castle Creek and before reaching Cliff Creek. The entire trail lies within the West Elk Wilderness, which permits foot and horse traffic within its boundaries.
Directions from Mill Creek Road: Using Mill Creek Road you can hike into Castle Pass Trail from the south. This accesses the eastern terminus of the trail via Mill Castle Trail, 450.
Directions from Lowline Trail #438: There is no access to the eastern terminus of Castle Pass Trail through Castle Creek Road due to private property. The only access at this end would be to hike in on the Lowline Trail, 438, from Beckwith Pass.
Directions from Cliff Creek Trail: The western terminus of Castle Pass Trail can be reached by hiking in on Cliff Creek Trail, 840, from Beckwith Pass. To reach Beckwith Pass leave Lost Lake Campground or Cliff Creek Trailhead and travel south.
Directions from Soap Creek Trailhead: Another way to reach the western terminus of Castle Pass Trail is from the south via Soap Creek Trailhead. Follow Soap Creek Trail, 443, to Soap Basin Trail, 442, which will eventually lead to Cliff Creek Trail, 840, and the western terminus of Castle Creek Trail.