Trails.com is merging with AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Notch Mountain

HARD 51 reviews
#6 of 24 trails in

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.

Distance: 9.6 miles Elevation Gain: 2,857 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

horseback riding

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

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

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
bugs
rocky
3 months ago

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!

hiking
3 months ago

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

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

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.

hiking
bugs
rocky
3 months ago

We’ve been waiting all summer for the snow to melt and the water to recede so we could enjoy this amazing hike and views of Mount of the Holy Cross. All streams were passable with rocks. Very little snow. It’s never too steep, although a little repetitive on the switchbacks at the top. Bring water for dogs after the stream disappears, around 12,000 feet.

hiking
Sun Oct 28 2018

Climbed this one today. And when I say climbed, that's no lie. 95% of the trail is snow covered, with the last 1,000 feet requiring some basic mountaineering skills. Post holing, searching for different routes from the trail (it's disappeared under the snow and you have to post hole all the way up), thigh-deep snow in certain areas. Don't get me wrong - it's breathtaking at the top, but it took some effort to get there. My companion said this was Mt Rainier summit day minus ice axes and crevasses. Spikes, gaiters all recommended. Snow shoes might even come in handy if you're willing to bring them. But I loved it. So, the work aside, it's worth the hike.

Mon Oct 08 2018

Gorgeous hike with great vista views of lakes, and a small town on the main highway—both from way above when you are above tree line. Hiked this with my friend on September 26, 2018 and there was only a trace of snow showing anywhere at that time. There is a nice protective moderate size rock hut at the summit. Christians will appreciate the view of Mount of the Holy Cross, a 14’er, which is viewed across the valley once you reach the summit of Notch Mountain. The snowfield in the colour (rock crevices) is visible certain months, and it forms a gigantic cross. I believe it was in the 1940s that many Christians hiked this for a pilgrimage to see the cross. Check a Google search for the story. Note that if you prefer to hike the 14er, Mt of the Holy Cross itself, you probably won’t get much if any view of the cross. Check guides to see. I’ve hiked about 25 hikes in Colorado and this is one of my top two favorite hikes! It was exactly 10 miles round trip with elevation gain if 2857 feet. There is a water source about 40% of the way up.

Fri Aug 10 2018

I live this hike. I don’t remember it being very difficult.

Sun Aug 05 2018

We were planning to make the Halo Ridge traverse over to summit Mount of the Holy Cross, but the weather came in hard and fast at noon. The notch mountain trail is beautiful. The switchbacks Offer gorgeous views and the lakes and valleys below. The shelter up top perfectly frames Mount of the Holy Cross in the window. Next time, we’ll get an earlier start and make the Halo Ridge traverse.

hiking
Sun Jun 24 2018

Good stuff

Mon Aug 28 2017

Pretty approach. Well designed switchbacks. Great summit ridge view of Mt. Holy Cross.

hiking
Sat Aug 19 2017

I would classify our group (4 of us) as intermediate hikers, although being from the Midwest, we don't get to experience the elevation or climb like hikes in Colorado. We found this hike moderately hard, but an excellent challenge. It was certainly worth the many switchbacks and steep rock climb / descent. The view of the two lakes as well as Mt of the Holy Cross are gorgeous. We were told to start as early as possible (5am), and this was good advice. We ended up actually starting at 5:30am, and we had plenty of time to summit, descend and begin our car ride back before it started to rain. Especially if you're not used to the elevation, bring plenty of water. I drank 3 liters, and this was sufficient, but I probably should have had more. The temperatures at the top were likely in the mid-40s, so wear layers and prepare for wind at the top. We packed trail mix, boiled salt and parmesan potatoes, Clif Bloks, peanut butter pretzels and jerkey, and we felt our nutrition plan was very successful. This is a beautiful hike where you can experience a variety of terrains, wildlife and flora. We would love to do this one again if we return to the area.

hiking
Tue Jul 18 2017

I did this trail on 17 of july 2017. Very easy route with an amazing view from the top, several marmots and white ptarmigans all around.You can shorten the numerous switchback in the last 600 ft before reaching the shelter. Recommended !!

hiking
Mon Jul 03 2017

we did this trail in July of 2016, I feel the distance is off as well, we logged over 11 miles on our gps. this is one of my favorite trips ever, but it is crushing with nonstop switchbacks and a summit that is not visible from said switchbacks. as such, put your head down and keep digging. it is worth it.

hiking
Mon Jul 03 2017

This hike is longer than you think. You are above tree line for a long time. Be sure to bring lots of water and protection. (Lots of rocks so think about paw protection for your pups!) We did this trail June 30, 2017. There was barely any snow left. Just a couple small patches and one large patch. The large patch had us lose the trail, but it was straight across the rocks. Then it is switch back city! Just when you think you are almost there- surprise another switchback! The view of Mt. Holy Cross is awesome! There were times of wild flowers, some blooming, some about to bloom. The shelter seemed like a safe space if you need to ride out a storm. All in all, I would have liked a little more time to spend at the top. There should be some lakes between Notch mountain and holy cross that are viewable from the flat top. I had to scurry down though... Next time!

hiking
Wed Jul 06 2016

Excellent hike, but our GPS showed 5.8 miles from Fall Creek trailhead to the shelter for an 11.6 mile round trip. Hiked early July, and the Cross was still full of snow. Lots of variety on this hike - high mountain lakes, several streams, high altitude alpine views, etc. The drive in on Tigiwon Road was a mini-adventure by itself.

hiking
Tue Mar 17 2015

Long hike. Nice day. Hiked up their twice. 2000 ,July

hiking
Sat Mar 22 2014

This is a great hike that starts at the Fall Creek trail head. After walking in the forest for 2.5 miles, this trail intersects with the Notch Mt. trail and starts up Notch Mt. You break out of the trees and see wildflowers on the open hillsides above Timberline. You then hike to the switchbacks that take you to the top of the mountain where you get a awesome view of Mt. of the Holy Cross. There is a Rock House on top of Notch Mt. that comes in handy in case of a thunderstorm,which happens often. A strenuous hike but well worth the effort.

hiking
Sat Aug 11 2012

This is a beautiful hike with a variety of scenery. We began a bit later than we should because it did storm on us when we summited. I would begin around day light if possible. Awesome hike all the same!

hiking
Thu Aug 25 2011

We were a little disappointed that it did not actually go to the notch... but only a little. It's a beautiful hike with great views.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

recorded Notch Mountain

hiking
2 months ago

Load More

Featured Trails