Gunnison County Highpoint Trip Report

Castle Peak (14,265 ft)

Dates: August 23-25, 2003 (?)
Author: Walt O’Neil

I took Road 15 from Aspen, which turned into FR102 and was paved to the trailhead. 2WD vehicles can make it a little farther on the dirt road from the trailhead as there are some pullouts. I parked at a pullout camp area at around 11,500 feet and camped overnight.

The next morning I drove farther up to just below Montezuma Mine and parked in a pullout area. I didn't go all the way because it appeared that large boulders were blocking the road but when I got closer I found out they could be navigated. I left at 6:54 and reached the real parking area quickly only to see some snow snowfields and boulders ahead.

There were sporadic cairns on the lower part. I climbed to an area where both Castle and Conundrum Peaks were in plain view and I spotted a trail ascending up the ridge. After ascending the trail and going over 2 prominences, I reached the summit. Parts reminded me of Longs Peak with the cliff-side trails. Cairns got more numerous the higher I got. I summitted at 9:47, signed the register, which was in a rock shelter and headed back down at 9:57.

There was some fog to the south of the summit and, shortly after descending, some hail, which felt good as the pellets were small. I reached the car at 12:12 in bright sunshine.