Mount of the Holy Cross Trail

HARD 57 reviews
#10 of 178 trails in

Mount of the Holy Cross Trail is a 12.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Minturn, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
12.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5980 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

snowshoeing

trail running

cross country skiing

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

A beautiful, but rigorous hike. It took me, a 54-year-old male in fairly good shape, roughly 10 hours. The younger guys were doing it faster, but be sure to give yourself enough time. Also, take lots of water. I went through 4 liters in September.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

backpacking
3 months ago

This was our first 14er, so it has a special place in my heart! Probably could have chosen an easier one, considering I live at sea level and only had three days to acclimate before setting out... This trail was a really challenging in-and-out for us. Between the elevation gain and struggling with the altitude, there were points where we were taking 20 steps and pausing to catch our breath!

But the path it winds offers unbelievable views of forests, other peaks, and small alpine lakes nearly the whole way, which means you're never just slogging. You're constantly being blown away by the scenery only a 14er provides, which we'd never experienced before!

There are some tight switchbacks less than halfway that were BRUTAL for us and the last couple miles are making your way along thick scree fields, which slow you down. But there's only a little easy bouldering to get to the summit, and holy hell that view is completely worth it.

If did it again, we'd camp along the way and wouldn't attempt 12+ miles in one day without being properly accustomed to the altitude. :)

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

backpacking
3 months ago

We did this hike in two days on Labor Day weekend and it was quite the challenge. The initial hike with our packs to East Cross Creek took roughly 2.5 hours. We were able to share site #5 with a couple who was already there and found our own secluded spot with enough privacy. We started the ascent around 4am and the trail was easy to follow with headlamps and so beautiful to stop to admire the stars. We were about half way to the summit when the sun rose and summited around 9am. The last portion to the summit is all boulders but very doable if you stay to the left, as our small dog was able to climb with no problem. After descending back down to camp, we took a much needed power nap before hiking back UP (yes, it's not all downhill on the way back) to the car. Definitely a strenuous and long hike but safe and worth the feeling of accomplishment! As many people have said, pack way more than 2L of water. We filtered at least 6L for two people and our dog from the river near camp between the 2 days.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

This was my first 14er I really didn't know what I was in for. I packed plenty of food water and extra layers. I was definitely tested to my limits I've done 10 mile hikes and 25 mile ruck matches in the army, but nothing was as difficult as this. I didn't let it beat me and finished the whole hike in 10.5 hours including breaks to eat and change my socks. The last 1,000 feet up are very difficult I felt like Q*bert hopping from rock to rock.

3 months ago

Amazing! 2hr hike to campsite then all day up to summit and all the way back to parking lot. So beautiful!

backpacking
3 months ago

This is a beautiful trail, though challenging. We did this as a backpack, Saturday to Sunday, making the summit on Saturday after dropping our weight at camp. Both of us are in good shape and this was a brutal hike. Like folks say, bring plenty of water & snacks!

hiking
3 months ago

I did a solo 2 day backpacking trip to climb this; hiked in and camped Friday, summited Saturday morning, packed up and hiked back out that afternoon. The hike in, with my camping pack at its heaviest, was brutal. It's an incline and elevation gain right from the trail head...finally going downhill felt nice. It only took me 2 hours and 40 minutes to summit from camp, about 1 hour 40 minutes to get back down to camp, and I went through about 2L of water (I needed an extra 1-2L for the whole hike in and out). The last hike up gets into some scrambling but pay attention to the rock tower markers and you should be able to stay on trail, for the most part. Bring snacks/energy food...you will need it. Great views everywhere.

3 months ago

This is a rewarding hike but not easily earned. The top section becomes semi- technical. The vertical gain was challenging but the views at the top were worth everything

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago