OverviewHayden Peak is located in the Elk Mountains less than 1 mile north of Electric Pass and close to the towns of Ashcroft and Aspen. Hayden Peak has three summits. Its main summit is at 13,561'. It's north summit, also known as "Ski Hayden Peak" is at 13,316'. Finally, it's south summit is at 13,540'.
"Ski Hayden Peak" was extremely close to becoming Aspen's developed ski mountain. During the late 1930s, a group of investors (Billy Fisk, Ted Ryan, Tom Flynn and others) built Highland Bavaria Lodge on Castle Creek at the base of Hayden Peak. They hired Andre Roch, a ski area engineer and famed French mountaineer. Roch and his assistant named "Ski Hayden Peak" the best mountain for skiing in the area. World War II, including Fisk's death, intervened with the investors' plans. Today, Hayden Peak is "the most popular ski touring peak near Aspen." Billy Madsen
The northeast face of "Ski Hayden Peak" is a classic ski descent. It is an advanced ski descent rated S4- on the S Scale. The north face of Hayden Peak is a better option for an extreme ski descent and is rated an S5-.
From the summit, UN13,695 "Electric Pass Peak", Castle Peak, Cathedral Peak, UN13,805 "Castlebra" and Conundrum Valley can be seen.
Getting ThereDrive Highway 82 west from Aspen. Take a left onto Castle Creek Road. Drive 8 miles to a widened shoulder on the west side of the road. There is a small sign indicating the trailhead. In addition, there is a great view of "Ski Hayden Peak". You should be about 0.1 mile downvalley from the Castle Creek-Sawyer Creek confluence. Cross Castle Creek, there are at least a couple tricky log crossings. Follow a trail southwest through private property on an easement. Intersect and follow a road up Sawyer Creek drainage. The road ends at 9,600'. Bear left to a more obscure trail which leads to a narrow gulch. Stay out of this gulch by staying right and keeping the gulch to your left. Continue west and up the huge bowl on "Ski Hayden Peak". From the summit of "Ski Hayden Peak" follow Roch Ridge south to Hayden Peak. The ridge is class 2.
Round Tip Distance: 11 miles
Red TapeThere is an easement (first 1/4 mile) across private land, created specifically for skiers/climbers. While travelling through the easement, stay on the trail, moving quickly and quietly.
Mountain Conditions7 Day Forecast for Aspen, CO
Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC)
CampingYou can camp right at the trailhead.
Guide BookDawson's Guide to Colorado Backcountry Skiing, Volume 1
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