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Fort Collins, CO: Lake Agnes

One of Colorado State Forest’s most recommended trails, the short and steep trip to Lake Agnes delivers with craggy peaks, scree fields (home to pika), and fish-filled alpine waters.

Rating

This short, steep trail begins near a historic cabin and skirts a marshy flatland before turning uphill through a deadfall-scattered forest. This area is the moose-watching capital of Colorado, so watch for their flattened antlers and dark silhouettes along the trail (especially in the mornings and afternoons). Switchbacks climb beside the Upper Michigan Ditch and offer unfettered glimpses of the Nokhu Crags. The sheer western faces of their 12,485-foot peaks are the dramatic backdrop for the pristine alpine lake. The tough hike ends at the shores of Lake Agnes where fishermen settle into the sandy western bank for a shot at moderately sized rainbow or cutthroat trout. Allow at least an hour for the easy 1-mile trip around the lake and more if you plan to stop for a picnic or a swim. The road to Lake Agnes is closed during the winter. Check early and late season road conditions with the Moose Visitors Center at (970) 723-8366.-Mapped by Kristy Holland

To Trailhead

Drive 60 miles west on CO 14 and turn left onto NF 170 (follow signs for Lake Agnes). In 0.6 mile, turn right. Bypass the Crags Campground turnoff as you continue 1.2 miles on the steep, narrow dirt road to the trailhead.

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