Upon laying eyes on Tepee Mountain for the first time two things popped into my head. First: that is one really cool looking mountain, and second: what was Gerry Roach smokin' when he called the north ridge a class-2, talus hike! Instead I found it a challenging class-3 scramble with several class-4 moves thrown in for good measure.
Tepee Mountain resides just south of Mount Richtofen on the long north-south ridge that makes up the lion's share of the Never Summer Range (this ridge also divides RMNP on the east and Never Summer Wilderness on the west). Tepee Mountain consists of two separate summits and the western one is slightly higher. From what I could tell the western summit is easiest to climb. It does not look possible to scramble between the two summits as the eastern summit has a sheer rock wall where it connects to the saddle that joins the two.
Although located on the border between RMNP and Never Summer Wilderness most climbers will approach through Colorado State Forest. Day use fees for Colorado State Forest are $5.00 per vehicle. No camping is allowed in the Agnes Lake area. Lake Agnes looks like good fishing but there is a two-trout limit.
For more information concerning Colorado's State Forest and other state parks visit their website: Colorado State Forest
Never Summer Wilderness is pretty much regulation-free (besides leave-no-trace wilderness ethics) but RMNP has many regulations if you plan to camp in the park or access Tepee Mountain from a trailhead inside the park.
When To Climb/Mountain Conditions
To avoid large amounts of snow Tepee Mountain is best climbed July through October. That said, it might be nice to climb earlier in the season so that the climb up to the Richtofen-Mauler saddle could be made a snow climb. This would be much easier than the scree/talus slug that this part of the ascent is when there is no snow. The one caveat to this is that you couldn't go too early such that Tepee's north ridge would be covered in snow. This would make the later part of the ascent much more treacherous.
For the latest conditions contact RMNP or Route National Forest.
The weather forecast for Gould (the nearest town) is given below:
Camping is not allowed in the Agnes Lake area. However there is a designated campground (Crags Campground) just down the road. You'll pass its turnout on your way to Agnes Lake.
Camping in RMNP is allowed in designated campsites only and requires a permit.
Camping in Never Summer Wilderness is allowed anywhere and does not require a permit.
Contact Routt National Forest
USDA Forest Service
Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests
2468 Jackson Street
Laramie, WY 82070
*e-mail messages will be responded to in the order received and usually within 24 hours of receipt.
Rocky Mountain National Park
1000 Highway 36
Estes Park, CO 80517-8397
Visitor Information Recorded Message
Visitor Information (TDD)