14.0 miles
Distance
3,490 ft
Climb
-232 ft
Descent
2 miles
High Point

Cross Creek Trail Details

  • Activities
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
    • Horse
  • Riding Area
    Holy Cross Wilderness Area
    Minturn, Colorado
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Hiking SAC Scale
    T2 Mountain Hiking
  • Trail Type
    Singletrack
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Physical Rating
    Hard
  • Dogs Allowed
    Yes
  • eBike Allowed
  • Global Ranking
    #79062 in Hiking
  • Local Popularity
    60 in Hiking [+]
    • 5 in Trail Running
    • 5 in Horseback

The Cross Creek Trail roughly follows Cross Creek, behind Mount of the Holy Cross to the headwaters about 13 miles away - this description is for the first 5 miles which are the most popular.

After an initial descent from the trailhead, the path winds among a surprising array of enormous boulders and smooth domes. Scattered along the length of this trail there are pockets of aspen trees that turn a brilliant yellow in September. In the first mile, a couple of side trails provide access to the rushing creek for wading or fishing.

Continuously undulating, this trail has many distinct micro-areas, each with its own feel: from open valley vistas to mossy damp forest, to alpine swampland. You never stay in one zone or hike on the level for long. Hop across a couple of small side streams and enter a larger meadow. Here, at about 1.25 miles from the trailhead, is a wooden sign directing hikers to the bridge crossing and horses to a different ford. The robustly constructed bridge is at a pleasant spot and serves as a turn-around point for some. If you are continuing on from the bridge, hike to the right (downstream) for a few steps and pick up the path again after a steep set of rock stairs. A huge rock cairn at the top shows the way. Shortly, the horse track rejoins the foot traffic path.

Continuing up-valley, you soon come across a series of large rock slabs. The trail threads across these, sometimes aided by cairns. Being one of the more open spots along the trail, this is another pretty spot for a snack or a potential turn-around. Next comes one of the larger stands of aspen, soon followed by the appearance of a "lake" at about 2.6 miles.

This low spot collects enough water to sustain pretty marshy plants and waterfowl. Hike through more aspens and meadows to get impressive side-on views of Mount of the Holy Cross. After a steep ascent to navigate below some cliffs, cross a few small side streams and continue upwards. Eventually, the Cross Creek Trail intersects with the Martin Creek Trail below Grouse Mountain. This is another reasonable turn-around spot, although the Cross Creek Trail continues further into the Holy Cross Wilderness eventually ending near Blodgett Lake.

Traditionally Indigenous Territory
More Stats for Cross Creek Trail hike trail trail
  • Altitude change
    3,258 ft
  • Altitude min
    8,476 ft
  • Altitude start
    8,516 ft
  • Altitude end
    11,775 ft
  • Grade
    4.4%
  • Grade max
    -30.7%
  • Grade min
    78.4%
  • Distance climb
    12 miles
  • Distance down
    2 miles
  • Distance flat
    2,707 ft
  • view trail stats
Status:
on Aug 14, 2022
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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
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  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
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      Cross Creek Trail Trail Reports

      statusdatedescription
      Aug 14, 2022 @ 3:56pm
      23 hours
      Excellent showing of thimble berries, wild raspberries, and a variety of mushrooms on this trail. Close to the short trail to Surprise Lake...
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

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      • 2 rides
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      Aug 14, 2022 @ 3:57pm
      23 hours
      1 |
      Aug 14, 2022 @ 2:38pm
      1 day

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