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Hike to the top of Castle Rock

El Paso County, Colorado

5.0/5
based on 1 reviews

Details

Distance

2 miles

Elevation Gain

800 ft

Route Type

Loop

Description

Added by Connor Bruson

Avoid the crowds and catch a great view overlooking Ute Pass as you wind your way up through the pristine, privately-maintained trails of the H.B. Wallace Reserve in Green Mountain Falls 

The Basics: If you've never been to Green Mountain Falls, you're missing out! This tiny mountain hamlet, just off Hwy 24 before Woodland Park, hosts a vibrant collection of local shops and eateries around its community lake. It is also home to many lesser-known hiking trails, including the H.B. Wallace Reserve. Nearly all of the trails in this area climb up the steep canyon walls that line Ute Pass, so you can expect a lot of elevation gain to great views in just a few miles. 

The HikeThe dirt parking area for the H.B. Wallace Reserve is located at the intersection of the main road through town (Ute Pass Ave.) and Mountain Road. From here, walk up Mountain Rd. a few hundred yards until you see the gate and sign for the Reserve on your right. Just beyond the gate, there is an informative trail map and information. 

You can hike straight up the orange-signed Castle Rock trail to get to the top quickly, or you can branch off to either side on Elk Root or Peyote Pass trails. These trails ascend more gradually and add some mileage to the otherwise-quick ascent. The upper portion of the trail contains many tight switchbacks as you make your way up past the towering Castle Rock. The trail ends at the top of the rock with a great vantage point of Ute Pass, Green Mountain Falls, and Rampart Range. There are a few top-rope climbing anchors attached to the rock's summit. The granite monolith has quite a few angles and faces to climb, strewn with deep cracks and overhangs.

Note: This pristine area is privately maintained. Please stay on the trail and don't cut switchbacks! The trails are all fairly well marked with rocks and color-coded signs. If you begin to lose the path, take a moment to look for the next marker before trailblazing your own social trail.

The Area: Start your hike off with the best breakfast from The Pantry. Afterwards, relax at the town's lake gazebo while you watch ducks, wildlife, and fishermen. During the winter, the ice is thick enough to walk on. If you are looking for an all-day hike, the Kirkpatrick Trail, part of the H.B. Wallace Reserve, traverses the mountainside to a few other trails in the area, including North and South Catamount Reservoirs, Crystal Creek Reservoir, Ring the Peak Trail, and Mt. Esther. Take a day to explore the richness this area holds just out of sight of the busy highway. 

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Features

Rock Climbing
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

This is a short hike with a ton of elevation gain very quickly. Can be done (up and down) in about an 30mins if you hustle or take it slow and enjoy the views as you go up, and it more like 1hr total. The hike itself is on the north side of the canyon, so the view from the top is facing north, looking out over Green Mountain Falls and the surrounding area, including hwy 24. The hike seems to be accessible year round, however, boots are helpful until late March/April due to snow. If you’re a rock climber, enjoy some scrambling in the way up, and a few top rope climbs that have not been added to mountain project yet. The top of this hike is not the top of the ridge you can see from the parking lot. This one ends at a castle like structure of rock about .4 miles from the top.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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