Little Agnes is located in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness
in the Routt National Forest
. The peak is near Mount Zirkel
, the centerpiece of the Park Range
. The Zirkels provide a good combination of easy to moderate hikes and climbs with many technical possibilities; however, the area usually sees heavy snowfall, making it difficult to approach many of the peaks year round.
Little Agnes lies on the western edge of the Park Range directly east of the town of Hahn's Peak and north of Slavonia. This part of the Zirkels saw a major blow down in October of 1997. Millions of trees were blown over in a single storm that came over the mountains from the east. From this blow down and a general drought for many years, pine beetles
and fires have claimed most of the trees in the area.
While in a very popular area, Little Agnes doesn't see a lot of traffic. The Mica Lake area, as well as the Mount Zirkel area, see many visitors every weekend of the summer. The summit register on Little Agnes had 8 people sign it as of 9/4 in 2006; 6 in 2005; 9 in 2004; about 8 parties in 2003, one of which was a CMC outing with at least 2 dozen people; 1 in 2002 (many of the bad fires near Little Agnes occured that year); and 9 in 2001.
Fire Remnants and Little Agnes
From Steamboat Springs, CO. Take Routt County Road 129, also known as Elk River Road, north towards the towns of Clark and Hahns Peak. Drive for approximately 17 miles to the town of Clark. (Check out the General Store at Clark, they have maps posted on the blowdown and fires). Just after the town of Clark, turn right onto FR 400, aka Seedhouse Road, at the town of Glen Eden.
On this road you can access the peak from either the Mica Lake side, via the Slavonia trailhead, or the Diamond Park side, via the Diamond Park trailhead.
To reach Slavonia, continue on FR 400 from Glen Eden to the end of the road. There is a trailhead and parking there.
Diamond Park Trailhead
The Diamond Park area can be reached by several ways depending on what gates are open. From FR 400, continue to the Seedhouse campground area. Just before a small bridge will be a road to the right, FR 431. This road has been gated at times recently; however, a trail still leads towards Diamond Park from here. Another way to head towards Diamond Park is to continue past FR 431 on FR 400 to FR 433, Lost Dog. This road will travel towards Diamond Park. There are several other marked and unmarked forest roads that can be taken to get closer to the peak or to another destination.
The west ridge provides an easy off-trail hike to the summit with some minor scrambling. The route rates at a Class 2 and round trips from Diamond Park can be accomplished in 4 to 8 miles depending on starting location.
West Ridge of Little Agnes
This ridge provides another great off-trail hike to the summit with some minor scrambling as well. The route is Class 2 and a round trip hike through the Mica Lake Basin can be done in approximately 10 miles.
South Ridge of Little Agnes
Little Agnes may be a smaller mountain, but there are many possibilities for exciting, challenging routes. For example, the following was recorded in the summit register:
"August 22, 2005. Established the route 'Penstemon Butress'
(V, 5.11, A4) on SE face. The climb took 3 days, no problems
encountered except for frostbite and HACE. Team Hobocamp,
Whether or not Team Hobocamp's ascent is true, Little Agnes does have the rock to hold such a climbing route.
The northeast ridge also looks to be fun; similar to maybe a Kelso Ridge type climb. The mountain has a few couloirs that are difficult to see and look to be interesting as well.
Northeast Ridge of Little Agnes Couloir on Little Agnes
A few special regulations
exist in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness due to the heavy use, in addition to standard National Forest and Wilderness regulations. Another source on wilderness regulations can be found here
The area along FR 400 is labeled as restricted camping. Follow posted information.
Some of the backcountry areas, such as near Gilpin Lake, are restricted camping as well. See posted information on the details and location of the restrictions.
Several options for camping exist in the area. First, there are two established National Forest Campgrounds along FR 400 as you drive to both Diamond Park and Slavonia trailheads: Seedhouse
. The cost for either campground is $12 per night.
More information on National Forest Camping can be found here
Second, camping in the backcountry of the National Forest or Wilderness areas is permitted according to regulations.
External LinksMore Mount Zirkel Wilderness Information
- The link also has current conditions, trail information, Mount Zirkel Wilderness history, and much more.
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