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.

This is a Very Hard, Very Rewarding hike-climb-scramble.

Be prepared for a very long day and a pre-dawn start if the weather is risky—-which it always is in the Rockies, right.

You will definitely want a walking stick or two mainly to help your knees on the return. A whole lot of descending and this can play havoc on the knees-quads-patellofemoral joint.

It is definitely one that I’d repeat.

This used to be my dad's favorite area to hike when he lived in Colorado 25 years ago. Growing up in CA it was a person goal to come here one day since I'd heard so much about it from him and see this place. Beautiful area as everyone can attest to. Difficult hike even for the physically fit. I loved it, but it was mentally challenging as you get close to the summit due to the many rock steps that lead to the top. Hard on the knee's as well. Make sure to check the weather. Happy hiking

Only able to get within 1.2 miles of the trailhead due to snowmobile only activity on the road. Wasn’t planning on the extra distance, so we grabbed another trail off of Berthoud Pass.

5 months ago

Very beautiful and very hard. You have to go over a 1,400 ft elevation gain ridge and then straight back down it before you even start to hike Holy Cross. Bring a TON of water and water filtration to refill at the stream crossing. I burned through 5L on summit day. My friend and I did it as the first backpacking trip of the Summer and it was tough over 3 days and 2 nights. Bring bug spray. Our temps got up to high 70's in the day and high 20's at night in July, reapplied sunscreen like 20 times in 3 days and still got some sun exhaustion. Once you get about 1 mile past the ridge a view opens up of Holy Cross that is the most beautiful view I've seen in Colorado.

Absolutely gorgeous the whole way. Nearly everything was covered in snow and the lake was almost completely frozen. A majority of the trail was frozen too so be prepared.
Really not too challenging even with the ice. Nice and gentle inclines most of the way.

We hiked here with our dogs and it was awesome! The trail has a good combination of uphills, downhills, and flat sections and some great views. There was a really nice meadow area near the creek where we left the trail and played in the creek for a bit and the trail was easy to find again, even after following the creek for a while. There was a fork in the trail at one point and we took the right trail which took us to a GORGEOUS view of the creek below, and it was here that we turned around to make it home before dark. Next time we will take the left fork to see where it goes!

This was one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done. It is a great place to escape the world.

8 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.

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. :)

8 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.

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.

Really beautiful area, especially if you continue past Constantine to the Tuhare Lakes - the upper lake is highly recommended. We camped at Constantine, lots of sites, but a fair amount of people as well. The area is definitely showing its use, more litter than you'd like to see in a wilderness area. All in all a good weekend though!

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

9 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!

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.

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

Nice moderate trail. Beautiful cascades

This is an intense hike. I did it in two days with my hiking buddy. On the first day, we hiked over Half Moon Pass and shared a campsite with a few other parties after crossing Cross Creek. The creek is pretty much the only source of water between the trail head and the summit of Mount of the Holy Cross. From camp, I took two liters of filtered creek water and a half-liter of Gatorade with me to the summit - not enough. From camp, it's a steep and challenging trail, and once you're up above treeline, you're walking on rock for a long time.

The views are some of the best I've ever seen. The only real signs of civilization are when an airplane flies overhead. It took us about four hours to summit from our campsite, and then another three hours to get back... and while the climb to the summit was pretty challenging, loading our gear and walking back up to Half Moon Pass after hiking to the summit was the real killer. That took another two to three hours. The hike took a lot longer than we anticipated. And it was exhausting.

Give yourself plenty of time and make sure you have a lot of water - I'd say to bring at least three liters from the camp. Also bring bug spray. Mosquitoes are out in full force in this wilderness. But if you're up for a challenging hike, this has to be one of the best in Colorado.

9 months ago

Good first backpacking trip. Lush forest and great views, lots of wildflowers & also mosquitos! There were several other parties camping on the lake and tons of cars at the trail head. hiked up day 1, hiked around the lake and to the waterfall on day 2, and hiked out on day 3. Our little (energetic) pug came with us and did alright :) We chose this over fancy pass since you are allowed to have fires at Lake Constantine.

Got 2.4 miles in and had to turn around due to weather. Not a hard hike. Nice trailhead

Everybody should do this trail! Absolutely gorgeous. For trail runners you can pretty much run it the whole way (except on the way back where the forest uphill is pretty brutal).

The trail was beautiful. The trail was also mighty. Very mighty. Just because this is one of the lowest 14er's in Colorado doesn't mean it's easy. Unfortunately, we had cloud coverage once we summited so we didn't get much of a view. Really was an experience though! I recommend you bring plenty of water. My boyfriend and I brought along about 9 liters and we ended up coming home with just over 2. Also, bring food and lots of it. We found it helped to sit and snack on protein dense foods before going up each ascent. Be warned that because you're sweaty, you'll get pretty chilly when stopping. On the last bit of the trail be prepared to really scramble (after the ridge). The trail gets pretty sparse, but keep up and you'll reach the summit. Most importantly, be safe and keep an eye on conditions. Stick to the trail!! Above all else, enjoy!!

This was a really nice hike. Not too strenuous and not crowded. The trail is in great condition. You get some nice walking by water. But bring bug spray! We lost the trail because of the overgrown brush just before the lake. We also turned back because some hikers coming the other way told us they spotted a bear.

10 months ago

I'm a moderately experienced hiker. I've done several longer Day hikes and was ready to attempt my first 14er. The trail was challenging and strenuous. Once you pass the tree line you are climbing rocks. The trail is well marked and the stone steps are helpful but it was difficult. I made it to 13K feet and knew that was the end for me. While I was there it started to hail. My husband continued in to summit and described the Rick scramble as another intense physical challenge (he's in excellent shape). I'm grateful for this experience and the views were spectacular but it was the most difficult physical challenge I've ever taken on. It was a day I won't forget.

This hike is a grueling journey. Yeah it's beautiful from the top of half moon pass looking at Mt.OTHC but this is not an easy day hike by Any means.

The bouldering and scramble required at the top is pretty challenging.

Hiking this all in one day is about as hard if not
Harder than Long's Peak.

Bring bug repellent! Especially near half moon creek.

I used a water filter on the way back from the summit at the creek. I tried to conserve water the whole way and still ended up using 4.25 liters.

Hiked this again Saturday and forgot how awesome and difficult this trail is. It's a must do for the adventurous at heart. The forest service has done a great job building rock stairs through the boulder field. It feels like some scene out of Lord of The Rings. Bring lots of water!!! I brought 3 liters and ran out before I got back. Next time I will bring 4 or 5 liters.

10 months ago

Awesome hike. 5:30 hrs round trip for me but I was cruising. Started getting a little stormy by 1100am

10 months ago

This is nice little gem right outside the town of Minturn that gave us a few fun surprises. You'll take a slightly rough dirt road to the trailhead called Notch Mountain Road. It will feel like you're going too far, but keep going to the end, once you pass the Community House you're almost there. There was a lot of cars by the trailhead, but the actual trail we took never felt crowded. I think it's because there are 3 main trailheads here; Moon Pass, Notch Mountain Trail, and Fall Creek Pass. Starting out at around 1pm, we followed the Fall Creek Pass Trail and arrived at Lake Constantine around 3pm. There we saw a handful of anglers and about a dozen tents already set up. We decided to keep going and continued down Fall Creek Pass trail, however we could not find the point where the trail crossed Fall Creek at all. There were no signs or cairns anywhere that we could see, nor a spot that looked safe to cross, however we did see what looked like a trail across the creek in some spots. Instead we just took the trail that followed Fall Creek with it to our left the whole time. We ran into some anglers coming down and they said that the Tuhare Lakes were up there if we kept going, so we did and that turned out to be a great choice!

To get to Tuhare Lakes, follow just Fall Creek Trail and never cross Fall Creek. Once the trail seems like it stops at a rock cliff, that's right before it gets really good. You're going to have to scramble up to the left and the trail will start again after that. Keep going until you see a waterfall then follow the trail up to the right of the waterfall. There was about 100ft of hard pack we had to traverse near the top, which was the only snow on the trail so far (July 15th). All the scrambling and slipping was worth it, because Tuhare Lake is absolutely spectacular. We didn't go to the upper lake because there was a lot of snow on the trail from there, though we did see some footprints, so it's doable. The next morning we awoke to discover that some creature (most likely a marmot) had chewed up our shoes that we left outside our tent, not our hiking shoes, but our our camp shoes (flip flops/sandals). They didn't destroy them, just chewed around the edges. Pretty weird, never seen that before.

Anyway, sorry for the long review... I highly recommend this place, and I will probably come back to try the other trails.

A great, not too crowded hike with river access and a view of Mount of the Holy Cross. I would recommend a high clearance vehicle for the rocky road to the trailhead. Before crossing the creek, the meadow/marshy areas had a lot of mosquitoes. Not too far after the bridge is a steep spur trail down the the creek. On a hot day that was very rewarding. The aspens after the bridge were incredible. Would be great in fall. Surprise Lake is really more of a glorified pond that is quite marshy.

10 months ago

Great hike, good camping and beautiful views. Bring insect repellent as marshy areas all along the trail and lake have a fair share of mosquitos.

Camping spots around the lake seem to be plentiful and well established.

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