The Trails Illustrated Map #109 suggests an easy driving route to a clearly defined trail traversing the summit of Mount Argentine. None of this is as clear cut as the map suggests. Finding the trailhead involves wriggling up twisting residential streets and the real-life trail route bears only general resemblance to what is represented on the map.
None the less, once the trail is located, it provides a gentle (if occasionally steep) route to the summit of Mount Argentine. The broad summit area is a great place to enjoy lunch while taking in views of numerous neighborhood Thirteeners.
Net Elevation Gain:
Class 2 (brief off-trail section to summit)
Sparse trees on the summit of Mt. Argentine allow for pleasant views of the neighboring high country.
24 May 09
Finding the trailhead for the Argentine Mountain Loop might just be the most challenging element of your adventure. The trailhead is guarded by a wild maze of roads providing access to year-round homes and weekend cabins. Instead of posting signs to Pennsylvania Creek Road trailhead, easing the way for visitors, the local community seems to prefer confused visitors circling through their streets, pulling frustrated u-turns and backing into their driveways to change direction while searching for this well hidden trailhead.
The turnoff from Highway 9 to find this trailhead sits 6 miles north of the summit of Hoosier Pass (1 mile north of the Fredonia Gulch turnoff) in the heart of Blue River.
- Turn east on Blue River Drive
- Turn right on Royal Drive (the 3rd street on the right)
- Turn left on Regal Circle
- Turn left on Coronet Drive (past Holly Drive)
- The trailhead sits on a hairpin turn for a switchback, in a muddy parking circle near the highest and eastern-most private residence. At this point the Pennsylvania Creek jeep road continues up the drainage, but becomes rougher (and the turns become tighter) than most stock 4x4 drivers will want to deal with.
The well-hidden and non-descript trailhead.
24 May 09
- After parking at the non-descript Pennsylvania Creek trailhead, begin heading northwest up the Pennsylvania Creek jeep road (currently unmarked).
- Not long after leaving the trailhead, a footpath shoots up hill to your right heading roughly northeast (eliminating a long jeep road switchback).
- The footpath tops out again on the jeep road which carries you east up the Pennsylvania Creek drainage.
- Keep your eyes peeled for the unmarked Mount Argentine trail on the north side of the road.
- The trail whisks you quickly and steeply up the southern slope of Mount Argentine before leveling out into switchbacks.
- Eventually, the trees become more sparse and the highpoint of the trail will be reached.
- Leave the trail and search around for the highest boulder pile on this broad, gentle summit.
- You could return the way you came, but why not see some additional scenery? Continue on the trail traversing Mount Argentine.
- The trail begins gently descending the eastern ridge of the mountain.
- Contrary to the map, a well-worn route then leaves the ridge and brings the hiker sharply south to southwest to again meet up with the Pennsylvania Creek jeep road.
- Follow this road westward to eventually return to the parking area.
Mount Argentine Loop Trail Map
- Trail map (Trails Illustrated #109 (Breckenridge, Tennessee Pass) would meet most needs)
- Sturdy hiking boots
- Snowshoes or skis after a heavy snowfall
- Water and snacks
- A camera to save memories of the high country views
- First aid kit
- Other standard backcountry essentials