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Friends of Mount Evans and Lost Creek Wilderness
Rosalie - Trail # 603


(Click Map for PDF)

Beginning Elevation: 11669
High Point: 11800
End Elevation: 9280
Difficulty: Difficult
Length, One Way: 13 miles
Seasons: Summer, Early Fall
USGS Quads: Mt. Evans, Harris Park
Other Maps: Pike National Forest, Trails Illustrated #104
Usage Level: Medium


Access

Trail Heads

Guanella Pass
Deer Creek

Connecting Trails

Abyss Lake
Threemile
Tanglewood






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 begins at Guanella Pass and ends at the Deer Creek Trailhead near the Deer Creek Campground. From Guanella Pass, take the trail leading south from the summit of the pass. As it begins to climb a steep hill, the trail veers east and south as it contours around the ridge. About a mile farther south watch for a series of marker posts through the willows as the trail gradually descends to the southeast. Eventually, the trail descends to cross Scott Gomer Creek and continues southeast over a low saddle and down the valley to join the Abyss Lake Trail coming up from the southwest. Less than a quarter mile further, the trails split, the Rosalie Trail going right and the Abyss Lake Trail going left. In 2006-2007, the trail was rerouted in the vicinity of the Abyss trail junction due to flooding of the trail by beaver activity. For this reason, the trail may not be as shown on maps.

The next stretch of the trail is steep in places as it climbs up a glacial moraine. 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 the other side, you will soon reach the upper end of the Threemile Trail. The Threemile Trail goes south, then down to Threemile Creek, and the Rosalie Trail continues southeasterly down 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.


Trail's History

Early travelers, including Native Americans, followed the general route of the west end of the Rosalie trail up Scott Gomer Creek to Guanella Pass and over into the Clear Creek valley. Scott Gomer Creek is named for an early logger in the area. Evidence of his work can be seen occasionally along the trail.

Between the Scott Gomer drainage and the top of the Deer Creek drainage the trail climbs a glacial moraine created by the glaciers that carved the Scott Gomer and Lake Fork valleys. Also seen along this section is seen evidence of a large fire sometime in the past, perhaps the 500 acre Geneva fire in 1916.

In late 1923, a highway department survey party located a route for the Mt. Evans highway from summit Lake to the top of Mt. Evans. At the same time, they surveyed a route from that route across Epaulet Mountain and down Deer Creek to connect eventually to today’s US 285. Fortunately, it was never constructed.

Just west of the Tanglewood trail junction you pass through an old burn full of aspen, the Deer Creek Burn in 1916. Through this lower section, the trail follows old logging roads.