Malemute Peak lies within the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness across from Castle Peak as it reaches a height of 13,348ft. It is a part of the rugged, red and rotten Elk Range near Aspen , Colorado. This peak is a ruggedly steep summit with fairly long sweeping ridges on three of its sides. Setting across Montezuma Basin from its larger neighbors in Castle Peak and Conundrum Peak , it is often overlooked by many a climber and hiker in this part of the Elks. Because of this, you usually won't find anyone else on a climb to this summit. You will find an amazing view though, one of the best in the range extending up to Castle Peak and also most of the other fourteeners in the range. There are no marked routes up this peak, but the suggested route would be the northwest ridge from Montezuma Basin. This narrow ridgeline creates a horseshoe of peaks including Conundrum and Castle along with Point 13,848. This ring of peaks creates one of the most beautiful panoramas you'll find anywhere in the Elk Range.
From Aspen continue west on Colorado Highway 82 until you get just outside of town to a roundabout. Once in the roundabout continue almost the entire way around to the last turn-off for Castle Creek Road. Continue back this road for eight miles even as the road turns to stone until you reach a crossing at Castle Creek. You may either park here or continue across the creek up to Montezuma Basin.
From Glenwood Springs:
Continue south on Colorado Highway 82 for approximately forty-five minutes towards Aspen until you reach the roundabout just outside of town. Once in the roundabout continue almost the entire way around to the last turn-off for Castle Creek Road. Continue back this road for eight miles even as the road turns to stone until you reach a crossing at Castle Creek. You may either park here or continue across the creek up to Montezuma Basin.
There are no permits required to hike/climb or park in this part of the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness. Also, no passes are required for hiking in the area. For wildlife and nature conservation follow the “Leave No Trace” system and you'll be fine as will the area remain in its original state for others to use.
When To Climb
This peak is climable in all seasons. The best time to climb would be from late June to early September. Snow conditions are found at most times of the year in Montezuma Basin so come prepared with snow/ice climbing gear. For the most part, in the above time frame, you'll just need some trekking poles and summer wear.
There is camping below Montezuma Basin along Castle Creek. For more information and regulations contact the local ranger station in downtown Aspen.
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