Directions: From Denver, take Hwy 285 south past Pine Junction. Turn right on Deer Creek Road (County Road 43) and follow it for 6.8 miles until County Road 47 veers off to the right and 43 veers to the left. Continue on 43 for about 2 miles. The paved road becomes a good dirt road but gets narrow and a bit more rocky after the Campground. This road has deteriorated in the past year so SUV or 4WD recommended, passenger cars need to take is slow and watch for deep holes.
The Tanglewood Trail is one of the main ways of accessing the southern reaches of the Mt. Evans Wilderness Area, including Rosalie Peak and Roosevelt Lakes. The Rosalie Trail meanders for miles and miles eventually leading to Abyss Lake and Guanella Pass. Both trails can be hiked and explored as multi-day trips, but here is a quick, moderate hike best traveled in the fall when your goal is to see some stunning fall colors. The goal of this hike is to access the aspen grove pictured here on the southern slopes of Rosalie Peak:
The hike starts off by following the mellow Tangelwood Trail, a great trail for families, as it follows Deer Creek and crosses it several times. Along the way are pools, cascades, camp sites, and plenty of aspen trees. About a mile from the trailhead, you'll reach the wilderness boundary and the junction with the Rosalie Trail. Turn left onto the Rosalie Trail.
The fall colors pop almost immediately as you turn onto the old logging road that is now the Rosalie Trail. The trail gains elevation, steeply in some spots, but levels out after about half a mile. When the trail leves there are some large campsites and your first views of Rosalie Peak just above the trees. Continue on the trail and you'll soon enter the aspen grove. The mix of young and old growth aspens makes this grove thick and beautiful and a sea of golden color during peak season. The grove spans a little less than half a mile allowing you to spend plenty of time traipsing through the aspens.
As you leave the grove the trees immediately shift to small conifers and the views open up with Mt. Logan (12er) rising hill across the valley. Up-hill from the clearing you'll see rocky outcrops leading up to Mt. Rosalie that beg for off trail exploration.
This is a good turn around point if you are just looking for a quick fall colors hike. If you want more, and you'll definitely want more, you can continue up the Rosalie Trail towards the junction with Abyss Lake, many miles away. There are almost surely more aspen groves to explore along the way.
HIKES BY REGION
NATIONAL PARK HIKES
- BENT'S OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
- COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
- CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
- FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
- MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
- HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT
- SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT
- HIKES BY CATEGORY
- $UPPORT GHC
- INTERACTIVE MAP
Tanglewood & Rosalie Trails
Mount Evans Wilderness, Pike National Forest
Date Hiked: September 9, 2018
Distance: 4.5 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 1,150 ft
Elevation Min/Max: 9,191 to 10,251 ft
Trailhead Lat/Long: 39º 30' 39" N; 105º 34' 03" W
Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service