OverviewThe Uinta Mountains are one of the few mountain ranges in North America that run east to west rather than north to south. Within the Uinta Mountains are about 2000 lakes, and some 900-1000 are full of trout. Along with the San Juans in Colorado, the Uintas have more contiguous area above timberline than any other area in the Continental United States. This is a beautiful area with many lakes, meadows, wildflowers, and some rugged peaks.
Mount Agassiz is located in the western portion of the Unita Mountains, Wasatch National Forest and High Unitas Wilderness. The peak overlooks Middle Basin and Naturalist Basin with stunning views of the surrounding peaks and numerous lakes. Mount Agassiz is also one of the most accessible 12,000 foot peaks in the Uintas, and sees several ascents each year, despite the fact that there is no trail to the summit. The peak is popular with Boy Scouts. Its sister peaks are Spread Eagle Peak to the east and Hayden Peak to the north.
Utah's 12,000+ Foot Peaks With 200+ Feet Prominence
Utah's 12,000+ Foot Peaks With 300+ Feet Prominence
Getting ThereHayden Pass Trailhead
From Kamas, Utah; head east and north on State highway 150, (Mirror Lake Highway) for 33.2 miles to Hayden Pass. Turn right into the hikers parking lot. From Evanston, Wyoming; Exit I80 at exit 5 and head south on route 150 for 43 miles to Hayden Pass. Turn left into the hikers parking lot.
From Kamas, Utah; head east and north on State highway 150, (Mirror Lake Highway) for 44.8 miles to the Christmas Meadows turn off. Turn right onto Christmas Meadows road. Follow this road southeast for 4 miles to the trailhead. From Evanston, Wyoming; Exit I80 at exit 5 and head south on route 150 for 31.4 miles to the Christmas Meadows turn off. Turn left onto Christmas Meadows road. Follow this road southeast for 4 miles to the trailhead.
Routes OverviewThere are several possible routes to the summit of Mount Agassiz. These are a few:
The shortest route is via the West Face Direct Route. This is a short, steep, and very direct route. The boulders can be tedious, but the route is not difficult. This route is about 7 miles round trip. The route usually takes the better part of a day.
The most popular route is probably from Naturalist Basin. It is probably the easiest route to the summit of the mountain as well. This route is about 14 miles round trip and takes one long or two shorter days.
Grandwazoo has added a Loop Route from Hayden Pass which is about as short as the West Face Direct Route. The route ascends the NW ridge of Agassiz and descends a variation of the West Face Direct Route. This route is about 7 miles round trip and takes the better part of a day.
The final route discussed is the one from Christmas Meadows/Stillwater Fork. This route is very similar to the route up Spread Eagle and connects with the Natuarist Basin Route after reaching the col east of Agassiz. This route is scenic, but is longer than the other routes described, being almost 25 miles round trip.
The routes up Agassiz also connect quite well with those from Spread Eagle and Hayden Peaks from Christmas Meadows/Stillwater Fork, since the same cols/passes are used. Many of the routes on those pages connect with the ones described above.
There are other variations possible such as ascending to the NW Ridge of Agassiz from Ryder Lake. It will not be covered here, but if you are interested, see the route on the Hayden Peak-Christmas Meadows Route added by SP member MrWasatch. This route up Hayden connects with the loop hike added to the Agassiz page from Gradwazoo, so you can put together your own route combination.
$3 day use fee
$25 week use fee
$50 annual fee (National Parks Pass), see link
$65 annual fee (Golden Eagle Pass) good for all National parks, nation wide, see link.
When to ClimbHighway 150 usually is plowed of snow sometime in June, but sometimes opens as early as Memorial Day or as late as July 4th. The road closes sometime in October, and always after November 1st. July through September is the normal hiking season. During this time, many, or most of the campgrounds are full. In winter, this would be a very long multi-day trip.
CampingPlenty of camping along many of the campgrounds on the Mirror Lake Highway see link below.
Camping location .
Typical primitive camping is also allowed, basic rules, stay 200’ away from watercourses and 100’ from the trail. As of 10-2003 no campfires are allowed in Naturalist Basin, only camp stoves are allowed. Over collection and burning has depleted the supply.
Mountain ConditionsContact the ranger station in Kamas for current road and trail conditions. Their phone number is 801-783-4338.
Weather Forecast for Central Uinta Mountains
Here are some average highs and lows from the 12,139 foot elevation (3700 meters) in the Uintas (about the same altitude as the summit):