The Castle Creek Pass Trail is well marked and easy to follow. Views of the West Elk Wilderness are outstanding along the trail. The trail provides fisherman with access to lakes and streams where Native and Rainbow Trout are found. The trail along Mosley ridge is steep and rocky. There are fourteen switch backs up Castle Creek Pass that can be extremely slick in wet weather. Campsites, water and horse feed are abundant along the trail. Please check Wilderness Use Regulations before entering the West Elk Wilderness.
Castle Creek Trail starts at Little Robinson Cow Camp, heads east over the southern end of Mosley ridge, drops down into the South Prong of Cliff Creek, and from there heads east along the South Prong of Cliff Creek to the top of the pass. From the top of the pass, it descends down into Castle Creek. From Little Robinson Cow Camp to the top of the Mosley Ridge, the trail is very steep and rocky. From the top of Mosley Ridge down to the South Prong of Cliff Creek, the trail assumes a more gentle grade. At the base of Castle Pass there are a series of fourteen switch backs, all of which are passable, but they could be very hazardous when wet. After the switch backs, the rest of the trail is a lesser grade and follows a wide spruce covered ridge to the top of the pass. The whole trail is well marked and easy to follow.
For the backpacker, this is the scenic trail of the wilderness. The trail winds through open aspen and conifer stands, dotted with alpine meadows. Coming down the east side of Mosley Ridge the hiker will be surrounded by mountain peaks, ragged and scarred by the weather and ice ages. Deer and elk can be seen feeding in the early morning and late evening hours at the edge of parks.
For the angler, this trail is an excellent access. Both Trails # 551.1 and # 551.2 conjunct with the # 441, and both trails lead to Sheep Lake. Trail # 441 crosses the South Prong of Cliff Creek, which provides the fisherman with both Rainbow and Native Trout. Castle Creek flows on the east side of Castle Pass. This creek contains Brook Trout.
Good camping sites exist along most of the trail. Ideal camping exists between the South Prong of Cliff Creek and the base of the switch backs of Castle Pass. Water is abundant along the trail, and there is plenty of feed for horses.
Forest Regulations prohibit use of motorized vehicles on this trail. Also, horse grazing and camping are prohibited at Sheep Lake.
Directions from Kebler Pass Road: Take Kebler Pass Road on theTaylor River District to Ohio Pass road.
Directions from Paonia: Travel sixteen miles east on Hwy 133 and turn onto Kebler Pass Road at the base of Paonia Dam. Travel east for one and a half miles, then turn right at Coal Creek and travel south to Soap Creek Trailhead. Follow Soap Creek Trail #443 to Little Robinson Cow Camp. Trail #441starts at Little Robinson Cow Camp.
Directions from Paonia: Trail # 441starts at Little Robinson Cow Camp. Travel sixteen miles east of Paonia on Highway 133 and turn onto Kebler Pass Road at the base of Paonia Dam. Travel east for one a half miles, then turn right at Coal Creek and travel south to Soap Creek Trailhead. Follow Soap Creek Trail #443 to Little Robinson Cow Camp.