Citadel in winter as seen from Herman Gulch.
The Citadel is a ranked 13'er located on the Continental Divide, north of the Eisenhower Tunnel. The peak has twin summits and is not officially named. The Citadel is close to to I-70, and typically accessed via the Herman Gulch trailhead, so the first bit of the approach can be somewhat crowded on the trail. However, once you reach the end of the trail and bushwhack towards the base of the mountain, the traffic diasappears and you have a lot of solitude.
Obtaining the summit will entail 3rd and 4th class climbing at the easiest. The elevation difference between the two summits is negligible. Most who summit the Citadel bag both peaks, and it's common to make the traverse to Pettingel for a challenging ridge scramble. While the standard route to the summits is class 3, the Citadel also offers the potential for technical, as well as snow climbing routes. Avalanche potential on the approach is high in the winter.
Herman Gulch is the most common approach. The trailhead is at the parking area just off of exit 218 on I-70. The Herman Gulch Trail takes you up the valley to the upper reaches of the gulch and timberline, before you navigate off trail towards the Citadel. This is not a designated wilderness area and is quite popular among more casual hikers.
A second approach is from Dry Gulch which is located to the south of the Citadel. Accessed further to the west along I-70 and is less travelled than Herman Gulch.
Climbing Season For the Alpine Rock area.
Weather station 4.8 miles from here
1 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Citadel:
Featured Route For The Citadel
East Ridge - The Citadel (Clear Creek, CO) 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b CO
: Alpine Rock
: The Citadel
After reaching Herman Lake, head WSW and follow the trail until it disappears near Herman Lake's outlet stream. Contour along the slopes and marshy areas towads the saddle which sits to the east of the Citadel.After gaining this saddle at 12,400 feet, hike up the Citadel's east ridge. Once below the east summit block, the standard route traverses the cliffs to the WNW taking you to a steep, loose, class 3 gully which provides access to a saddle between the Citadel's two summits. From here, you c...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
Local Information for The Citadel
Latest Regional Forum Messages
The Citadel (Clear Creek, Grand, CO).
View of the Citadel from the south. The ridge conn...
From about halfway up the Citadel in winter lookin...
Citadel...there is usually rap rings and webbing u...
Some pretty good lines can be found year round her...
By Dick Stone
Aug 5, 2015
Climbed directly up the west side rock wall of the East "Citadel" from the Mt. Bethel saddle route. Required fun but serious (loose holds!) 4th class climbing. Was a bit nerve racking to downclimb, but seemed the better alternative to scrambling down very loose rock into a nasty loose rock dirt scree gully. I think the gully would be way fun with snow in it!