Mill-Castle Trail

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Mill Castle Trail #450

The Mill Castle Trail #450 begins at the trailhead at the end of Mill Creek Road, FSR #727 and ends at its intersection with the Lowline Trail #438.  With the exception of the first mile from the trailhead, the trail is within the West Elk Wilderness where Wilderness Regulations apply.  The trail crosses Mill Creek just before the wilderness boundary.  This crossing may be treacherous during the runoff or heavy thunderstorms.  It then meanders west from Mill Creek Road where, at approximately 5 miles, you reach a series of steep rocky switchbacks which can be slippery during inclement weather.  It then turns north over Strom Pass which is very steep on both sides and then continues east to Castle Creek.  Although this trail goes through rugged terrain, it is one of the most scenic trails in the West Elk Wilderness.

Open Season: June – October
Usage: Medium
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Fall Hunting
Restrictions: Open to Hiking and Horseback.
Closest Towns: Gunnison, CO and Crested Butte, CO
Information Center: Gunnison Ranger District

Mill Castle Trailhead:

From Gunnison, travel north on Highway 135 for approximately 3.5 miles to its intersection with Ohio Creek Road, County Road #730.  Travel northwest on Ohio Creek Road for approximately 9 miles to its intersection with Mill Creek Road, FSR #727.  Follow Mill Creek Road for approximately 4.5 miles to its end at the gate.

Mill Castle Trailhead:  T. 51N., R. 87W., Section 11.  U.S.G.S. Maps: Squirrel Creek, West Elk Peak, and Anthracite Range.  Elevation: 9,000 feet.  The trailhead is accessible by two-wheeled drive vehicles when the road is dry.


  • Trail Measurement: 12.9 Miles
  • Compass Latitude: 384215N
  • Compass Longitude: 1070856W
  • Numeric Latitude: 38.704161
  • Numeric Longitude: -107.1489397
  • Elevation in Meters: 2743
  • Elevation in Feet: 9000

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