Cross Creek Trail to Surprise Lake

MODERATE 45 reviews
#45 of 196 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

hiking
17 hours ago

Went backpacking in this area; we made it up to Harvey Lake but got rained out Saturday night and came back down to the TH on Sunday.

On paper this trail seems pretty moderate but after ascending to Harvey Lake, it was considerably more difficult than expected past Surprise Lake approximately. There is an astounding amount of deadfall on the trail as you go up and with the water still being high there are a few creek crossings that require care. After Reed's Meadow there is also a completely flooded section you will have to navigate without stepping in. The bugs are plentiful right now so finding a good windy campsite took time. If you are trying to go backpacking in this area right now I suggest go as high as you can manage to avoid mosquitoes. We did not encounter many at Harvey Lake at 11k and above.

hiking
5 days ago

Hiked this with my dog last week (Early June) and started at 1030 am. I like to go for time instead of destination since I’m busy busy. We made it to an awesome bridge in 90 min!

The trail is pretty easy to find the whole way and there are no crazy inclines. We had trouble in one spot on the way back where we went right instead of left on a crossroads and ended up at Tiguan Road. Don’t try to take it back to Minturn, you won’t be happy! Thankfully other hikers helped us back.

Overall, it was a beautiful hike through various terrain with lots of surprises along the way including carcasses and some people riding llamas. We didn’t see any wilderness animals along the way but maybe because it was the middle if the

On our way up, we only encountered a few people but by the time we were headed down the trail was busier. Lots of dogs and most of the good owners leashed when coming into sight of my canine companion. This is important to us as hikers because sometimes he’s a jerk when on leash and sees a non-leashed dog. We need space on the trail to give the dogs/owners to pass by without confrontation. There was plenty on this hike.

I hear if you go far enough you’ll get to a lake. Can’t wait to try!

5 months 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
6 months 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
7 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
8 months ago

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

hiking
10 months ago

Nice moderate trail. Beautiful cascades

hiking
10 months ago

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

hiking
10 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
11 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
11 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

Thursday, June 15, 2017

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.

backpacking
4 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

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22 days ago

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29 days ago

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7 months ago

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9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

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