Hiking up Waterfalls | Basalt’s Seven Castles

posted in: Hiking, Xperience | 0
Seven Castles Hike
One of the waterfalls on the hike where ropes are cut off. I would have been scared to climb up it anyways!

A couple years ago I came across the Seven Castles hike while researching about fun hikes in the Roaring Fork valley. None of the articles online would disclose where the trailhead is, since it goes through private property, so I made it a mission for my boyfriend to figure out how to get there. You can read about our adventure HERE.

Seven Castles Hike
The view back into the valley from the highest point we got to on this adventure

Two years later, I set out on an adventure with 5 friends, all of us ladies, ready to conquer some waterfalls. And, boy, what an adventure it was!

First waterfall about 1.5 miles into the hike
First waterfall about 1.5 miles into the hike

We vaguely remembered where the trailhead was, and we had to bush walk for a bit until finding ourselves in the Castle creek bed. From there it was easy – follow the creek, muscle up some waterfalls, no big deal.

Seven Castles Hike
Canyon formed by Castle creek is a beautiful sight on this hike

The trail doesn’t have an official beginning or the end, the creek forms several waterfalls, which have ropes to climb up, set up by local enthusiasts. It eventually leads into a huge amphitheater which is said to be a site of an old Indian graveyard. We never made it far enough to confirm it.

Seven Castles Hike
Using the rope to climb down a waterfall

Since the last time I was here, the ropes were cut off at the bigger waterfalls, I would assume because of an accident that happened a couple months ago when a girl fell/slid down one of the waterfalls (read more about it HERE)

Seven Castles Hike
Trusting the ropes that were placed there by strangers
Seven Castles Hike
Walking up the creek

Interestingly, we did not encounter anyone on our hike (except for a few mountain goats!). It was a great time for some girl bonding and pushing limits together. I won’t lie, hiking into the amphitheater was as scary as last time. The rocks here are really lose and everything can slide at any point and climbing up on all four is not the most comfortable feeling. Especially when the rocks are so hot they were literally burning our hands.

Making our way up high
Making our way up high
Seven Castles Hike
Relieving our burnt hands in cold water
Our mountain goat friends
Our mountain goat friends

Roughly 3 miles into the hike (not even sure if you can call this a “hike”, more like mountaineering, scrambling, freeclimbing… you know, it was more than just a “hike”) we decided to turn around. Mostly because there wasn’t really where to go from the point we were at.

Seven Castles Hike
Looking up into the amphitheater
Seven Castles Hike
The crew at the top of our hike

A few waterfalls down, some yoga posing on the last one on our way out, we were all happy to come out of it with no injuries and some lasting memories. Oh and we definitely trespassed into someone’s fields on the way out.

Seven Castles Hike
The gymnasts doing synchro yoga
Seven Castles Hike
Running through fields after being too lazy to follow the trail out

 

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