Explore the most popular dog friendly 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.

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.

This hike was INCREDIBLE! We camped at the trailhead Saturday night and took 11 hours to summit on Sunday, including a delicious hour-long respite at the top (and multiple breaks along the way). Started our hike just after 5 am and had the sunrise to warm us up on the first 1000 feet. Hiking poles were incredibly helpful with the 5600 feet of elevation gain. Layers, extra food and sugar, and tons of water are essential. We were 2 adults and a 40 pound dog and went through about 8 liters of water (though there is a lovely river valley about 2 hours in to the hike that allow for some filtration opportunities). Above treeline was very rocky, making for some sore knees and feet. Would highly recommend this hike, but not to first time 14er summiters, flatlanders, or those not in good shape.

Tough for me but loved the challenge!!

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').

7 days ago

Nice hike, great climb beautiful wildflowers and views.

One of the most beautiful trails I've been on in Colorado. Great views of the surrounding areas (and wildfires...). Also one of the most difficult trails I've completed. The up and down doesn't seem that bad until the final up. Little to no snow on the trail. BRING BUG SPRAY. Still feeling those mosquito bites.

We completed over 1.5 days days by camping at the creek. Spots were available late afternoon on a Saturday. We left for summit at 4:20am on Sunday and had the top all to ourselves. Wildflowers are everywhere and the trail is in great shape. Loved it!

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.

22 days ago

The parking lot and the initial climb up from the valley do not give a great impression at the start. However it soon opens up with great views. As per previous comments there is not much cover so probably best to start out early morning on a hot day. It was delightful at the top and we enjoyed the panoramic view.

Not your average 14'er. Settled in a very fragile environment in the valley where camping is permitted but No Fires year round. You will ascend a very good chunk of altitude and cross the flatter section before the initial climb to get to this brilliantly distinguished peak; you will have to regain this altitude on the return trip after a scramble - so bring a lot of water and decent amount of fuel for the stomach. The more you travel upwards the more indiscernible this trail gets. There's a reason that this mountain won't be 14,005 feet tall for very long - it's falling apart at a hastening rate so be respectful or do not come here! Church of the Holy Cross is visible from the peak on the opposite end of the bowl, as well as many well known mountains visually three hundred sixty degrees such at Mount Crested Butte,Ski Cooper, Copper, Aspen, and many more.

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.

27 days ago

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

1 month 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!

Did the first mile and it very enjoyable. The trail is currently closed until the end of the month for elk migration so you cannot do more than a mile in. Not totally sure the 2 star review makes sense as trail is not open. The first mile was pretty excited to return

1 month ago

I’d give this trail 5 stars, but my main complaint is the lack of shade. It’s a very gradual incline, which is great, but it’s practically open the whole time. It does connect to other trails though, so we actually took Grouse Creek trail on the way down, which added 2 miles, but was worth it to have shade and water for my pups. The whole hike was beautiful, just remember sunscreen, and lots of water-especially if you have dogs.

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.

2 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.

3 months ago

Beautiful views the entire way up. Pretty snowy starting about 1.5 miles in - got by with YakTracks but could have used snowshoes in parts.

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

6 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.

8 months ago

Fun trail! I am not a frequent hiker, but am averagely fit and from Kansas, so it was difficult, but not impossible! Definitely some steep sections that are treacherous when wet and muddy or covered in refrozen snow. A few trees fallen over the trail between miles three and four that are relatively easy to get around. Didn't make it to the lake since I only allotted time to go 4.5 miles up and 4.5 miles down... seems like on gps it is at least 1-2 miles farther on. Overall a beautiful hike with the aspens and pines and the creek babbling beside you.

9 months ago

Rain, sunshine and a rainbow! Hiked to cabin from trailhead. Stunning views and the trees are in their glory. The colors are brilliant!

9 months ago

Pretty beautiful trail, smooth and gorgeous aspens this time of year.

9 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.

great views and terrain easy to moderate hike

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. :)

10 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!

Not as hard as I thought it would be but about 2 miles further than it said here. The lake is so beautiful even on a cloudy day. Next time I want to camp overnight next to the lake.

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