“A steady climb through aspen and pine forests along Tanglewood Creek.”
— Kristen Arendt
Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This is a leg burner of a climb - don't be discouraged by the middle section from mile 2-3 which features some rough going. The end of the trail is actually pretty enjoyable, although steep, as the rocks are more minimal and the footing is better so you can just focus on putting one foot in front of the other to get to the saddle.
Starting from the trailhead and parking lot at the end of Deer Creek
Road this short trail packs plenty to see along the way with steadily increasing grades that make you earn the views.
The trail starts on a wide, mellow, well-maintained trail through a large ponderosa and spruce forest. Here, Deer Creek
meanders through the shade, and you'll have the chance to see a variety of ferns and wildflowers along the banks of the creek and on the nearby hillsides. After crossing Deer Creek
on a narrow log bridge, you'll run alongside Tanglewood Creek which you follow for approximately two miles (and cross several times).
The trail continues to climb and you'll head through several aspen stands and small meadows that are filled with wildflowers during the spring and summer months.
As you follow the creek drainage up, you'll notice that the trail starts getting much rockier and steeper as you start to climb in earnest. The rocky sections of the trail can be a bit tricky especially in the spring if there is any run-off, as the rocks are slippery when wet.
The last mile of the trail is definitely worth the effort you put in earlier as the forest, which up to this point has blocked your views, opens up and you'll be running through meadows with stunted pines, gnarled stumps, and many wildflowers in season. The trail smooths out and you can start enjoying views of the surrounding peaks while continuing your climb to the saddle.
The trail ends at the top of the saddle between Rosalie Peak and Rosedale Peak, with great 360-degree views of Bandit Peak, Royal Mountain, Mount Logan, and the green forests, streams, and lakes to the north in the Mount Evans Wilderness.
Flora & Fauna
Deer, Albert's squirrels, chipmunks, beaver, and birds. Ponderosa pine, spruce, aspen, bristlecone pine, and many wildflowers such as sweet peas, goldenrod, columbines, lupine, indian paintbrush, candy tuft, and bluebells.