Short, easy hike… best payoff. I’ve been several times but ALWAYS during the middle of the week. Traffic is low, people are happy, challenge is LOW. However, you can up the challenge if that’s what you’re in to. The lake’s elevation honors satan at 10,666′
Located in State Forest State Park in Colorado, this .8 mile (hats of to Eminem) to the payoff (perfect mountain lake) is not difficult for an average hiker. It’s easy BUT there are a ton of directions you can head when you hit the lake, the supply of adrenalin up past the lake is stocked. It’s… how you say? good. You can easily spend days in this area with a multitude of different experiences. I like it. A lot.
How to get Lake Agnes in Colorado
Coming from Fort Collins – You’ll take HWY 14 for around 60 miles… when you get to Cameron Pass you’re almost there! Let me just tell you about winter time at Cameron Pass. It’s gets a Trip Advisor score of: Go, it’s awesome.
Keep a lookout for Moose. They’re common and they’re just dying to make eye contact with you. Look to the left after you see this sign. About 1 out of every 3 times… I see Dr. Moose. No kidding. If you grunt loud enough, he’ll honor you with his locking of the eyes with yours. A little creepy.
A couple miles past the pass… you’ll be turning left on to a dirt road.
You’re on a dirt road now… at the bridge – if you’re in a camper, park here (you’ve got a long way to walk – or a fun, short(ish) ride, if you’re cool). If you have Colorado’s state car, a Subaru, you’ll be at home. The clearance past the bridge will allow just about any car BUT if you’ve never gone off road, this will be your first kinda “off road” adventure. It’s not dangerous, you don’t NEED 4 wheel drive BUT it’s not a regular gravel road.
Side note: what’s the deal with Subarus? I live in the mountains and there are two types of Subaru drivers out here: (1) So fast & (2) oh my gosh please just go faster, please, I’m just trying to get home, pull over, something, oh for the love all things holy just pull over and let me pass or go the speed limit, something has to give, I’m aging, by the time I get home I’ll have to just head back to town again, just speed a little, please? You can take a picture after you pull over, please, maybe just pull over.
If you’re a frequent urinator, there is a bathroom.
The trail is about as perfect as you can get. Steps, stairs, and no passing streams (no mud in July). There is about a 400ft elevation gain which basically just means, it’s going to feel a lot faster coming back to your car.
The big payoff… the view when you get to the lake. It’s incredible.
This lake has fish. A lot of fish. I mean… depending on the day and where you are, there are so many minnows schooling that you can’t see the bottom. Limit 2.
Okay, if you’re unnecessarily sensitive… keep scrolling past my son’s amazing catch.
Little backstory. This kid catches everything. I don’t know how he does it. Mice, lizards, minnows, Cutthroat trout! “Hey dad, I’m going to catch one” uh… okay, son. (no pole)
And he did.
After his catch, we tried catch and release. The fish was dead.
We took it home and ate it that night!
Move Around the Lake
There’s wildlife and amazing country to explore. Go get it!
The Amazing Lake Agnes
This little slice of heaven is actually REALLY close to RMNP but here’s the thing, the entrance to the park is VERY far away. Here, you don’t get national park traffic. This location isn’t super close to much (other than the amazing town of Walden). Getting there is beautiful no matter the direction and if you get lucky and are there by yourself, it feels like you’re a million miles away from everything.
Little disclaimer: if you read this and think “dude, why are you spoiling the good spots by letting people know?” I need you to understand one thing: you are a jerk.
Good to Know:
- Middle of summer: gets buggy (Colorado standards)
- Lots of epic exploring past the lake
- Great for kids
- Dogs are allowed on leash
- Fishing is allowed
- There’s a potty at the trailhead
- Relatively small parking lot
- Elevation over 10,000ft (out-of-towners, flat landers – you might feel ill)
- Likely will see hard-pack snow year round
- Weather will change FAST here (be prepared)