Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Minturn with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Wonderful trail that’s just wild enough to be challenging! Great views the whole way up to the lake and a great lake it is! Access road is dirt and is probably not well suited for late season travel unless you have a good overlander

trail running
17 days ago

Heavy incline with the altitude but through piney single track. Rocky but not overly technical, small lake at the end and an easy pacer down.

19 days ago

Wow. Today was one of those rare occurrences where parking wasn't really an issue. We arrived at the trailhead at about 11:30 a.m. and had our choice of parking spots. This is a great trail. There weren't too many people. However, I would say that it is a popular local and visitor trail. I saw lots of people without any gear just going for a short jaunt. You can backpack this trail and do a big loop with adjoining trails in the area. There were piles of gold everywhere on the forest floor. The Aspens were shimmering with every breeze and this glorious sunny fall day. There was a little rock scrambling to be head, boggy spots to maneuver through with care, and a Pixy land of overgrown ferns within huge stands of Aspen groves. One could easily loose the trail if not paying attention. The lakes along the way are really little ponds, but the entire hike has great vistas and ambiance. There are house sized, moss covered boulders, stone stair steps to climb (careful! they are steep) and a great creek crossing. The hike is about 5.2 miles. Moderate is a good rating. My 10 and 7 year old did it no problem. Keep eyes peeled. This is mountain lion, bear and Squatch country.

We could not have asked for better weather this past week. We hiked to mile 3 starting at about 1pm, arrived around 4:30pm. We’re both in shape but definitely took our time- the views made for good distractions to keep a nice, relaxing pace. We stayed on campsite 10, just after the creek, which had plenty of water to filter. We ended up not building a fire because we were unsure if we could or not. Signs on the ground said no, but the forest website said the ban had been lifted. We didn’t want to risk it. The low got to about 35 degrees at night, clear and no wind. We woke up at dawn and hiked to the top, arriving around 10am. Weather was 60-70 degrees with little wind. The boulder scramble near the top is intense, but fun. A bit stressful going down because the trail isn’t so easy to identify but you’ll find it. Our first fourteener is one I’ll always remember!

Breathtaking hike!!!! I went in Mid July and got a bit of a late start...5:45 am and was up at the summit by 10:15 am. The clouds rolled in quick and we were off the summit by 10:45 am but eventually had to race down to the tree line with another couple because of the thunderstorms and barely made it! The hike is long and steep but it rolls in the beginning and allows time for your legs to rest a bit. It makes for a long day and a lot of people decided to camp at mile 3. Personally, I don’t think the trail is long enough to make for an overnight camp. In total it took us just over 8 hours. It was a tough hike but we were not hurting the next day. Key to this hike is an EARLY start. I bet trying to see sunrise at the summit would be incredible. Careful coming down the summit over the boulder scramble, I went a little too close to the edge as I was making my way down.

Hiked from the trailhead with full packs, which we left at a campsite near East Cross Creek, and continued with day packs to summit in five hours. Holy Cross Mount is located in the center of the Colorado Rockies; the view is stupendous in all directions. We spent an hour on the top just taking it in. Pleasant campout that evening after a two-hour descent to the creek. Took about 1.5 hours to hike out from there in the morning. Very dry route - no water between Cross Creek and the summit so bring a couple liters on a warm day.

1 month ago

This was our first 14er. We are 55 and 60 years old. We both work out frequently and felt like we’d be as prepared as possible in regard to our fitness level. We live in Hot Springs AR and trained with backpacks doing 2-3 mile hikes with 1000 elevation gains in the heat and humidity of August. It is hard to prepare for the altitude.
On day of hike we left early afternoon from Half Moon Pass trailhead and set up camp late afternoon so we could break it up into a 2 day adventure. We restocked our water bottles with filtered stream water. Our plan was to get up early hike to summit, return to our campsite, rest for a while then finish the hike after a break. The hike itself was very hard to us. I started feeling a little dizzy and zero energy after an hour into the hike. In the back of my mind I started wondering if we would be able to make it to summit. We saw a few young people coming down saying they couldn’t do it and had decided to turn around and came back down. There were numerous young people who were hiking with complete ease too. I got to the point of taking 20 steps then stop and break, etc... We ditched our poles when we got to the boulders and glad we did. They would have just gotten in the way as we crawled over rocks with our hands. My husband forgot our lunch, sunscreen and extra water bottle (that I said to bring just in case we needed it.) Ugh! We had to ration what little water we had left all the way down. By the time we got back to camp I was completely sick feeling, sunburned and thirsty. We had to camp an extra night because I didn’t have the energy for the last 1000 ft hike out of the mountains. It was fun to set a goal and accomplish it. The views were gorgeous and the stars at night where we camped equally stunning. September is the perfect time to go-glorious fall colors, No mosquitoes and no spiders on the rocks at the top.

Easy hike. Make sure when you see the secondary trail spurs you venture out, usually 20 yards. Great views from these advantage points.

Such a pretty trail, and the lake is lovely. If it weren't for the drive to the trailhead this would be one of my regular day hikes. 1 hour and 20 minutes each way at a good pace.

Was disappointed that AllTrails didn’t mention is was 10 miles off road, steep, hairpin turns to make it to this trail. Started to feel uncomfortable since we were not in an SUV and had to around.

Topped out at 6:30 AM yesterday. Was hoping for a nice full moon hike but hardly ever saw the moon. Drizzled heavily 3-4 AM. Cleared up on descent. Long road from Minturn to trailhead, almost an hour.

Exhausting but rewarding hike! Started at 1:30 am and peaked right before sunrise. Watched the sun come up over the smoky landscape and headed back down in the morning light. Was stunned by the landscape and setting of the trail. There is no part of this hike that wasn’t breathtaking! I will admit that the 1000 foot elevation increase on the way back to trailhead killed, but was worth the views! Would be a great 2 day trip as many recommend, but one day is also very rewarding!

A very pleasant, varied, interesting and scenic hike. There are a couple of very short spurs (one at about .8 mi and another at about 2 mi in) which were real highlights for me as they afforded lovely views over the creek.

The Fall Creek trail head is adjacent to the HalfMoon Pass trail head. This trail is moderate with small inclines and a few narrow parts on the trail- the lake at the end is very pretty and you have the option to hike past it to the pass for more incredible views.

HalfMoon Trail is definitely more challenge with the steeper incline, but Lake Constantine is a longer more moderate trail option.

We enjoyed this trail. It continues on beyond the lake (it is a 14 mile trail) so we decided on a longer hike. We went out to mile 6 in the area of the intersection of the Grouse Mountain Trail/Martin Creek Trail. Beautiful vistas out there. The big elevation gains are after mile 8 so it was a very pleasant hike out to mile 6 and back. The trail is well maintained and is often shaded as we hiked along rock formations among the pines and aspen.

This is a great hike! Nice bridge over the water makes for great photo opportunity. We hiked to Surprise Lake and found it a little longer the the 4.9 mile total. Also, road is open all the way up to trailhead.

Great trail, worth going through the thick ferns to get to the lake!

As many hikers mentioned it before, I would advise to split this hike in two, the first part from the half moon pass trailhead into East Cross creek campsite and then hike the next day from the campsite into Holy Cross.
We decided to go for the full day hike and it was very demanding to say the least. A solid 8.30 hours hike and we are VERY fit. the way back up into half moon pass after a good 6 hours hiking up the mountain was grueling. beautiful views from the summit though, well worth the pain if you know what you are getting into.

Great trail along creek, then up to views, then to ponds. Last bit of trail overgrown with mostly ferns. Easy to follow. Pond level down since it’s August. Overlooks and creek are fantastic on sunny day. Nice view of vail and holy cross. Creek refreshing stop along the way.

Absolutely breathtaking hike! There wasn’t a cloud in sight, and the trail wasn’t crowded. We encountered MAYBE a dozen people the whole day. Easily one of my favorite hikes. We hiked late Monday night to the campsite (set up camp around 9pm) and had a late start for the summit the next day. We starting hiking around 6:30am from the campsite on Tuesday, and hit the summit by 10:20. We definitely took our time on the way up. The most grueling part of the whole adventure is packing up your campsite and going back up and over Half Moon Pass. I was envious of the people who were staying another night before hiking out of the valley. I wouldn’t consider this a difficult hike in terms of terrain, but it’s certainly an emotional roller coaster when you remember that final 1000 ft just to leave. Road getting to trailhead is very well maintained.

This was a beautiful hike. I left the trailhead at 4:30 am and made it to the summit around 8:30. The trail is well maintained and well marked with cairns. Like everyone says, bring lots of water. Got back to the trailhead at 2:00 was a little slow coming down due to a strained knee. Weather was great all day. You can camp at the base of the summit but you can easily do a day hike. Recommend leaving trailhead early to avoid chance of afternoon weather. Great day!

2 months ago

Lovely hike. It honestly made me feel a bit like I'd been cramming Little Debbies all week because the elevation had me doing the hard breathe that you try to hide a bit when other fit hikers walk by. I wish I would have walked past lake Constantine to the other lakes nearby but I was hungry and wanted dinner.

Solid 8 hour hike at good pace. Demanding. Scrambling near the top. Very nice views from the summit. Save energy for the uphill portion on the way back, it can take 45mins - 1 hour. Would highly recommend an early start.

The last 1,000’ is a lot of rock and boulder hopping. Watch for your careens as the trail is hard to follow, especially going back down. It is tough but some amazing views.

This is a great hike if you prefer less traffic. There are some areas of thick vegitation towards the top of the trail, however this was also where we saw elk. The lake at the end was more bog like, but was worth the hike as the entire trail was beautiful!

I did this as a 1 night backpacking trip and summited on the 4th of July. Weather was great. There was a short-lived afternoon shower in the evening on the 3rd, but nothing major. I camped at East Cross Creek with my dog. The campsites were amazing but the mosquitos/flies were horrible! We spent most of the afternoon/evening in the tent. We left at 5:45 am for the summit. It took us about 5 hours round trip to summit and return to the campsite. The views were gorgeous and it was fairly populated, so it didn’t seem like it would be easy to get lost on the final ascent/descent. The only negative was that past east cross creek there wasn’t any water for the next 5 miles of hiking. I ended up having to split my water with my dog. Next time I will plan accordingly!

Beautiful scenic trail! This was a rough hike through and through. We camped at the creek the first night then woke up at 5 to summit the next day. Took between 2-4 hours to summit for our whole group. There is really steep ascents/ descents once you get past the tree line. Especially the last quarter mile where you’re essentially rock climbing up. I thought about leaving my poles at the last carin on the ridge and I wish I would’ve. They got in the way on the way to the summit. This was my first 14er and it was tough, but I took my time and made it okay. It’s a hard hike for sure, just be prepared. I carried 3L of water up and only drank about half. Water at the creek is good, especially if you have a filter.

3 months ago

Wonderful hiking and camping.

Went up on July 3rd-5th, 2018 and expected it to be packed but was relatively empty. Only 6 other cars in the Falls Creek Trailhead lot, which holds about 40. Might have been the mid-week holiday, I hear it can get busier. Trail road was a long, 8.2-mile ride, but in good condition even for a 2WD. No trash cans at the trailhead, but bathrooms available.

Hike to the lake is a good one, plenty of wildlife. Porcupine, quail, marmot, elk, and more. Some nice views on the way in.

Camping around the lake is easy, dozens of used campsites. The best are towards the south-west side of the lake, but plenty to choose from. As you go around this way, the trail deviates and breaks apart many different times. If you're heading towards the upper lakes, don't worry too much, they all eventually get back to the main one in some way.

Getting up to the lakes is worth it, and provides exceptional views. A few rock scrambles, but we were able to make it without issue with a small, 12-year-old beagle. Saw a few other dogs as well. 2:30 time to get up and down, not including an hour spent at the top.

Trailhead to Lake Constantine: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2827267110
Lake Constantine to Upper Tuhares and Back: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2827272184
Lake Constantine to Trailhead: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2827275593

Wonderful trail, moderate paced hiking but still challenging enough to be fun. Stunning views throughout the trail.

Only down side is that there are a few patches of thick vegetation throughout the trail, but overall, fantastic.

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