Map of General Route:
Castle Peak is popular due to easy access from Hwy 80, high elevation start, and mellow terrain. Get a CA Sno-Park permit at our shop ($5/day or $25/season) although as of dec 2022 we don’t have them yet. I think Mountain Hardware next door has them. You’ll find the parking area adjacent to the Boreal Ski Area Parking Lot, on the south side of Hwy 80, and forget it on sunny weekends unless you get there by 7am. Take the Boreal Exit from Hwy 80 to find the Sno Park and walk back under the freeway to the north side of the interstate. Keep going in the same direction up a short, steep dead-end snow-covered road. Follow a highway of tracks west through the trees and find scoot up onto the south ridge. This is basically the summer trail and PCT. You don’t actually get to the summit from over here, and most people don’t try to summit. From the West side of Castle Peak you can keep going further for a run on Basin Peak, or ski a west slope down to Peter Grubb Hut, which you can book at the Sierra Club website. This super rustic old cabin is pretty close to the road, and honestly I’d rather sleep in my bed. What you will probalby do with your first ski tour on the West side of Castle Peak is lap the south facing chutes below the summit.
If you skin up towards the East side of Castle Peak from the car, you’ll find more low angle terrain and a nice perch on top of the ridge leading to the summit. it’s like a pass that gets you over to a small but glorious north bowl with a few runs of about 800′. There are regular avalanches back here due to high winds and storm snow accumulation. You will also be close to snowmobilers. There is a nice side tour out to the Frog Lake Cliffs if you are looking for some spice. And now there is an overnight hut system at Frog Lake run by our beloved DonnerLake Land Trust. Special Use Permits have been given to the local mountain guide companies to take you into the Castle Peak and Frog Lake areas. I love seeing customers return their rental gear to our shop after a guided day, there is so much to learn and the guides are great people. Why not make the best of your day off from work and hire a pro? www.internationalalpineguides.com is the local Truckee pro guide outfit, owned by IFMGA guide Dave Miller. This was Bela and Mimi’s ASI business, started in 1979. Dave Grew up in Truckee and started his own guide company in Mammoth 15 years ago and travels worldwide to guide. he bought ASI 2 years ago. Call his company for ski guiding in the Truckee area. Their office is right behind our store .