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Mountaineering: Colorado > White River National Forest > Aspen Ranger District

Quick Facts

Castle Peak

Beginning Elevation: 9,900 Feet (3086.0 Meters) approximate elevation near the bottom of the Pearl Pass/Montezuma Basin Road
Difficulty: Class 2
Elevation Gain: 4,400 Feet (1371.6 Meters) from near the bottom of the Pearl Pass/Montezuma Basin Road
Ending Elevation: 14,265 Feet (4446.7 Meters)
Length, One-way: 5 Miles (8.33 Kilometers) Approximate distance.




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

Castle peak is one of the easily accessible Colorado fourteeners.  An unimproved mining road leads to the base of a steep climb to the summit.
Copyright: Marshall Hall - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Castle peak is one of the easily accessible Colorado fourteeners. An unimproved mining road leads to the base of a steep climb to the summit.
Castle Peak, at 14,265 feet, is the highest peak in the Elk Range. It is located 12 miles south of Aspen at the end of the Castle Creek Valley

The peak is normally accessed from Castle Creek and the Montezuma Basin four-wheel drive road. The last several miles of this road become steep and rough so it is recommended to park before this point and walk to the end of the road.

From the end of the Montezuma Basin Road there are two routes:

Northeast Ridge - Climb up the left snowfield to the bowl. From the bowl, follow the trail through the loose shale slope on the left to the ridge. This is the northeast ridge. Climb up the ridge to the summit. This route requires some fun rock scrambling.

Northwest Ridge - Climb up the right snowfield to the bowl then up the snowfield to the saddle between Castle and Conundrum Peaks. There is very loose rock below the saddle. From the saddle climb up the ridge to the summit.

Directions from Aspen: Travel west from Aspen 1/2 mile on Highway 82 and turn left at the Maroon Creek Road turnoff, then immediately take a left onto Castle Creek Road. Travel 13.5 miles on Castle Creek Road (2 miles past Ashcroft) to the intersection with the 4WD Pearl Pass/Montezuma Basin Road (Forest Road 102). There is a small parking area at the junction. The road gets steep and rough. It is recommended to park near the bottom of this road. At the fork with the Pearl Pass Road, bear to the right toward Montezuma Basin.



Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Snow very hard in the early mornings so experience or crampons a must. Glissading down the snowfields was fast, fun and a little hard on the rear-end. It was early so the snow had not had time to soften up much. Braking with a walking stick or ice axe recommended.

Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This was my first climb on a fourteener and it was an excellent choice. Not to difficult but yet not to easy. I chose the northeast ridge route. The hardest part was climbing up the snowfield at the bottom of Montezuma Basin. After that it was a lot of fun climbing the ridge which required some very easy scrambling. I started on the Montezuma Basin road just before the first crossing of the creek and it took about 5 hours to get up and 3 and a half to come down.



Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Mountain Climbing Castle Peak
Yes



Related Activities
Montezuma Basin Four-Wheel Drive Road - There rugged jeep road provides access to Crested Butte via Pearl Pass, several Braun system huts and the starting point for climbing Castle Peak.



More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Aspen Ranger District, 806 W. Hallam , Aspen, CO, 81611, Phone: 970-925-3445

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Local Lodging

Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel
Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel



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