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
Copyright: Marshall Hall
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.
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.