Storm King and Castle Rock

After a few busy weeks of driving back to Colorado, the Outdoor Retailer Show, and adventuring back to Ridgway, it was definitely time to get out and do some classic Colorado hiking.

I’ve been wanting to hike Montrose County’s high point, Castle Rock, for quite awhile. Castle Rock doesn’t appear much higher than its neighbor Storm King from Highway 550 and Log Hill Mesa but the whole ridge is very prominent. I set off to follow the directions on Summit Post but on the ground things didn’t appear quite as described. Instead, I found myself at the base of these cliffs to the south of where I was supposed to ascend the ridge.

Storm King

I poked around a bit and found this gully that looked like it would “go” to the top of Storm King. Although it was really steep, it was an extremely direct way to attain the ridge. I think I totally preferred it to the wooded ridge recommended on Summit Post.

Ascent route Storm King

The gully attained the ridge just south of Storm King and I ambled south towards Castle Rock first, stopping a couple times to enjoy the views to the west and to get the lay of the land.

Cliffs near Storm King

Loooking south from Storm King

The ridge is fairly flat and it took me very little time at all to get to the summit of Castle Rock. Although things that I’d read seemed to insinuate that Castle Rock wasn’t all that impressive, I found the view amazing. I could look out to the east and the Cimarron valley, southeast to the West Fork Cimarron basin, southwest to the Sneffles Range and Ridgway, and west towards the Uncompahgre Plateau and beyond to Utah’s La Sal Mountains.

South from Castle Rock

Ridgway and the Sneffles Range:

Ridgway and Sneffels Range

Castle Rock panorama:

Castle Rock Panorama

I ambled over to the summit of Storm King before heading back to the Jeep definitely please with this hike!

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