Naturalist Basin

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 40.71110°N / 110.8228°W
Additional Information Route Type: Scramble
Additional Information Time Required: A long day
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 3+
Sign the Climber's Log


The best trailhead for the hike is the Highline Trailhead located along State Highway 150 33.2 miles east and north of Kamas, or you could drive south from Evanston. You could also start at Mirror Lake, but you must pay to park there, and there isn't as much room to park.

Route Description

This is the probably the easiest route to the summit of Mount Agassiz. From the trailhead at 10,347 feet, follow the Highline Trail .8 miles to the junction with the Mirror Lake Trail. The trail continues south and east and drops to 9900 feet. Scudder Lake is passed after 2.2 miles (from the trailhead). After another .8 miles, pass a junction with the Wilder Lake Trail. Stay left on the Highline Trail. After another 1.3 miles, turn right at the junction where the Naturalist Basin Trail branches off the Highline Trail. Follow the Naturalist Basin Trail through the beautiful basin and after another mile, turn left at the trail marked for Blue Lake. Follow the trail up to Morat Lakes and then Blue Lake. The peak can be climbed in one long day from this route, but there are several campsites in the area around Morat and Blue Lakes. This is a very popular camping area though. Blue Lake is right at timberline at 10,940 feet and is 6.1 miles from the trailhead. From Blue Lake, head directly north and up the slope to the top of the East Ridge of Agassiz. Once on the ridge, follow it west to the summit. There are some teetering boulders, but not as many as there are on the other routes. The total round trip distance from the trailhead is about 14 miles.

Essential Gear

A good pair of boots is needed.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-3 of 3

SabineInUtah - Sep 7, 2016 12:48 pm - Hasn't voted

Rating should be 3+

Tried the route from Blue Lake last week, but after climbing up to the ridge and hiking towards the summit ridge, it was apparent that the route is more like 3+ and not 2+. There are several vertical bands of rock to climb through or over. Totally exposed. Requires use of hands and feet to scramble up (at least a 3). A rating of 2+ would be hiking off trail with some scrambling. The route is much more difficult than hiking off trail.


Scott - Sep 7, 2016 2:18 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Rating should be 3+

I can change it to 3. Although I don't remember anything especially difficult, it has been more than 26 years now since I have done the route. PS, if you have any photos of the route, feel free to post them! As you can see, my old photos aren't very good.


SabineInUtah - Sep 22, 2016 2:26 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Rating should be 3+

Thanks Scott! Will add a photo.

Viewing: 1-3 of 3



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.