Castle Peak

Featured photo of Castle Peak

Castle Peak is the highest peak in Colorado's Elk Range, and is the easiest of the six fourteeners to climb. A rough four-wheel-drive road leads to around 12,800 feet, but most people start well below that. The standard route is the Montezuma Glacier, a permanent snowfield between Castle and Conundrum Peaks. An ice axe is recommended year round for this route. Many people also climb Conundrum Peak (14,060 feet), but it does not rise far enough above the saddle to be considered an "official" fourteener.

Elevation (feet): 14,265
Elevation (meters): 4,348
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: Elk Range Area
State: Colorado
Latitude: 39.0097
Longitude: -106.861
Difficulty: Walk up
Best months for climbing: Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
Year first climbed: 1873
First successful climber(s): Hayden Survey
Nearest major airport: Aspen
Convenient Center: Aspen

Thanks to Kirk Mallory for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 34 trip reports for Castle Peak.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #21389 - by Michael Boone on Aug 16, 2008
    Be sure to follow the trail on the summit ridge. Going too low down the side of the ridge puts you in some very exposed positions.
  • Log #20818 - by Patrick L. Lilly on June 08, 2007
    My 28th fourteener. Climbed from 10,160 ft. on the Castle Creek road with my daughter (#23 for her). Ice axes and crampons required above about 12,900 ft.
  • Log #20811 - by Patrick L. Lilly on June 05, 2007
    An early season snow climb with my daughter, Trisha; there was still plenty of snow! Crampons and ice axes needed. Started at 10,160 feet (1st stream crossing), and followed the road/trail into...
  • Log #14914 - by Bryce Turner on Nov 09, 2004
    Awesome Peak to climb. Great panorama views; One of the best I've climbed, ever!
  • Log #14916 - by Bob on Nov 08, 2004
    Solo summit from Montezuma Basin about 12,700+ ft. I'd climbed from 10,200 to 11,300 one day. Then from 11,200 to 12,700+ a 2nd day as warm-up climbs. Started on foot at about 9am and summited about...
  • Log #14918 - by Augustine Rios on Sep 05, 2004
    lots of snow, poor visibility, but nice solitude. Even with an unclear trail the last few hundred feet are easy.
  • Log #14919 - by Keegan Parker on Aug 22, 2004
    My thirteenth fourteener! Me and my dad decided we were going to drive to the parking lot at 12800 and forget the 3000 foot rule, but then got to the first creek crossing on the road and decided our...
  • Log #14920 - by Deborah Fronsdahl on Aug 16, 2004
    Second hardest and longest climb to date (behind Longs), tagged both Conundrum summits, too, and then reclimbed Castle to descend. 14er number 15! Seven so far this year.
  • Log #14921 - by Brett K. Chain on July 21, 2004
    Awesome 4WD road up the mountain! Good view of the Maroon Bells from the summit.
  • Log #14922 - by Rick on July 17, 2004
    Nice walk up to 12,800. From there the a Snow climb up the North Coulior. Not another person insight all day ! Spectacluar views all te way up . Soft Snow lots of Postholing by 10 AM on the way down.
  • Log #14923 - by Sahraoui Chaieb on June 21, 2004
    June 12 2004 at 5 am I picked up my colleague and friend prof. Marc Bowick at his rented condo in downtown aspen just steps away from the aspen expeditions office. We parked the car a mile from pearl...
  • Log #14924 - by Cory Parkinson on May 02, 2004
    Be prepared for many winds. I mean the kind where yu run out of energy and get it back. Not weather winds, although those are strong too. Where warm clothes when climbing, even in the summer and...
  • Log #14925 - by DJR on Nov 09, 2003
    We camped the night at the mine so did not have far to go this morning. The snow was great and only 1 instance of rockfall bounced by us. Really fun climb.
  • Log #14926 - by Jack Cunningham on Sep 10, 2003
    Walked the four wheel drive road up from the Castle Creek Valley past Ashcroft. This was really just a long hike on a rough road. Had to climb a relatively steep snowfield before some class 2+...
  • Log #14927 - by John Beatty, III on Aug 19, 2003
    What a great climb. Thanks to Keith and Brian my climbing partners who I met on the way up to the base. This was my first 14er and a good place to start. Watch the rocks on the NE slope; just below...
  • Log #14928 - by Gordon Whetlock on Aug 04, 2003
    It's all beautiful... the lakes are so green!
  • Log #14929 - by Charles W. Miller Ph.D. on Aug 04, 2003
    Got to top just as clouds were building up; I could feel electric charge developing but made it down.
  • Log #14930 - by April K. Gray on July 09, 2003
    It was a perfect day to be climbing in the montains. I toke the snow to the saddle. Crampons were not needed with careful placement of my ice axe. It was amazing to see two men from Crested Butte ski...
  • Log #14931 - by Cory Jensen on June 30, 2003
    Didn't take crampons or ice axe for NE ridge ascent. Trail to the ridge is really small loose scree as is switch backs up an initial climb, then mellows out as you head SW up to ridge. Trail is...
  • Log #14932 - by Jim Thompson on June 18, 2003
    Started up Summer Snow in middle, mistake too steep, descended. Tried scramble up ridge to left to hairy for me. Went back down a bit and went up easier part of ridge. One scary move near top,...
  • Log #14934 - by Matt Loscalzo on Oct 18, 2002
    This was my first 14'ner. At the time it was tough, because I just moved to Aspen from New York City. Pretty big change. But Castle started what has become a climbing obsession.
  • Log #14935 - by Michael Jake on Sep 23, 2002
    NE Ridge from Montezuma Basin. Summited with Lori and Scot. I think we were the first to summit after the first snow - no tracks on the summit. We were unable to find a register.
  • Log #14936 - by Ryan Badtke on Sep 05, 2002
    Montezuma Basin Rules! This was my 29th 14er, and I also hit the "false summit" of Conundrum. Going up the permanent snow field was a blast. Just make sure you have an ice ax. Crampons...
  • Log #14937 - by Jeanne Macauley on Aug 21, 2002
    This is my favorite 14-er in Colorado. Early in the summer season, snowfields allow for a long, fabulous glissade down. The walk up and will challenge the achrophobics in a couple of places, but the...
  • Log #14938 - by David Witte on Aug 10, 2002
    Castle was an exciting climb all the way to the top. I started hiking at 11,000 feet up the road to make the climb official in my book. You can take the four wheel drive road up to around 12,500 but...
  • Log #14939 - by Marshall Hall on June 28, 2002
    Best glisade in the state of Colorado. Earlier in the season the better.
  • Log #14940 - by melissa Hudson on Dec 05, 2001
    I climbed it in August but there was still snow on the peak. It was beautiful.
  • Log #14942 - by Shawn Daniel on Aug 13, 2001
    Easy? Ha! Anyone ever climb Castle from Conundrum Hot Springs?
  • Log #14943 - by Mason C. on Feb 06, 2001
    Easy yet beautiful hike to the top.
  • Log #14944 - by Melanie SLay on Nov 20, 2000
    Just another great adventure, loved it immensely, I just love to climb...
  • Log #14945 - by Matt Kirk on Nov 03, 2000
    Greetings 14er climbers and enthusiasts. I just wanted to let everyone know that there should be a 14ers forum coming soon at If you have the time, please come by and...
  • Log #14946 - by craig donaldson on Aug 25, 2000
    with Ron"the energizer bunnie"Miller from the parking lot,cross a couple snow patches a few rocks then up steep switch backs to ridge scramble up to summit--bitchin day met a few people had...
  • Log #14948 - by Jason Halladay on Aug 03, 2000
    We climbed Castle peak on the weekend before the fourth of July. We expected crowds but had the summit to ourselves for 30 minutes while we napped. The hike up is fun and not too difficult. We opted...
  • Log #14949 - by Kirk Mallory on Sep 24, 1999
    Started just past Ashcroft (near 9,700 feet) and hiked up the very long four-wheel-drive road. From the upper parking lot at 12,800 feet, I climbed via the Northeast Ridge, which is 2+ scrambling....