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Rosalie Trail

Basics
Location:
Southwest of Denver
Setting:
Mountainous
Length:
13.4 miles oneway
Difficulty:
Difficult
Time:
7 to 8 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
11700 feet
Elevation Change:
2500 feet
Season:
Summer

Description

The Rosalie Trail is a popular trail extending from Guanella Pass to the southeast edge of the Mt. Evans Wilderness. It offers a variety of scenery, including spectacular views of Mt. Bierstadt and the glacial cirque on the south side of Mt. Evans. The trail intersects the Abyss Lake, Threemile, and Tanglewood Trails, thus offering interesting extended hikes. Several stretches of the trail are above treeline. You should be alert to the possible development of summer afternoon storms with their accompanying lightening, particularly above treeline.

The trail is rated as difficult primarily due to its length and the elevation gains in traversing its entire length. There is a parking lot at each trailhead. In addition, the Deer Creek Trailhead provides a corral for horses, but camping at this trailhead is prohibited. Because the trail is almost entirely in designated wilderness, Wilderness regulations apply.

This description of the trail begins at Guanella Pass and ends at the lower terminus near Deer Creek Campground. From Guanella Pass, take the trail leading south out of the parking area. Halfway up the hill, the trail veers east and south as it contours around the hill. Further south, it rejoins the ridge, and then gradually descends to the southeast, following a series of marker posts through the willows. Shortly after reaching the trees, the trail crosses Scott Gomer Creek and continues southeast to a low saddle before dropping down into an unmarked drainage east of Scott Gomer Creek. Farther down, the trail joins the Abyss Lake Trail. Continuing down the valley, you will soon reach another intersection. Here the Abyss Lake Trail goes to the right down the valley to the Abyss Trailhead, and the Rosalie continues southeast towards Deer Creek.

The next stretch of the trail is steep in places as it climbs up a glacial moraine through an old burn. This section of the trail has some spectacular views of Mt. Bierstadt and the sheer south flank of Mt. Evans. As the trail again begins to descend, you will reach the upper end of the Threemile Trail, just east of the pass. The Threemile Trail goes south, then down to Threemile Creek, and the Rosalie Trail continues in a southeasterly direction descending the Deer Creek drainage. Near the Wilderness boundary, the trail rises to the north away from the creek and eventually follows an old logging road to an intersection with the Tanglewood Trail. From this intersection, the Tanglewood Trail goes north up Tanglewood Creek and on to join the Roosevelt Lakes Trail. The Rosalie Trail turns south and goes downstream to the Deer Creek Trailhead.

Details

Location:
Southwest of Denver
Setting:
Mountainous
Length:
13.4 miles oneway
Difficulty:
Difficult
Time:
7 to 8 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
11700
Elevation Change:
2500
Season:
Summer
Useful Map(s):
USGS Quads: Mt. Evans, Harris Park

Map + Directions

Basic Directions

1) Guanella Pass Trailhead: Drive west from Denver on US 285 approximately 40 miles to Grant. Turn right (north) on to Park County 62. Drive 13.5 miles to Guanella Pass. Alternatively, drive west from Denver on Interstate 70. Exit at Georgetown and follow the signs leading from Georgetown to Guanella Pass. 2) Deer Creek Trailhead: Drive west from Denver on US 285 approximately 28 miles to the traffic light before the top of Crow Hill. Turn right (northwest) on to Park County 43 and drive in a northwesterly direction for 6.8 miles to a "Y" in the road. Bear left and drive 2.1 miles, staying right at the campground, to the parking area at the trailhead.


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