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Santa Rosa Peak

Tough to access but worth every step.

Ski Touring Difficult

17 km
1.9 km
1.9 km
1 day +
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
3 km
Santa Rosa Peak Map

Santa Rosa Peak is a very worthy backcountry ski destination. It is not, however, easy to get to. There are rumors of approach routes from the east side, but private land in-holdings and questionable right-of-ways can turn you back far from the peak. This route, up McConnell Creek, will get you to where you want to be...just prepare for a challenge (and some bushwhacking). From the rest stop pullout on Route 95, drive the dirt road east as far towards the canyon as possible. Good clearance and 4WD/AWD will help shorten your walk.


Park when the road gets to be too much and begin your tour with a hike up the McConnell Creek trail. The path is easy to follow and "well" established by Great Basin standards, but it does eventually evaporate into the sagebrush. By now the high peaks should be in your face and will provide all the motivation you need to keep pushing forward. At this point you should have hopefully reached snowline.

Pick your way further upstream through the sagebrush (don't stick too close to the willow-choked creek) until you reach the toe of the southwest ridge. Ascend this ridge to the south face, and eventually the summit where jaw-dropping 360 degree views await.

Alright, it is time to ski! The north couloir is a good one to start with. Steep and splitter, this line dives right from the top. Climb back up to the summit using the northwest ridge before descending the incredible southwest face. I recommend traversing over a small saddle about halfway down for an easier egress (thick vegetation further down canyon). Reverse your steps down canyon, and drive around to the Paradise Valley Hot Springs where you can rest your weary body as the sun disappears behind Santa Rosa Peak.



Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between February and May


  • Bowl
  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Cliffs
  • Couloir

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Crampons

Guidebooks in this area