Ascent of Santa Rosa Peak on 2012-09-22

Climber: Dennis Poulin

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, September 22, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Santa Rosa Peak
    Elevation:9701 ft / 2956 m

Ascent Trip Report

I approached Santa Rosa Pk from Hwy 95. About 2 miles south of the town of Orovada there is a Rest Area on the east side of the highway. I turned into this Rest Area and went to the north end of the paved area and I took a dirt road going east across the cattle guard. The road is signed BLM 50555. I went east towards the peak for about 1.5 miles and then took the left fork that is signed BLM 50555A and continued east. At about 3.0 miles from the Rest Area, the road dips through a creek and then becomes a little rougher. I continued into the canyon and crossed another cattle guard. The road forks here but the right fork only goes about 100yds and then ends. I think it continues as a trail, but I wanted to drive higher so I took the left fork. In about 0.8 mile from the cattle guard the road dips through a creek and it is a brushy crossing. The road is steep on the other side of the creek so I shifted into 4WD and headed up. The road goes up a steep hill gaining about 400 ft in 0.4 mile and I stopped where this first hill mellowed at about 6,000 ft elevation. I could have driven up further and gained a couple hundred more feet, but I was happy enough to use this spot as my trailhead. I car camped here for the night.

In the morning, I started hiking up the west ridge to a higher ridge that leads to the peak. Very open slope and easy going up to about 7,600 ft. The route from here to the summit is easy to see by just following the ridge all the way to the summit. The ridge has about a dozen rocky outcroppings that I had to figure out how to bypass. None of them are much, but going directly over them would add lots of unnecessary elevation gain, so I snaked around the left and right sides of these minor obstacles trying to connect the saddles. There are a few game trails to follow in places, but mostly it was just cross country hiking on rocky ground with knee high brush in places.

At the last saddle the summit looks a little imposing with a cliffy area up near the top of the steep slope. I hiked directly up the slope to the cliffy area and found a way almost directly up the cliffs that some would say is Class 3 in spots. This is mostly large (refrigerator sized) granite boulders that I had to search for a route through. Once on top, the summit is still about 500 ft east across the rocky ridge. Great views from the summit. On the way down I didn't want to climb down the steep boulders, so I dropped down to the south of the summit and then crossed a boulder field to get back to the west slope. Once down to the saddle, I noticed that I should have traversed over to the north ridge and climbed up to the summit from there.

I also notice that some of the people who signed the summit register had come from Rebel Creek. I know nothing about that route. I did notice that all the valleys and drainages are choked with aspen trees. The ridges are clear of vegetation but some of them may be technical in spots with rocky cliffs.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4001 ft / 1218 m
    Extra Gain:160 ft / 48 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.7 mi / 12.4 km
    Route:West Ridge
    Trailhead:6020 ft / 1834 m
    Route Conditions:
Open Country
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Dennis Poulin
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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