Description: The trail follows the road as it heads mostly north
towards Round Valley. The trail is not steep, but climbs steadily for
three and a half miles through pine and fir forest. For beginners, just
heading out and back on the road might be enough of a tour, but for
intermediate or above skiers, continue on past where the road ends.
The road ends at a steep headwall where the trail switchbacks up a steep
section until it intersects the ridge at Castle Pass. Turning north,
it is less than a mile to Round Valley and the Peter Grubb Hut. This
is an easy spot to get lost. Be sure not to head down slope into the
Lower Castle Creek drainage. Instead, head east of north, contouring
along the mountain. As you leave the forest and enter the open valley,
Castle Peak to the east begs to be climbed. Its broad, 25-30 degree
slopes make perfect terrain for intermediate telemarkers to practice
their turns. Shutes that drop off the summit provide challenging skiing
for advanced and expert skiers as well.
Concerns: There is a drop toilet maintained by the Sierra
Club next to the Grubb Hut. Please be sure to use this facility to avoid
adding waste to this highly used area.
Avalanche conditions can exist around Castle Peak so be sure to check
the avalanche forecast before heading out.