Castle Peak & Conundrum Peak
Date:September 24, 2011
Elevation:Castle Peak - 14,265 ft
Conundrum Peak - 14,060 ft
Trail:Northeast Ridge
Distance:6 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:3,198 ft
Difficulty:Difficult Class 2
Time it took us:6 hrs 40 min

Up to this point, we hadn't hiked any mountains in the Elk Mountain range. These mountains are known to be a bit tougher with looser rock. We decided to start with Castle & Conundrum peaks since they're two of the easier ones. We drove the ATV up the 4x4 road, parked at tree line and camped for the night. We knew the first mile or two would be walking on the 4x4 road, so we were up early and hiking by 5:25am. There was some fresh snow on the trail, but nothing too deep. It's a straight forward hike up Castle Peak with a decent trail through the rocks. We summited Castle and enjoyed the views, then started hiking over to Conundrum Peak. The ridge up Conundrum looks a bit sketchy, but it wasn't bad at all. The views from both peaks are just amazing!!! To get off the mountains, we took the gulley between the peaks and glissaded down! Talk about a fun and fast way to go! We were lucky to have another beautiful CO day with lots of sunshine! The aspens were changing colors and hiking and driving out of the mountains surrounded by gold leaves was a great end to a fun day in the mountains!

Hiking as the sun comes up

Lindsey working her way up the trail

Sunlight hitting Castle Peak

The trail up Castle Peak

Short switchbacks up the ridge

Travis working his way up

Summit shot on Castle Peak

The ridge over to Conundrum Peak

Views were awesome!

Conundrum Peak

Maroon Bells to the north

The rocky way to Conundrum

Summit shot on Conundrum with Castle in the background

The view to the south of the trail/road

Views to the north

A pika visited with us on Conundrum

Lindsey hiking the ridge leaving Conundrum

Travis on the ridge

Lindsey headed down between Castle & Conundrum

Travis glissading!

The best way to get down off a mountain!

Off the snow and back to the 4x4 road

Beautiful fall colors on the ATV ride out

Looking back up the valley

The GPS route for our hike

Final Elevation Profile