Explore the most popular birding 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.

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.

Great 4 miler from Mintern to Vail. Landed at Eagles Nest and took Gondola down after a cold beer. Last 2 miles are for real.

Beautiful views.

hiking
17 days 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.

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!

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.

hiking
28 days ago

We camped at Lake Constantine and did a day hike to the lower and upper Tuhare Lakes which was well worth the effort and time. The views were outstanding. There was thirteen of us from all over the country and this was a great place to hike with a group of this size.

30 days ago

Camp at Constantine and hike to the upper lakes. Beautiful scenery and amazing wild flowers.

1 month ago

Have done this hike in June over the past few summers when it was rainy/muddy/overcast and loved it! This week we did it on a sunny day in July and it kicked our butt. Almost no shade, and uphill most of the way. We ended up connecting through to the meadow mountain trail to finish. Don’t waste your time with the grouse lake trail in July, it’s very dry. We used to love the beginning of the lake trail because you get to cross over multiple streams, but this year one was completely bone dry. All trails on this mountain are too hot, buggy, and dry for July. Would consider doing it again in June maybe.

hiking
1 month ago

Perfect.

Tough for me but loved the challenge!!

Went all the way up to Suprise Lake (the second beaver dam at the end) beautiful views of Mt of the Holy Cross and the bridge over the creek and waterfall is stunning. It's pretty rocky and a few points require some minor scrambling but nothing me my friend and my German Sheppard couldn't do. Probably a hard moderate rating to be more accurate.

It is a moderate hike, and the whole trails goes through the forest, so there is shade. A kind of hike where you enjoy every step, not just the destination. The trail itself is pretty, and the lake at the end is beautiful.
We hiked a little further (to the waterfall at 12,000').

It’s beautiful up here. I’d like to hike it further next time.

Surprised to find that Surprise Lake was really just an enlarged boggy pond. Lots of bugs there. However hike was beautiful until about 3/4 of the way to the lake. Gorgeous river which we hiked down to in a few spots. Lots of ginormous Queen Anne’s Lace wildflowers and a beautiful field of sunflowers near the top as well.

Gotta be careful - one spot on the way up and one spot on the way back have a fork. Choose wisely - keep your compass and this app handy, and max out your phone charge before you head up! Also, the amount of rocks more or less necessitate hiking shoes.

Really enjoyed this easier moderate hike. Great views along the way and fun rocks to play or hang out on.

I’m currently plannng 7 day trip doing a loop up Cross Creek down Fall Creek, and back over to the Cross Creek Trailhead. My plan is this:

Day 1. Hike up Cross Creek to Harvey Lake and camp
Day 2. Hike past Treasure Vault Lake, over Fancy Pass and into Holy Cross City, and either camp there or a little further down the trail at Hunky Dory Lake.
Day 3. Hike to Lake Constantine and camp.
Day 4. Visit the nearby Tuhare Lakes, then camp again at Lake Constantine.
Day 5. Hike to Half Moon Campground but continue on over Half Moon Pass and down to the East Cross Creek crossing, and camp.
Day 6. Tackle the summit of Mount Holy Cross, then back down and camp again at East Cross Creek crossing.
Day 7. Follow East Cross Creek about a mile or so over to Cross Creek and Cross Creek Trail, then back down Cross Creek Trail the remaining 5 or six miles to the trailhead, and pray that my car will still be there.

The normal conclusion of this loop would involve hiking 8 miles down the dirt road from Half Moon Campground to the Cross Creek Trailhead, resulting in total hiking distance on the last day of 11 to 12 miles, which would start with a 1000 foot ascent over Half Moon Pass. My proposed alternate route would cut that distance by about half and eliminate the big ascent back over Halfmoon Pass, plus I’d still be doing my hiking n the wilderness instead of down a boring dirt road. The only drawback is that there is no established trail down East Cross Creek back to Cross Creek, but the rangers tell me there shouldn’t be any big problems negotiating that short traverse.

If anyone has tried this before, I’d love to hear from you! My email address is jmichaelclaylaw@aol.com.

Went backpacking to Surprise Lake last night. Like other reviews say, lots of mosquitos. We were the only ones there though.
The road is closed about a mile before the trailhead, so it was just under 4 miles to the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail just stops! I wanted 2 get to the lake!

Nice hike if you only have a half of a day. The gate was closed adding a mile or so to the overall hike. Great views along the hike from several vantage points. We took a short detour off the trail before the bridge about 50-yards downhill to the creek. Beautiful area to lunch or rest on the smooth boulders & rock walls with swirling eddy’s below cascading down to mini-waterfalls. Very serene & regenerative stop along the trail. Stopped at the bridge and headed back down with the family.

Went backpacking in this area; we made it up to Harvey Lake but got rained out Saturday night and came back down to the TH on Sunday.

On paper this trail seems pretty moderate but after ascending to Harvey Lake, it was considerably more difficult than expected past Surprise Lake approximately. There is an astounding amount of deadfall on the trail as you go up and with the water still being high there are a few creek crossings that require care. After Reed's Meadow there is also a completely flooded section you will have to navigate without stepping in. The bugs are plentiful right now so finding a good windy campsite took time. If you are trying to go backpacking in this area right now I suggest go as high as you can manage to avoid mosquitoes. We did not encounter many at Harvey Lake at 11k and above.

hiking
2 months ago

I hiked this trail with my Aussie pup 2 week’s ago. Beautiful trail but NOT 9 miles RT to the lake - closer to 12 miles. Lake was underwhelming but beautiful trail along a river. Had to cross the river a couple times and patches of snow towards top but could follow trail pretty easily. Trailhead is easy to find and good size parking lot. Enjoy hikers!

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this with my dog last week (Early June) and started at 1030 am. I like to go for time instead of destination since I’m busy busy. We made it to an awesome bridge in 90 min!

The trail is pretty easy to find the whole way and there are no crazy inclines. We had trouble in one spot on the way back where we went right instead of left on a crossroads and ended up at Tiguan Road. Don’t try to take it back to Minturn, you won’t be happy! Thankfully other hikers helped us back.

Overall, it was a beautiful hike through various terrain with lots of surprises along the way including carcasses and some people riding llamas. We didn’t see any wilderness animals along the way but maybe because it was the middle if the

On our way up, we only encountered a few people but by the time we were headed down the trail was busier. Lots of dogs and most of the good owners leashed when coming into sight of my canine companion. This is important to us as hikers because sometimes he’s a jerk when on leash and sees a non-leashed dog. We need space on the trail to give the dogs/owners to pass by without confrontation. There was plenty on this hike.

I hear if you go far enough you’ll get to a lake. Can’t wait to try!

hiking
2 months ago

So much fun. We took the trail by accident, end up in eagles nest grabbed a beer road the roller coaster and hiked down.

hiking
3 months ago

It’s a beautiful trail. We did not make it to the end because there was a lot of snow. Thigh high in places. The runoff was strong and the creek was flowing full force. Made for interesting and wet crossings. We will be back in September.

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.

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!

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