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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > White River National Forest > Aspen Ranger District

Quick Facts

Cathedral Lake to Electric Pass Trail

Average Time: 7 - 8 Hours
Beginning Elevation: 9,500 Feet (2961.3 Meters)
Difficulty: Most Difficult
Elevation Gain: 4,000 Feet (1246.9 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 13,500 Feet (4208.2 Meters)
Length: 7.9 Miles (13.17 Kilometers) one way
Other Maps: Trails Illustrated 127 Aspen, Independence Pass
Pets: Yes - Leashed
Recommended Season: Summer to Fall
Trail Number: 1984 to Electric Pass
Usage: Very Heavy
USGS Maps: Hayden Peak




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

The view west from Electric Pass allows the hiker to see Cataract Basin and the Maroon Bells
Copyright: Amy Pyle-Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
The view west from Electric Pass allows the hiker to see Cataract Basin and the Maroon Bells
This trail is not recommended for the beginner. It is is a difficult day hike or strenuous backpack trip. Follow the Cathedral Lake Trail to the first Electric Pass fork and go right. This is the halfway point from the trailhead to Electric Pass. At the next fork you will come to two trails (the old one is blocked off) and a new one that bears left. Take the new trail. You'll travel through meadows of wildflowers and be above the tree line. While in the meadows the trail turns right and goes into a series of switchbacks up the ridge on your right.

The largely abandoned trail across the face of Electric Peak to the "pass" crosses a steep talus slope that is frequently obliterated in spots and has dangerous loose rock and/or snow. Few use this section of the trail and it is not recommended. Instead, continue up the ridge to the peak which is slightly above the "pass".

The trail from the "pass" down to Conundrum Creek was abandoned long ago (despite what Google Maps shows) and crosses hazardous terrain. Do not attempt unless you are truly prepared for the conditions and prepared to self rescue if need be.

Directions from Aspen: Drive 1/2 mile west of Aspen on Highway 82. At the roundabout, turn onto Castle Creek Road. Drive 12.2 miles up Castle Creek and turn right (shortly after passing Ashcroft) onto a gravel road, driving a 1/2 mile to the trailhead.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: June through September (NOTE: The trail to Electric Pass may be inaccessible during the Spring, Fall, and Winter months due to snow.) .



Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Winter Conditions. Beware of avalanche danger and hypothermia. Updated: 2002-12-23 14:35:00.0


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Filed By: The Balarez (Chico, CA)
Time of Day: On Trail at 8:30am
Length of Time: 7 Hours, be off peak by Noon
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Gradual Climb the whole way. A little over grown at the split to Cathedral Lake. The views of catle like formations and jagged rocks were awesome. Trail was very nice. Trail is only 7.9 Round Trip. And about 7 hours round trip.
Conditions: Very dry conditions. Lots of Flys till about tree line.
Water Availability: Took 2.5 liters, was plenty. Other person in group took 3, and drank 2.5 liters.
Recommended Clothing: Pants, and took a fleese for the top. Windy at top, hot on hike up.
Suggested Accessories: Nice Boots

Filed By: The Balarez (Chico, CA)
Time of Day: On Trail at 8:30am
Length of Time: 7 Hours, be off peak by Noon
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Gradual Climb the whole way. A little over grown at the split to Cathedral Lake. The views of catle like formations and jagged rocks were awesome. Trail was very nice.
Conditions: Very dry conditions. Lots of Flys till about tree line.
Water Availability: Took 2.5 liters, was plenty. Other person in group took 3, and drank 2.5 liters.
Recommended Clothing: Pants, and took a fleese for the top. Windy at top, hot on hike up.
Suggested Accessories: Nice Boots

Difficulty: Hard
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: The trail approaching the lake was clear until the top of the famous switchbacks. From there to get back onto the trail is treacherous - deep soft snow (for major postholing!) and with hidden downed timber( to trap a leg or foot under!). From this point on, snow is everywhere, and the lake is still frozen. Only the ridge to Electric peak looks clear, but otherwise the whole approach is totally in snow. A Swiss start for this climb (4:00AM) would be great as the snow should be firm. I saw one set of old tracks on the lake approach. P.S. Castle Peak looked totally snow covered, ridge and all.



Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cold Water Fishing Cathedral Lake
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Cathedral Lake to Electric Pass Trail
Yes



More Information

Links to other sites:
Forest Conservancy - Current Information from Local Volunteers: Closings and Conditions

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