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Trip Details

Date Friday  7/20/2018
End Date Sunday  7/22/2018
Group Denver
Event Title Castle Peaks WSA Backpack CMC Conservation Series of Hikes Backpack and Bushwhack
Start Time 5:30 PM
Status Approved
Leader Matthew Zeman
Member Price Free
Available Participants 4
Type Trip
Trip Type Backpack
Pace Moderate
Classification Moderate BI
Trail Mileage 15
Elevation Gain 3000
Driving Distance 250


Castle Peaks Wilderness Study Area

For more info Contact

Matt Zeman



Explore the Castle Peaks Wilderness Study Area (WSA). Locate an ideal place to overnight from a high vantage (water, views, foraging, photography). Practice way-finding navigation skills to bushwhack nearly the entire route through mixed aspen and pine, light grasses, and wild flowers, over and around deadfall, and across ancient volcanic rock. Fresh indicators of elk, deer and bear.  This trip is part of the CMC’s Conservation Series of Hikes developed to promote Colorado’s wilderness areas and elevate the status of “Wilderness Study Areas” to protected “Wilderness.”

Ideally we will leave Friday evening to make the roughly 3 hour drive to the trailhead. There is a great space to camp by our vehicles (indicated in the Google directions on the next page – follow the link) on Friday night. Saturday morning we’ll start the hike, likely arriving at Castle Peaks in the early afternoon. Depending on the group’s preferences, we can spend some time on the rocks and scramble up to camp, or explore and move on to Schlegel Lake, a short distance below to the north to make camp for the night. Fishing is an option.

Sunday morning we’ll consider route options for returning to the vehicles including a mix of bushwhack, trail and 4x4 roads. Front rangers should be back home in time for dinner.


Trip Difficulty:

Moderate class B hike/backpack with possibility for class 3 scrambling. Much of the route is off-trail, including nearly all of the 5 mile and nearly 2,600 ft climb to the base of Castle Peaks.

Trip Prerequisite

  • A class B or C hiker classification minimum
  • Comfort with class 3 scramble
  • Appropriate gear for overnight backpack including the 10 essentials, appropriate clothing for summer conditions between 9k and 12k feet
  • A 4x4 high-clearance vehicle or carpool with a hiker who does - we can sort that stuff out by email!
  • Fishing, foraging, or photography gear?

Elevation Gain:

2,600 – 3,100’


12-15 miles

Sorry it is past the registration deadline for this event.