Castle Peak Summit hike

1 Day in California, Lake Tahoe / (Skill level: Introductory)

Price per person


About this trip

Perched on the Sierra Crest north of Donner Pass, Castle Peak commands attention and can be seen from most of the North Lake Tahoe region. Come join us as we explore the incredible mountains of Lake Tahoe!   Alpenglow Expeditions operates under a special use permit from the Tahoe, Inyo and Eldorado National Forests. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.     


  • skill level


  • Duration

    1 Day

Beginning on Donner Pass, our route takes us up through the dense forests and marshes of Castle Valley to the exposed ridge line of the Peak. Passing through treeline, we make our way to the exposed summit. This is a demanding hike, but one that rewards us with the best views in the North Tahoe area.

This is a plug and play adventure in the beautiful back country of Lake Tahoe without the hassle of route finding or even packing lunch. Alpenglow’s professional guides have an intimate knowledge of the area and love nothing more than sharing their love of wild places with our guests. Lunch is provided by Alpenglow Expeditions, and all guides are trained and certified in wilderness medicine.


  • Fitness Requirements

    This hike is open to all, although good fitness is important.

    • 8:30am — Meet and Greet

      Meet your group, and learn about the plan for the day

    • 9:00am — Go Hiking!

      We begin our hike, enjoying the sights and sounds of the Castle Peak area.

    • 3:00pm — Return to trailhead

      Our ending time varies somewhat, but regardless of time we find ourselves back at the trailhead after a rewarding day.

    • I don't have a lot of experience on bigger hikes. Can I join the Castle peak summit hike?

      Although it is a big day, we welcome anyone who has the motivation to spend the day with us on Castle Peak! It is important to have good hiking fitness though, as we will be on our feet for many hours during the day.

  • Nolan Van Herk

    Nolan embodies the spirit, history, and progression of climbing, crimping and jamming his way through over a decade of experience on the rocks. Whether he’s scaling Sierra spires, wiggling up walls or cramming his crack-addicted (and never taped) hands into Tahoe splitters, Nolan’s enthusiasm and knowledge is contagious. Cutting his teeth on the rough granite monzonite of Joshua Tree and the polished proving grounds of Tahquitz, Nolan’s climbing developed amidst the proud ethics and traditions established by the Stonemasters. Ascents of the Rainbow Wall in Red Rock, Sierra gems such as Bastille Buttress, the Incredible Hulk, and Mt. Whitney as well as numerous Needles classics solidify Nolan’s traditional climbing resume and hint at his passion for big adventure. Nolan’s love for the mountains and appreciation for wild places cannot be contained solely by climbing; his backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering resume includes a descent from the third highest mountain in North America, Mexico’s Pico de Orizaba, as well as numerous corn-cruising missions on Mt. Shasta. Nolan is no stranger to those huge, soul-feeding days in the alpine and enjoys sharing outdoor experiences large and small with those around him. Nolan currently holds the AMGA Single Pitch Instructor and Wilderness First Responder certification, and is an AMGA apprentice rock guide. 

    Guide Certifications
    • AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor

    Tim Dobbins

    With notable first descents in the Alps, Tim Dobbins represents Alpenglow’s cutting edge guiding philosophy providing only the best guides for every trip and expedition.

    Growing up in Oregon, Tim started out skiing at the young age of 4 years old. Tim grew up ski racing for 9 years before he moved on to backcountry skiing in Aspen, Colorado. He spent 4 years working as ski patrol at Snowmass Ski Resort.

    Tim moved to Chamonix in the mid-’90s where he spent 6 seasons skiing and climbing while studying French. Tim says that Chamonix is where he really started learning how to ski tour, rock climb, ice climb and eventually began skiing the steepest lines he could find.

    Examples of those steep lines were the North-East face of Les Courtes, Couloir Barbey from Aiguille D’Argentiere, Couloir Couturier from L’Aiguille Verte, Couloir du Diable on Mont Blanc du Tacul, East face of the Matterhorn and many, many others.

    Tim has spent the last 10 years guiding and instructing in rock, ice, alpine, and skiing. He is currently an AMGA Ski Guide, Rock Guide, and AIARE course leader. He is working towards becoming an IFMGA mountain guide. He lives on Donner Lake in Truckee with his wife Gisele, sweet daughter Manue and son Matisse.

    Guide Certifications
    • AMGA Certified Rock Guide
    • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

    Logan Talbott

    director of operations / chief guide

    Logan has been guiding professionally for over a decade in the disciplines of Rock, Alpine and Ski Mountaineering. When not out guiding, Logan keeps things running smoothly as the director of operations at Alpenglow Expeditions. From one day ascents of El Capitan to big Alpine climbs in the Himalaya, from ski descents on Denali to backyard ski tours in Lake Tahoe, he can’t help but smile when out running around the hills. Logan is an AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, an Avalanche course leader with AIARE, as well as a wilderness EMT. In addition to guiding, Logan has extensive experience in mountain rescue, having worked for rescue teams in both Yosemite and Denali National Parks, and volunteering locally for Tahoe Nordic SAR. When not out in the hills, he lives in Truckee, CA with his lovely wife Lynette and daughter Maggie.

    Guide Certifications
    • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
    • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

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      Castle Peak Summit hike