If approaching from Denver, drive southwest toward Bailey on US-285, passing Conifer and Pine Junction. 4.4 miles southwest of Pine Junction, turn right on Park County Road 43 (Deer Creek Road). There's a gas station at this intersection. (Alternately, you can use the Deer Creek Spur, CR-43A, which is reached 3.9 miles from Pine Junction. This spur road merges with the main Deer Creek Road after one mile). If approaching from Fairplay, this intersection is 2.7 miles northeast of Bailey. Drive 8.3 miles on the Deer Creek Road to the Deer Creek Campground. The drive in has a nice view of Rosalie
. This road changes to dirt a mile or so before the campground, but is in fine shape for passenger cars. Drive 0.8 miles past the campground to reach the Deer Creek Trailhead. The trailhead can be accessible to high-clearance vehicles in the winter, but at worst, the road is plowed all the way to the campground. John drove us to this trailhead on February 28, 2004 without incident.
RT Distance: 9.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 4280'
From the Deer Creek Trailhead, start hiking on the Tanglewood Trail. You'll reach a junction almost immediately with a trail that heads up Deer Creek. Stay to the right, as the sign indicates. After approximately 1 mile, you'll reach the junction with the Rosalie Trail. Take the right fork here, as well. Some switchbacks lead you to a small willow-choked meadow. The trail avoids these willows on the left. Stay on the trail as it switchbacks out of the meadow and approaches treeline. Note the bristlecone pines
as you near the tundra. 3.25 miles from the trailhead, you'll gain the saddle between Rosalie and Pegmatite Points.
With 1600' now between you and the summit, leave the trail at the saddle, and hike west on the crest of Rosalie's broad east ridge
, which is also the Clear Creek/Park County line. Pass several insignificant bumps, and enjoy your views into the Lost Creek Wilderness and the Deckers-area crags. As you approach Rosalie's summit, the slope's grade lessens, giving the distinct (and accurate) impression that you're hiking on a giant globe. Enjoy the summit!
"Epaulie" and Epaulet Mountain
are the next two summits between Rosalie and Mount Evans. Taking the easy talus hike to the pair would add 3.5 miles and 1600' of elevation gain to your day. Otherwise, return your descent route. At the saddle where you rejoin the Tanglewood Trail, consider the short detour to Pegmatite Points
. This fun jaunt features scrambling opportunities, eye-catching quartz, and a keen view of Rosalie
, and costs you just a mile and 250'.
Standard hiking gear. An ice axe and snowshoes could be useful in winter conditions.
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