Castle Peak is a prominent peak with steep rugged slopes, and rolling hills, basins, and meadows. It is an outlier of volcanic rock similar in age and origin to expanses of volcanic strata underlying the Flat Tops. Nestled between the Flat Tops, Gore Range and Sawatch Range, Castle Peak provides sweeping vistas of dramatic mountain landscape. Many springs, small lakes and perennial streams are found in the area; some streams provide aquatic habitat and support trout. In parts of the proposed Castle Peak Wilderness, a network of trails wind through the often chest-high grasses and downed timber. Castle Peak itself is not only a visual reference point for the whole area, but interesting in its own right, as an outlier of volcanic rock similar in age and origin to that covering the Flat Tops. Elevations range from 8,400 feet to 11,275 feet on Castle Peak The expanded boundaries of the proposed wilderness add additional biodiversity by reaching down the hillside to include the lower elevation sagebrush/grasslands habitats. Castle Peak’s location four miles from I-70 at the Wolcott exit, places it within easy driving distance of the Front Range, an added bonus for tourism and recreation.
The Castle Peak Wilderness Study Area is a semi-primitive backcountry area with no facilities. There is no motorized or mechanized use within the WSA to help preserve erosive soils, wildlife, scenic values, water quality and cultural resources.
While this was an absolutely beautiful area, we never found any sites w/ which to camp. In fact, we ran into a Gov employee who maintains the radio towers in the area, and he said he wasn't aware of any camping in the area, and he didn't even think that "regular civilians" were permitted where we had ventured, and that he even had to get permission from the ranch owner each time he came up to work on the towers. :O
We had a great 4-wheel romp to get in, and up the mountain, and even got stuck in a snowbank at one point. The views from here were tremendous. However, the directions that state to follow Eby Creek Rd to get here are very, very wrong. That is a private road that goes through a private ranch (with very clear No Trespassing signs posted in many places) and a large gate that is normally closed to any but ranch folks. We happened to get through because the gate had been left open. Perhaps the gate and no-trespassing is a new thing for this area.
While a beautiful area, this was an unsuccessful trip for us, and we ended up moving across 70 and found a great spot past Sylvan Lake.
Beautiful!! Please make sure you are leaving no trace! There are a lot of people around this area, please do your part to keep the land as natural as possible. The poop fairy does NOT live here- pack it out!
A few miles past Wolcott is the Castle Peak Wilderness Study Area which holds quite a few little known idyllic camping spots. Blue Lake is by far one of the most serene glacial lakes in the area and offers multiple primitive camp sites designated by fire rings. The lake is accessible by hiking trails and by 4x4 roads, if driving I would highly recommend a high clearance vehicle as many of the ruts on the road are very deep. I have camped here many times, in the summer you are likely to be sharing the lake with another group or two but it is never crowded. I have spent a few weekends here throughout the fall and had the place all to myself. The water is crystal clear and lovely for a dip (if you can handle the cold!). A few kind souls have even left their row boats in the woods next to the lake, to my knowledge they still leave these here for others to enjoy, just please remember to put the boats and paddles back where you find them! There are also quite a few nice hiking trails around the area which are well marked with signs.