Hikes we Like: Cathedral Lake/Electric Pass

The Lowdown:

This moderately tough day hike rises up 2,000 feet from the upper end of the Castle Creek Valley, passing by Cathedral Lake (3 miles, 11,880 feet) and making its way along a rad saddle towards Cathedral Peak.

The energizing Electric Pass (13,500 feet) is 5 miles up from the trailhead and gives ya splendid views of Conundrum Valley and the assorted 14ers in the area (Castle and Conundrum dominate the landscape).  Be prepared for a steep and scree-full trail above timberline.

1920s Forest Service Ranger Len Shoemaker, who was knocked down by static electricity several times while on the pass, once said; “this hike makes my soul buzz.”

You can also make a 2-day trek out of the whole deal by camping at Cathedral Lake, enjoying a dip in the brisk mountain water, and hiking up to the pass on the following day.

Be advised that Forest Service fire restrictions in the area are at the Stage 2 level as of last week.  Check out this article in the Post Independent for more information: Recent change in fire restrictions

Directions to trailhead:

Take Highway 82 East from Carbondale towards Aspen.  Drive 25 miles to the roundabout and exit onto Castle Creek Road toward the hospital and Ashcroft.  Go 12 miles up this road (about  mile beyond Ashcroft) to an unpaved road on the right at the green 12-mile marker.  Drive .6 miles up this bumpy road to the parking area and Cathedral Lake trailhead.


Written by Jenny