Mount of the Holy Cross Loop Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Very Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
8.5-12.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
24.1 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
1,630 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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Directions to Trailhead

Hike up to one of the most famous Colorado 14ers along the Mount of the Holy Cross Loop Trail. This technical, but stunning adventure reveals the beauty of the wilderness as it guides adventurers through dense woodlands, aspen groves, alpine tundras, and up to the summit of Mount of the Holy Cross.

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Route Description for Mount of the Holy Cross Loop Trail

Challenge yourself as you venture the Mount of the Holy Cross Loop Trail. Enjoy the wonderful scenery and epic sights of the snowfield etched cross into the eastern slope of the dramatic peak. Reserved for experienced hikers with a craving for adrenaline, this technical hike is sure to push your personal limits. Though taxing, the incredible views are well worth the sweat! As the route features several scrambles through vertiginous terrain, make sure to pack microspikes, gloves, and perhaps trekking poles too. We also suggest summiting before noon to mitigate the chances of getting caught in an afternoon storm. Note: we also recommended using the trail GPS as sections of the hike are unmarked and primitive.

Departing from the Halfmoon Trailhead, the Mount of the Holy Cross Loop Trail follows the rightmost path along the Mount of the Holy Cross Trail. Follow this route through the woodlands before passing the dispersed campsites near the East Cross Creek Drainage. Now above the treeline, begin your scramble up to the summit of Mount of the Holy Cross. From the peak, hikers will enjoy panoramic views of the neighboring Sawatch Mountain peaks and the Bowl of Tears below. When you are ready, begin your descent along the unofficial path down the southern slope. Soon you will want to curve east, hiking along the saddle over towards Notch Mountain.

Eventually, you will connect with the Fall Creek Trail. Follow this path down the slopes of Notch Mountain and all the way back to the trailhead, marking the end of your adventure.

Getting to the Mount of the Holy Cross Loop Trail Trailhead

The Mount of the Holy Cross Loop Trail departs from the Halfmoon Trailhead off Tigiwon Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Dispersed Backcountry Camping

  • When to do

    May-September

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Poor

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Circuit

Mount of the Holy Cross Loop Trail Elevation Graph

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