Peak(s):  Rosalie Peak  -  13,575 feet
"Epaulie"  -  13,530 feet
Epaulet Mountain  -  13,523 feet
Date Posted:  06/23/2016
Date Climbed:   06/19/2016
Author:  Stone Climber
 Tanglewood Trail to Epaulet Mtn.   

Deer Creek TH - Bailey
Start Time - 3:30 am
Summit Rosalie - 8:00 am
Summit "Epaulie" - 9:15 am
Summit Epaulet Mtn. - 9:39 am
Back to the car - 1:15 pm

I didn't feel like making a long drive anywhere. The past few weekends had me in Buena Vista and Telluride, so it was time for something a little closer to Denver. A quick look at the map and the Rosalie Group caught my eye. I planned on going for this early Saturday but sleep won the battle, so Sunday it was.

I arrived at the large parking lot for the Deer Creek TH around 3 am. There were a few cars already there to my surprise. Being that I was going for a few 13ers and had never heard of this trail before, I really wasn't expecting to see anyone. I slowly situated my gear and was heading up the trail by 3:30 am. It was so nice not having to carry snowshoes or half the stuff I bring in Winter or Spring time. I made decent time to the junction of Rosalie Trail and Tanglewood Trail, filled out a permit and continued up the Tanglewood Trail. At this point I still thought Tanglewood was a rarely used trail, so I was amazed at how nice it was. There were a couple bridges for stream crossings along the way and not much water runoff on the trail. I passed a couple tents along the way as I went up the switchbacks, hitting treeline a little after sunrise. It was a bit windy as I headed for the saddle between Rosalie Peak and Pegmatite Points.

Rosalie Peak on my way to the saddle.

At the saddle I took a quick break to eat and hydrate. I left the Tanglewood Trail here and started up the East Ridge of Rosalie.

The saddle between Rosalie Peak and the Pegmatite Points. I left the trail here and headed west for Rosalie.

East Ridge of Rosalie Peak

I reached the summit of Rosalie Peak around 8 am, snapped a few pics and was on my way over to "Epaulie".

The summit of Rosalie Peak

Heading over to "Epaulie"

"Epaulie" was still holding some snow, so I carefully ascended, trying to take the path of least resistance. Some of the rock was downsloping and wet which made for some interesting route finding. The summit of "Epaulie" consisted of some large boulders stacked on top of each other. It was very windy up there, so I didn't stay long and crossed over to Epaulet Mountain.

Summit of "Epaulie"

Heading over to Epaulet Mtn. This point is the true summit.

There were a few points on Epaulet Mountain that looked similar in height from my vantage point, so I went for the one that looked tallest first (see picture). I checked it out when I got back and this was the correct one. Not wanting to have to return for this one, I made a point to walk around and hit them all before returning the way I came.

Mt. Bierstadt (left), The Sawtooth (center) and Mt. Evans (right) as seen from Epaulet Mtn.

I only stayed up there for a few minutes before starting the journey back to the car. I contoured along the north side of "Epaulie" to keep the elevation gain to a minimum. I stayed right above the cliff edge, only going up when I had to. I'm glad I did this because I was treated to an awesome view of three lakes below me.

Three lakes I saw while contouring below "Epaulie"

For whatever reason I thought I should contour around the south side of Rosalie on my way back to the Tanglewood Trail. This didn't save me much gain, I stayed a 100' or so below Rosalie's summit. I started seeing people near the saddle between Rosalie Peak and Pegmatite Points which was surprising to me. I got back on the Tanglewood Trail and started heading down, running when I felt comfortable doing so. As I hit treeline, I started passing groups of people of all ages. Are they going for the Rosalie Group as well? After passing several groups, I finally asked where everyone was heading. That's when I found out the Tanglewood Trail is used to access a lake, I'm assuming one of the three that I saw earlier. The flies were pretty terrible through the trees, I haven't encountered that many before. I made friends with two hikers on their way down and stayed with them making small talk to the cars. It was nice being able to chat it up for the descent after being solo for the past few hours.

Sometimes seeing the parking lot is a better feeling than hitting a summit. I was glad to be done for the day. I drove home and was treated to a barbeque with friends. I definitely recommend this route if you don't want to drive too far from Denver but you still want to get high.

Extra photos from the trip

Pegmatite Points on my way up to the saddle.

Looking back to the Pegmatite Points on my way up Rosalie Peak

Wildflowers I found on my way back to the Tanglewood Trail.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
One of my favorite areas
06/23/2016 14:44
That area is also very popular with hunters and the same TH can be used to catch Bandit Peak and Mt. Logan.

Nice report - brings back a lot of memories... Thanks for posting this.

Stone Climber
Thanks Jay!
06/23/2016 17:26
That explains the large parking area too. I enjoyed being up there!

In the summer...
06/23/2016 20:37
... The TH parking area can be full with people parking on the road. Not as bad as Quandry but kinda deja vu.

06/23/2016 21:23
The lakes in your TR are the Beartrack Lakes. I like the bristlecone forest at timberline.

Stone Climber
Thanks Rijaca!
06/23/2016 22:25
I'll have to check those out someday. I enjoyed the bristlecone forest as well. I took a quick break there on my way up.

06/24/2016 08:28
Royal Mt is also a nice hike with some cool bristlecones from that TH if you ever head back up. (East of the trail as you're headed to the pass.) Even saw some moose up there. Tanglewood is one of my favorite "close by" trails.

I also learned that trying to save elevation on the way back around Rosalie didn't work out too well, as it appears you discovered too ;)

Thanks for posting


06/24/2016 11:19
We saw a moose on Saturday on the trail.

Stone Climber
Thanks Derek
06/24/2016 22:29
I'll have to check out Royal sometime. I didn't see any moose, but I did hear something moving around behind me on ascent. It was still dark when I heard the noises but I couldn't see anything with my flashlight.

Nice TR
12/08/2020 15:26
I plan to do the Rosalie group next year, now. This will help! Thanks! Great Pics.

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