Mt. Princeton

Castle Rock (Elevation 9,792 feet) - Chaffee County, Colorado

Castle Rock in Chaffee County is a prominent rocky point with a distinct and noticable face. Typically, this peak is viewed by motorists driving on Highway 24 and 285 between Trout Creek Pass and Buena Vista, For years, I considering hiking to its summit but only did it now. This peak should not be confused with the town of Castle Rock in Douglas County or its rock near Interstate 25 named "Castle Rock." Our hike is in Chaffee County.

Although short, this is not a casual hike by any means. No trail exists. The southern gully we ascended was steep and full of brush and thorny bushes that scratched me badly. Directly below are four larger photos showing the mountain from different perspectives, followed by the full trip report.

Directions: From Highway 24 & 285 between Johnson Village and Trout Creek Pass (driving away from Buena Vista), we turned east on Chaffee County Road 307. We then made a right on County Road 187 and drove "behind" the peak (south of Castle Rock) and parked on the side of the road.

-Steve
Buena Vista, Colorado

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Photos of Castle Rock (alt. 9,792 feet) in Chaffee County, CO
Chaffee County Road 307
April 9, 2010 - The view of Castle Rock (center) from Chaffee County Road 307.
Castle Rock
Driving on County Road 187, we come closer to Castle Rock.
Bernie Doyle
This is a creative shot that includes my friend Bernie Doyle, who photographed Castle Rock from the roadside in 2004. My friends and I briefly pulled over at this spot and were en route to Independence Pass and Aspen, CO.

Click on any image in the left column to view it at a larger size.
Our Hike

Our adventure began on County Road 187. The first challenge was finding a place to cross the creek running through Castle Rock Gulch.

This hike was fairly straightforward. We walked toward the mountain's southern gully as seen in the white arrow.

Coming closer.
Colorado Hike At the base, Derrick and I saw the extent of the steepness of this gully. We briefly stood around.

I asked Derrick, "Are you ready for this? I think I'm ready." My tone of voice didn't sound so sure. Derrick pointed out that I recently walked 61 miles in one week (the vertical distance of Chaffee County) and suggested I was more ready than he was. I'm not sure if either of us were ready, but we went for it anyway!

Colorado Hike

Two photos as we worked up the gully.

TOP: A great shot of Derrick on a rock. We rested many times climbing the gully.

SECOND: An example of a section was filled with thorny bushes. I had a few souviner scratch marks on my arms and legs to show to my friends.

By the way, your topographical map will show it, but the summit is to the right of the gully.

Castle Rock in Chaffee County
The Summit - Castle Rock (9,792 feet)

What a great way to spend Friday afternoon in Colorado's mountains! :)

Limestone Ridge, CO Adjacent is the view facing northwest. Limestone Ridge is the large plateau in the background. Highway 24 & 285 can be seen as well.
Facing north toward Mushroom Gulch, Kaufmann Ridge NW and Highway 24 & 285 proceeding toward Trout Creek Pass.
The eastern view. If you look closely, you might notice our vehicle along the road.
Castle Rock, CO The view to the west. I put numbers on two respective hikes in this area.

1 - Midland Hill. This is located directly east of Buena Vista.

2 - An Unnamed Point also located in the Fourmile area.

Sawatch Mountains

Mt. Princeton

Mt. Yale and Mt. Columbia

The Sawatch Range. No doubt, these peaks are the main attraction to the area. Adjacent are four Colorado 14ers:

TOP: Mt. Antero and Mt. Princeton
SECOND: Mt. Princeton
THIRD: Mt. Yale and Mt. Columbia

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