via Red Castle Lakes

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 40.77570°N / 110.4623°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking
Seasons Season: Summer, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: A few days
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 2
Sign the Climber's Log


See the Getting There section on the main page for directions to China Meadows. From China Meadows, follow the Smiths Fork trail south towards Red Castle lakes. This route is entirely class 1 until you reach the Upper Red Castle Lake.

Route Description

Round Trip Distance : 27 mi
Elevation Gain : 3500 ft

Trail OverviewTrail Overview

Begin hiking from China Meadows and head south towards Red Castle Lakes. The trail is easy to follow and well used. There are several stream crossings made easy by bridges. Follow the trail for approximately 8.5 miles to the intersection with the East and West Red Castle Lakes trails. Continue straight, heading towards the Lower and Upper Red Castle Lakes. Shortly after the trail intersection you will pass Lower Red Castle Lake. From the intersection continue for approximately 3 miles to the Upper Red Castle Lake. You will pass the Red Castle to your left.

Red Castle Lakes Route OverviewRed Castle Lakes Overview

Once at the Upper Red Castle Lake, you will have a good view of your route up, seen here. The route up is the ridge to the far right. Now, go around the lake on its west side, there is not much of a trail from here on. Ascend the ridge seen in the photo and then gain Wilson’s summit ridge. Traverse east along the summit ridge for approximately ¾ a mile; you will then reach the summit. The traverse is kept at class 2.

Essential Gear

Backpacking gear for a few days, water sources can be found along the way.



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