Climbing Eagle County’s lush landmark | VailDaily.com

Climbing Eagle County’s lush landmark

Allyn Harvey
Special to the Daily
Eagle County, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyA hike of Castle Peak Sunday starts at 8,400 feet and climbs to the 11,275-foot summit. In parts of Castle Peak, a network of trails winds through the often chest-high grasses and downed timber
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EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – This week’s Hidden Gems hike explores Castle Peak and its surrounding environment at the edge of the Flattops, just 10 miles north of Eagle, Colorado.

Nestled between the Flat Tops, Gore Range and Sawatch Range, Castle Peak provides sweeping vistas of dramatic mountain landscape, with steep rugged slopes, and rolling hills, basins, and meadows.

The hike starts at 8,400 feet and climbs to the 11,275 foot summit. In parts of Castle Peak, a network of trails winds 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.

The combination of lush forage and deeply wooded shelter make the proposed Castle Peak Wilderness ideal for a variety of wildlife. It is the summer range for an estimated 400 head of elk and 1,000 deer. It is also home to grouse and raptors.

The vegetation is diverse and includes expanses of Douglas fir, Englemann spruce, aspen and grass meadows, sagebrush, and mixed mountain brush. Many springs, small lakes and perennial streams are found in the area.

To sign up for the hike, contact Collin Stewart at 509-385-2406 or collin@whiteriverwild.org.

The Hidden Gems hikes are part of the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign. The campaign is a grassroots effort to expand and protect designated wilderness in and around the White River National Forest. It is led by the Wilderness Workshop, the Colorado Mountain Club, The Wilderness Society and the Colorado Environmental Coalition.




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