Colorado 14ers: Castle Peak

This stiff climb to the tallest peak in the Elk Range offers unforgettable views of the Roaring Fork River and Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area.

-Mapped by Kim Phillips, Patsy Fellman, and Ben Smith

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 20.0



Location: 39.029165, -106.807789

Head S from Castle Creek Trailhead through sun-dappled aspen and pine forest


Location: 39.018749, -106.8125

Pass campsites on both sides of shaded, narrow road


Location: 39.015171, -106.816803

Cross rushing stream on small log bridge; continue SW on dirt road


Location: 39.004971, -106.837196

Road crosses over stream; look to the L for cascading waterfall tumbling over steep rock face


Location: 39.005482, -106.838097

Continue straight @ intersection with Pearl Pass Rd.; head N


Location: 39.011662, -106.839798

Road briefly drops to the SE, then swings to the NW. Continue moderate climb on rocky road; views of cascading stream on L, its rushing melodies can be heard from the trail


Location: 39.019371, -106.85498

4WD road ends at small parking area; begin steep, summit climb, heading SW


Location: 39.01725, -106.858574

Ascend the basin under Castle's N face; navigate steep talus slopes and snow fields to reach the saddle connecting Castle and Conundrum Peaks


Location: 39.013004, -106.863678

Turn L on saddle to ascend Castle's NW rocky ridge on climber's trail. Add a peak: From saddle, turn R to climb the S ridge of Conundrum Peak (14,060-ft.), an unranked 14er


Location: 39.009764, -106.861289

Castle Peak summit (14,265 ft.): Savor unbeatable views from the tallest peak in the Elk Range. Scope out Castle Creek Valley to the NE and neighboring 14ers (Snowmass Mtn., Maroon Bells, Pyramid Peak and Capitol Peak) to the NW

Elk Range

Location: 39.029165, -106.807762

©Kim Phillips

Castle Creek Trailhead

Location: 39.029121, -106.807781

©Kim Phillips

Vibrant Fall Colors

Location: 39.02834, -106.808543

©Kim Phillips

Road up Castle Creek

Location: 39.012116, -106.821899

©Kim Phillips


Location: 39.009869, -106.838287

©Kim Phillips

4WD Road

Location: 39.0177, -106.847759

©Kim Phillips

4WD Parking Area

Location: 39.019734, -106.85409

A hiker rests at the upper 4WD parking area. ©Kim Phillips

Basin below Castle Peak

Location: 39.01775, -106.857791

©Kim Phillips

Hikers ascend the basin below Castle Peak

Location: 39.016166, -106.859701

©Kim Phillips