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Castle Creek Area


Silver Queen Campground Silver Bell Campground Silver Bar Campground Aspen Highlands Ski Area Conundrum Creek Trail Castle Peak American Lake Trail Cathedral Lake Trail Pearl Pass/Montezuma Basin Road Taylor Pass Road Express Creek Road Richmond Hill Road Little Annie Basin Road Midnight Mine Road Aspen Mountain Ski Area Difficult Campground Barnard Hut Goodwin Green Hut Lindley Hut Tagert & Wilson Green Huts Markley Hut Aschcroft ImageMap - turn on images!!!


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General Information

Hayden Peak dominates the lower section of Castle Creek Road.
Copyright: Marshall Hall - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Hayden Peak dominates the lower section of Castle Creek Road.
Description - The Castle Creek Valley lies to the south of Aspen between Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands ski areas. At the head of the valley lies the fourteen thousand foot tall Castle Peak. The ghost town of Ashcroft and the Ashcroft Cross-Country Ski Area are located below the peak. Cathedral and American lakes are located nearby. The lower end of the valley is dominated by views of Hayden Peak. Conundrum Creek is located to the west of Hayden.

Attractions - The Castle Creek Area includes Conundrum Creek and Hot Springs, Ashcroft, Montezuma Basin, Taylor Pass, Express Creek, Castle Peak, American Lake, Cathedral Lake, Electric Pass, Little Annie Basin, Richmond Ridge and much more.

Recreation - Some of the numerous recreation opportunities available in the Castle Creek Area include hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, backcountry camping, fishing, four-wheel driving, scenic driving, sightseeing, mountain climbing, and viewing historic Ashcroft. Winter brings possibilities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

Climate - In the valley bottoms, summer high temperatures extend into the mid 80s, with cool evenings that can often dip into the 30s. Winter lows occasionally dip to minus 30 degrees, though daytime temperatures are often in the 20s to 30s. The relative humidity is quite low throughout the year. Most of the area and its recreation facilities lie at higher elevations where significantly lower temperatures and more precipitation can be expected. Afternoon summer thunderstorms are common. Snow is possible at any time of year in the highest elevations. The high elevation roads and trails are often not clear of snow until mid-July.

Location - This area is located south of Aspen. It includes the Castle Creek Valley and its tributaries, such as Conundrum Creek and Express Creek as well as the Richmond Ridge area.

Directions from Aspen: Castle Creek Road - Drive 1/2 mile west of the Aspen Ranger District on Highway 82 to the round-a-bout and take the Castle Creek exit. Pass Aspen Valley Hospital and continue on Castle Creek Road. Castle Creek Road provides access to Midnight Mine, Little Annie Basin, Express Creek/Taylor Pass, Pearl Pass and Montezuma Basin Roads.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Paragliding Aspen Ski Area
Yes
ICON Tent Camping primitive camping available on American, Cathedral and Conundrum Trails.
Yes
ICON Cross-country Skiing Ashcroft Ski Touring, Richmond Hill Road, Castle Creek Road, Express Creek Road
Yes
ICON Cold Water Fishing Cathedral and American Lakes
Yes
ICON Four-Wheel Driving Montezuma Basin, Express Creek, Taylor Pass Divide, Midnight Mine and Little Annie Roads.
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Cathedral, Castle Peak, American Lake and Conundrum Trails.
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Montezuma Basin, Express Creek, Taylor Pass Divide, Midnight Mine, Pearl Pass and Little Annie Roads - motorized vehicles are also permitted.
Yes
ICON Mushroom Identification Cathedral, Castle Peak, American Lake and Conundrum Trails.
Yes
ICON Wildflower Identification Cathedral, Castle Peak, American Lake and Conundrum Trails.
Yes
ICON Resort Lodging Castle Creek Road - Elk Mountain House
Yes
ICON Mountain Biking Montezuma Basin, Express Creek, Taylor Pass Divide, Midnight Mine, Pearl Pass and Little Annie Roads.
Yes
ICON ATV Riding Montezuma Basin, Express Creek, Taylor Pass Divide, Midnight Mine, Pearl Pass and Little Annie Roads.
Yes
ICON Motorcycle Riding Montezuma Basin, Express Creek, Taylor Pass Divide, Midnight Mine, Pearl Pass and Little Annie Roads.
Yes
ICON Road Biking Castle Creek Road
Yes
ICON Scenic Driving Castle Creek Road
Yes
ICON Backcountry Skiing Castle Creek, Richmond Hill and Express Creek Roads to hut system
Yes
ICON Snowmobiling Montezuma Basin, Express Creek, Taylor Pass Divide, Midnight Mine and Little Annie Roads.
Yes
ICON Attending Talks & Programs Ashcroft Ghost Town
Yes


More Information

Additional Information:
Aspen Area - Aspen sits at the upper end of the scenic Roaring Fork Valley, in the mountains of west-central Colorado. Aspen is a world-class ski resort, and with its mountain setting, a center for endless other outdoor recreation activities.
Aspen Ranger District - The Aspen Ranger District surrounds the resort town of Aspen, at the upper end of the Roaring Fork River Valley. It encompasses some spectacular mountain terrain in the Elk Mountains, and Sawatch Range.

Links:
Forest Conservancy - Current Information from Local Volunteers: Closings and Conditions
Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers - Volunteer Opportunities in This Area

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Local Lodging

Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel
Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel



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