Notch Mountain is a 9.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Red Cliff, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, horses, and backpacking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length9.6 miElevation gain2,857 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashBackpackingHikingHorseback ridingRunningForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeRocky
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

4 miles south of Minturn to Tigiwan Rd.,FS 707, turn right and drive 8 miles to Fall Creek trailhead.

Weather
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Daylight
Reviews (97)
Photos (181)
Activities (82)
Completed (251)
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Mary Thoms
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HikingRocky

Iconic views with a challenging work out! I was looking back thru photos from my summer hikes and those on Notch stand out as stunning!

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Tim Porter
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Hiking
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Joe Hammer
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Hiking

One word...EPIC. Epic trail. Epic views. Epic summit! Warning, a solid 10 miles. Not for the faint of heart.

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Joe Plasencio
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Hiking
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Adrien Gouvello
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HikingGreat!

This is actually 10.4 miles total to the cabin! This was not very steep but beautiful. Very cold and windy at the top!

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Scott Kirkwood
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Hiking

Second Annual Pick-a-Mountain Hike (21 degrees at the trailhead) This is an alternate way to summit Notch Mountain vs. the All Trails route that starts on the Fall Creek Trail then approaches the summit from the east. Our alternate route is shorter (7.5 miles vs. 9.6 miles) but be prepared for a trail that continuously ascends from trailhead to summit. (The AllTrails route doesn't appear to make the actual summit.) A very enjoyable hike!

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Bradley Wanner
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Hiking
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Emma Hauenstein
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Hiking

Would recommend this for the breathtaking views. Being up at the top of the mountain gives some really cool views of the Rockies. Would not recommend to anyone who is not adjusted to altitude. We started this trail less than 24 hours after getting here from Nebraska, and because of poor cardio shape, we had altitude sickness and had to turn around about 400 feet from the top. All in all though, it was an amazing experience, always gonna remember sitting down on a rock and eating lunch at the top of a mountain.

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Don Nemerov
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great hike, longer than 9.6 miles out and back. wildflowers were in full bloom, miles of them many different varieties. fabulous panoramic views. we were only ones on trail today, ho early and be in v good shape to handle rocks and altitude gain, much harder than a couple 14ers we did

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Chad Anderson
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Hiking
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Alex Cotie
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BackpackingGreat!

Sunset hike up to the shelter, where you aren’t meant to camp overnight, but we did. Pretty easy markers along the way and a long set of switchbacks to reach the shelter.

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Kelly Phillips
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HikingGreat!

Amazing hike! Slow and steady and you will be fine. Incredible views of Mt. of the Holy Cross. The cabin at the top was perfect for lunch as there was a storm blowing through when I reached the summit. Definitely going on my favorites list!

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David Mengle
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Hiking

Trust the trail - very well laid out. Suggest take a break where Falls Creek & Notch trail fork (2.25 miles in) because your work is ahead. Beautiful meadows - top views fabulous as stated in previous reviews. Suggest snack/lunch up top. Animals very friendly - good pic Ops. Hike down was like going upstream - views are different and pics Ops are different with change in sun position. Enjoy.

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Jake Cooper
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RockyScramble

This. Trail. Is. Epic.

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Ashley Rock
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HikingRocky

This is a lovely (but really rocky above the treeline) hike that takes you to the Mt. of the Holy Cross lookout (not the summit). My understanding is that to reach the summit you should take the Half Moon Pass trail and diverge to Notch from the pass. With the snow melt we got a view of a line more than a cross, but the hike itself was picturesque and serene. Not many bugs. But man... Even with hiking boots my feet were sore from the inevitable rocks on the switchbacks. No data on distance because of Garmin/Fenix hack so that was kind of sad. Hike much nicer than Holy Cross, but views from summit of Holy Cross way better! The road really does take about 40 minutes to go 8 miles. So... That's fun. Have awd, but a few (non Subaru!) cars at trailhead, too.

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Hannah Hoetmer
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HikingGreat!
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Abner Miralda
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HikingRocky

Beautiful trail! The first half is in the woods then the second half is all alpine and the views improve as you go higher and higher up the switchbacks. The grand reveal of Mt. Holy Cross at the top is breathtaking, and the fact that not many people climb Notch means the top is peaceful and private. The way down was a little rocky and loose. I wore lightweight road running shoes for the hike and I recommend something a bit more supportive and durable, as my shoes look pretty beat up. Parking is shared with the Mt. Holy Cross trailhead so 14er hunters take up a lot of the available parking—plan accordingly!

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Aidan Dowdle
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Hiking

Beautiful hike, a lot of cross backs above the tree line but the view of holy cross more than worth it ! Will do again !

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Nate Free
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HikingBlowdown
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Donna Shaner
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Hiking

Great trail. Not as difficult as you think according to other reviews. Road was not bad, no high clearance areas, just bumpy so go slow. Top is always windy and gets cold quickly. Bring a warm layer, you will be glad you did if weather turns. “You don’t need it till you need it.” Hiked this once when I was 10 and again when I was 17. I’m 61 now and I’m very grateful to reacquaint.

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Christine Myers
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HikingBugs

Hiked on July 8 started mid morning . Bugs are only bad in the timber by the water at the start of the hike . Flowers were beautiful

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Mindy Pannell
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HikingBugsRocky

Absolutely the BEST views of Mt of the Holy Cross from the summit of Notch mountain! Seriously you need to take a picnic and just savor the magnificence of her beauty! The shelter is a great alternative location for a picnic if it’s chilly. The trail itself is only moderate and is very well maintained and marked. Yes, the switchbacks suck and you want to die...but the moment you summit that all drifts away. We completed this hike on 6/28/20 and there were still enough patches of snow along the way to keep our pups happy, cool and hydrated. The last water source is at about 12,000 ft. Wildflowers are starting to pop and should increase over the next few weeks.

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Alan Cole
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Hiking

Lightly travelled trail and for good reason. This isn’t a technical trail but makes up for it with elevation and exposure to the elements. The last leg up through the switchbacks is tiresome, especially with high winds. The views along the way are just great. Once on top the lookout building is so cool. The views of Holy Cross are perfect and much closer than anticipated. We were able to go inside the old lookout and that was really worth the hike. Pretty long dirt road in. Not really suitable for low clearance cars but we did a few see cars up there since the road was dry.

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Robert Luebbering
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Hiking

Tail is longer than stated. We measured over 13 miles round trip. Lots of switchbacks makes this an accessible trail. We saw one other hiker. Great views of my holy cross and halo.

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Ian Macy
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HikingBugsRocky

Camped along Notch Mountain Rd, broke camp and hit trail by 7am. Beautiful wildflowers, views of the entire Gore Range and a spectacular payoff at the top as Mount of the Holy Cross comes into view. Prepare for wind near the shelter! Made it to the shelter around 10am, back to the car by 2:30. We recorded around 11.5 miles roundtrip. This is a popular trailhead so be prepared to find a parking spot along the road!

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Lana Gordon
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Hiking

My beloved Daphne went missing just below the summit of Notch Mountain on Monday, August 5. She is a brown 13 lb minpin/chihuahua/terrier mix. Wearing an orange collar and tag and red Ruffwear harness at the time of her disappearance. She is incredibly shy. Please call me if you spot her. Lana 970.343.9339

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Campbell Keating
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HikingRocky

It’s a little longer than described; I clocked it in at about 13.5 miles. That said, the trail was beautiful and when you reach the top there’s a great view of holy cross mountain. I hiked during the summer so not much snow, but the trail gets pretty rocky on the home stretch so definitely wear good hiking boots. It’s a long hike and has a pretty large elevation change so be prepared with plenty of water and snacks for the trip. All in all it’s a great hike and I definitely recommend it for those who are up for it.

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