Castle Peak, with an elevation of 14,265 feet, is the twelfth highest peak in Colorado and the highest peak in the Elk Range. It is also considered the easiest of the six Fourteeners in the range to climb, though bringing along an ice axe is recommended year-round. Many climbers also bag nearby Conundrum Peak, even though it's not considered an official Fourteener (it doesn't rise high enough above the saddle).
A rough 4WD road will take you to 12,800 feet, though many climbers start below that. The most popular route is over the Montezuma Glacier, a permanent snowfield between the peaks of Castle and Conundrum. From Aspen, go west on CO 82 to the junction with Ashcroft and Maroon Lake roads. Take a left, then the immediate left-hand fork in the road to Castle Creek. Go 13 miles to a fork 1.5 miles past Ashcroft, and turn left onto a very rough road (most vehicles should be parked on the valley floor). Hike up into Montezuma Basin, and, just south of Montezuma Mine, head southwest towards Castle Peak, staying on the clear trail all the way to the summit.
Note that Wikipedia lists two other Castle Peaks in Colorado, one in Eagle County and one in Mesa County. This Castle Peak lies on the
Pitkin-Gunnison county line.
This page last updated 8/15/06