With so many amazing mountains in the Elk range it’s easy to miss one of the Aspen areas most unique hiking trails. Hiking Seven Castle Creak Trail will have you following a local creek up a slot canyon with multiple waterfalls. Several featuring fixed ropes allowing you to climb the falls. We hiked the trail over the July 4th weekend 2020, here is info on the trail and some photos to help guide the way!
Hiking Seven Castle Creek Trail
I recommend using the gps directions provided here at Alltrails.com.
Where to Park
Using the instruction above will take you along Frying Pan Rd following along the river. Once you reach the end point where the small road ends into Frying Pan Rd there will be a good sized pullout featuring a set of mailboxes along the side of the road (along the river). Park here.
Finding the Trail Head
After you park you will start walking up the side road for roughly 200 yards passing a few houses. Just before the no trespassing sign, to your left, is a drainage ditch marked by a bird house. You will enter the trail here. Once in the creak, turn right and follow the water.
The first .5 miles are nothing thrilling. But keep going. Eventually the water pump lines will end and the canyon walls will climb straight up from both sides. The terrain starts to feel more like Utah than Colorado. It’s here where the fun begins as you get to explore 3 waterfalls.
At around mile 1.5 you will get to the first waterfall. There will be fixed ropes to your left allowing you scale up the falls. Be prepared to get a little wet/muddy. The next water fall is much smaller but still using the fixed rope is the best way to get up. As you continue up steam you will make it to the third and largest water fall. Roughly 35ft tall this where the trail comes to an end. This was at around 1.75 miles, making the round trip around 3.5 miles.
Alltrails and older reviews say that the trail continues past here. Unfortunately the fixed rope that were here have been washed out. Leaving a near vertical waterfall and even larger surrounding walls blocking your way. Sadly this will rob you from an incredible views unless you’re looking to add to the adventure. After turning around and walking back down stream from water fall three there will be a steep trail (possibly a game trail) to your right. While my fellow hikers decided not to follow, I made my way up and after a decent steep climb the trail opens up above the treas and flattens out.
The view was worth it!
This was a fun trail and one I highly recommend if you are ever in the Aspen area. It’s short and will only take a 1-2 hours at a leisurely pace. With the rope climbs adding little fun and beautiful views this is one I’ll be coming back to in they ever re-fix ropes up waterfall number 3.