Trailhead: Deer Creek Trailhead

Activities: Hiking, Camping
(Trails 636 & 56)

Closest City / Town: Bailey, Colorado

Driving Directions:

  • From Denver, head west on Highway 285;  
  • Continue 12 miles past Conifer on 285;
  • Turn right (north) on Forest Road 100 (County Road 43). Go north 9 miles, which includes passing by the turn for Meridian Campground.
  • Continue one mile past Deer Creek Campground to the Deer Creek Trailhead.

Hiking Distance: Approximately 10 miles (roundtrip), ~3,000 feet elevation gain.

Description: The Tanglewood Trail is located near Bailey just off Highway 285.  At its lower elevations, it parallels Tanglewood Creek and winds through dense forest.  The trailhead offers no amenities so plan accordingly.

Right off the bat, you’ll quickly cross the stream three times.  After approximately 2.5 miles, you’ll pop out of the trees and enter the Krummholz Zone.  Continue up a steep, steep trail to gain the saddle to the north.  You’d be remiss not to photograph the landscape behind you!

From the saddle, it’s just under a mile (and 200 feet of elevation loss) to Roosevelt Lakes. The lakes are fairly shallow, and on a clear day you can savor the beautiful reflection of the 13,000-foot Mount Rosalie in the background.  Really pay attention to where the trail is located during that last mile of the hike.  Crossing the tundra can be tricky – you don’t want to get lost on your return hike back!

Worth Noting: This is an amazing hike with numerous photograph opportunities.  It simply doesn’t get much better this close to the Front Range.


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Rocky Mountain Hiker October 28, 2016 12:24 am
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Great trail just a short distance from Denver. Worth every step up that darn hill!!