Cross Creek Trail to Surprise Lake

MODERATE 37 reviews
#56 of 178 trails in

Cross Creek Trail to Surprise Lake is a 4.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Minturn, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
669 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

3 days ago

Only able to get within 1.2 miles of the trailhead due to snowmobile only activity on the road. Wasn’t planning on the extra distance, so we grabbed another trail off of Berthoud Pass.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely gorgeous the whole way. Nearly everything was covered in snow and the lake was almost completely frozen. A majority of the trail was frozen too so be prepared.
Really not too challenging even with the ice. Nice and gentle inclines most of the way.

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked here with our dogs and it was awesome! The trail has a good combination of uphills, downhills, and flat sections and some great views. There was a really nice meadow area near the creek where we left the trail and played in the creek for a bit and the trail was easy to find again, even after following the creek for a while. There was a fork in the trail at one point and we took the right trail which took us to a GORGEOUS view of the creek below, and it was here that we turned around to make it home before dark. Next time we will take the left fork to see where it goes!

hiking
3 months ago

This was one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done. It is a great place to escape the world.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice moderate trail. Beautiful cascades

hiking
5 months ago

Got 2.4 miles in and had to turn around due to weather. Not a hard hike. Nice trailhead

hiking
5 months ago

This was a really nice hike. Not too strenuous and not crowded. The trail is in great condition. You get some nice walking by water. But bring bug spray! We lost the trail because of the overgrown brush just before the lake. We also turned back because some hikers coming the other way told us they spotted a bear.

hiking
6 months ago

A great, not too crowded hike with river access and a view of Mount of the Holy Cross. I would recommend a high clearance vehicle for the rocky road to the trailhead. Before crossing the creek, the meadow/marshy areas had a lot of mosquitoes. Not too far after the bridge is a steep spur trail down the the creek. On a hot day that was very rewarding. The aspens after the bridge were incredible. Would be great in fall. Surprise Lake is really more of a glorified pond that is quite marshy.

hiking
6 months ago

Good road to parking at trailhead, made it with our Prius. Our GPS had it closer to 6 miles rountrip to Surprise Lake. Great hike; we think it's one of the best in the area for a moderate hike

7 months ago

The road to the trailhead was rough and closed off so that we had to walk a mile to get there (not a big deal) and we never found Surprise Lake (that's okay). The hike itself was wonderful; the trail was in great condition, had beautiful views and, despite what some comments say below, was not steep at all in comparison to other trails we hiked nearby.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Not many vistas as you climb the steep trail. Trees are beautiful though. We didn't make it to the top.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Trail was pretty steep. About 3 miles to the lake, but it was well worth the view! The trail itself seemed like it was an old river bed, with lots of rocks and branches in some parts. But overall a great hike!!

hiking
Sunday, October 11, 2015

A well-kept but steep uphill trail. There are beetle kill trees but also large groves of aspens that line the way. Surprise lake itself is beautiful with the best view from the middle of the lake if you're brave enough for a cold swim. The turnoff sign for surprise lake is subtle so stay alert ~2 miles in.

camping
Monday, October 05, 2015

An OK trail. Not a bad hike, but you are surrounded by beetle kill the entire way. Surprise Lake itself is virtually uncampable unless you are comfortable camping under a cathedral of dead trees.

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2 months ago

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