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Mount of the Holy Cross Trail

HARD 204 reviews
#2 of 24 trails in

Mount of the Holy Cross Trail is a 10.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Minturn, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from February until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 10.1 miles Elevation Gain: 5,511 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

hiking
rocky
snow
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. Knees hurt so bad though.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
snow
2 months ago

So, 3 stars. Yep - worse trail I have ever hiked on. Rocks, roots, talus or all three. Did not enjoy at all (others voiced the same - harder coming down than going up). But got another 14er, so that's something. Dog did enjoy herself, so there's that. Snow was on the top, so needed (or at least I used) microspikes. Others didn't. Just glad it's over. Got to the lot around 8 and it was full. The road up was not bad, take it easy and you can make it.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

My first 14er. Hiked to the campground Friday night. Took a few hours to acclimate to the altitude, but nothing a hot dinner and campfire didn’t solve. No facilities, but close by river was water source. Ascent to the top was difficult. I’ve done other hikes that were technically harder, but the altitude on this one really made it difficult. We stopped occasionally for water breaks, took our time, also popped ibuprofen and had electrolyte tabs to help with altitude headaches. Some snow on the ridge leading up to the summit. Quite windy up at the top, beautiful and stunning views. I was kicking myself for not bringing my hiking poles for the descent! Can’t recommend this hike enough.

hiking
2 months ago

Started from the trailhead parking lot around 445am on 9/21 under the stars. The initial approach through the forest is a relatively long one! Once we reached the tree line, the wind kicked up; as we approached the summit, the gusts were relentless and conditions were very cold! A wind breaker or shell was essential. While the scrambling was not difficult and was actually quite fun, the sustained wind made the final push a tough one. The incredible views made the tough conditions worthwhile! Great experience, beautiful peak - be prepared for a long approach and additional long uphill stretch on the way back to the trailhead. Our total time was just under 9 hrs, including spending 30 minutes at the summit.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Really hard 14er. Lots of scrambling. Ankles were killing me coming down so wear some good footwear. Lots of water and a windbreaker. Great workout and great views

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Amazing hike and camping trip. More detail: I am from the midwest and this was my first 14er. I am rather fit, but found this a difficult climb. I was there over labor day weekend. As a photographer I decided to stay a few nights at East Creek Crossing (camping at the creek/10 spots available) and take my time. Do not underestimate how cold 42 is! I brought cold gear, but I should have brought straight up winter gear. I found myself very lucky to have beautiful weather for 4 days/3 nights with no rain and clear skies. This is fortunate because I was way behind schedule while going to the top and didnt reach there until 2pm. I was able to stay up there for a good hour before I saw someone else (from the ridge route) and I went back down to get to camp around sunset. The trail is well maintained and was heavily trafficked during the weekend I was there (expected with the holiday)- but still only saw about 30 people total in 4 days. Even with sunscreen I managed to get some sunburn on my face/ears, but nothing major. It's very easy to fill your water at the creek if you have a filter or tablets. There is also a creek at the parking area. Speaking of parking, there is plenty of parking both in spots or along the road. I had no issue both driving up the road with 2WD and finding a spot to park. The first teaser hill (first 1.5 miles) was a great warmup and gave me a false sense of confidence for the massive amount of work needed for the rest (I was bringing my photo gear so I had a very heavy pack). I will have to come back since I did not get to do the full ridge hike around the bowl of tears, and I didnt get to hike up to Lake Patricia either. 100% recommend this trail.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

we got turned back by a storm at about 600' from summit. do your hiking EARLY in the morning. thunderstorms every afternoon.

hiking
3 months ago

The trail is way harder than I expected, one of the roughest 14er’s I’ve ever done. I stayed on trail the entire hike and clocked 14.2 miles total. The grade is no joke. I consider myself pretty well acclimated to altitude and fit, but there were parts of the hike where I was gassed after 10 steps. The boulder field on the way up requires a lot of endurance. The incline on the way back to the car is just the cherry on top of a long day. This would be a great hike to break up over a couple days but it’s an absolutely brutal day hike. Regardless, the Sawatch Range is beautiful and the views every second of this trail were stunning. Just be prepared for the trail to take your breath away before the views do.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Fitbit: based on steps taken. UP: 5.5 hours. 9 miles. 36 min average pace up. 33 min average pace down in all, 18 miles, 9.5 miles, 5500 elevation gain! Gorgeous, tough having to ascend again in middle of hike. One major creek close to campground. Best sunrise I’ve ever seen. Great conditions. My Altima made it up to trailhead but it sucked haha

hiking
scramble
3 months ago

Simply amazing hike! I started the hike on Friday night at the East Cross Creek trailhead (dead-end of Tigiwon Road, can’t miss it) and hiked about 2 hours before reaching East Cross Creek campsites. Spots are first come first served, no facilities. Started the summit from campsite at 330am on Saturday, reached the peak at 630am, just in time for sunrise. Huge boulder field, be cautious and bring gloves as my hands got pretty beat up from bracing my weight on them for over an hour for the scramble. Very well defined trail, no snow at all on trail. Made it back to car at 1230pm (including a stop at campsite to pack up the tents). Definitely bring a beanie and warm down jacket if you’re hiking before sunrise-it was frigid with the wind.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful day. Mostly overcast with periods of sun, but windy!!!!! Large temperature differential between forest and exposed areas Don’t forget electrolytes!!!!! I forgot and felt sleepy and sluggish all the way down. Time to peak: 3:30 Total HT: 6:20 Trail starts through a well forested area. Steady and moderate incline with few high steps for the first 1.7 miles . Trail then descends significantly until you reach the creek. The first 4miles are well forested with good coverage from sun. At 4.5 miles, boulder field starts, but trail easy to find and boulders placed nicely for stairs. The last 500 vertical is steep with wayfinding more difficult and necessary scrambling. Favorite 14er yet

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