Mount Mahler resides at the north end of the Never Summer Range. It is one of the magnificent peaks (along with Mount Richthofen, Static Peak, and Nokhu Crags) that ring Lake Agnes. The summit can be reached via many different routes. Mahler's east ridge (the one that connects it with Mount Richthofen) provides a challenging class 4 route over steep and sometimes loose terrain. Mahler's north face provides a relatively easy and monotonous class 2 slog up a long talus slope. The ridge that extends from the summit of Mahler south also looks climbable (though it may approach Mahler’s east ridge in difficulty). Climbing Point 11,960 along with Mount Mahler would make an excellent loop hike. To do this, descend Mount Mahler to the west down the ridge. Follow the ridge as it curves north to the summit of Point 11,960. From Point 11,960 you can descend north to the trailhead.
East Ridge - A long scramble up talus and boulder fields to the Mahler-Richthofen saddle. From there scramble up the class 4, loose ridge to the summit.
North Face - From Lake Agnes ascend up to the unnamed lake below Mount Mahler. Circle the lake to the west side and then ascend the long, class 2, talus slope to the summit.
West Ridge via Point 11,960 - A class two scramble from the top of Mount Mahler along the long ridge to Point 11,960. Then descend the northern slopes to the trailhead.
Most climbers will access Mount Mahler from the Lake Agnes trailhead inside Colorado State Forest. From Interstate 25, take the Fort Collins exit for Highway 14, also denoted as a Colorado Scenic Byway. Proceed west on 14 through town, following the signs, which is not complicated. At "Ted's Place," is the junction with Highway 287. Measure from this point, although the signage along the highway is very clear. It is 62 miles to the turn off for Lake Agnes and American Lakes. This turn off is 2 miles west from the top of Cameron Pass. This left turn is well marked. Once you've dropped into the valley, you'll need to stop at a fee station. See the RED TAPE section. Proceed up the road, staying right. The road is steep and a little rough in places but most vehicles can make this road in dry conditions. There are restroom facilities at the trailhead.
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 Lake Agnes 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 Mount Mahler from a trailhead inside the park.
When To Climb
To avoid large amounts of snow Mount Mahler is best climbed during the summer months. The road to Lake Agnes is also closed in winter. If you plan to access the trailhead in early spring or late fall it might be a good idea to call Colorado State Forest to make sure it's open.
For the latest conditions contact Route National Forest.
The weather forecast for Gould (the nearest town) is given below:
Camping is not allowed in the Lake Agnes area. However there is a campground just down the road inside Colorado State Forest. Camping in Never Summer Wilderness is allowed anywhere but please use "leave no trace" wilderness ethics.
Contact Routt National Forest
USDA Forest Service
Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests
2468 Jackson Street
Laramie, WY 82070