Mt. of the Holy Cross  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: Halo Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-15, By: jasongraves99
Info: Not enough snow to need microspikes or an axe. It was cold and windy as balls though 
 
Route: North Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-30, By: Rex_Grant
Info: Trail was dry and clear of snow the entire way up. Very windy and a little smoky/hazy on top but still stunning vistas. Route finding is pretty difficult once you get to the very top but even off trail, the rock field is pretty manageable (even with a dog). That 1K of elevation gain on the way back tho... There were several dispersed campsites along the road up. Slept in my car about a mile from the TH but there were plenty of folks sleeping in their cars at the TH. 
 
Route: North Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-28, By: cvbuffs
Info: Windy day to get to the top, but no snow or traction needed. Trail is in great condition with nearly no route finding needed up until the very top, which becomes a bit of a choose your own adventure scramble if you happen to lose the trail for a minute. But there are well marked posts to guide you. There is a stream if you need water for the final ~2.75 mile climb back up the pass and to the lot to wrap up the day. The final 1000+ ft of climbing after the end of an already long hike is a slog, but should take most people around 45 minutes to reach the top of the pass, and from there it's all downhill. Roughly 6 hours round trip. 
 
Route: North Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-24, By: peterlarson13
Info: Minimal/no snow. Route was clearly marked. 
1
 
Route: North Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-20, By: seayachter
Info: Dry all around, definitely summer conditions. Windy and cold on the summit. This is a great route/peak, could be my favorite in the Sawatch. 
 
Route: North Ridge - Halo Ridge Loop
Posted On: 2020-09-20, By: lvlivingston
Info: Wow... this one is underrated. We hiked from the Half Moon Trailhead on Friday afternoon around 3pm to the camping sites. It's about 4 miles to the campground area. The sites are in amazing condition and the water is flowing in the creek to refill your bladder. It's perfect to start the North Ridge trail for the 15 mile loop. We started hiking from the campground at 3am Saturday morning and reached the summit around 7:30am. A few clouds, but mostly under the stars and very little wind. From the summit, we could see the Halo Ridge and couldn't resist. While the route description says it's three 13ers, mentally, you should prepare for 6 more "ascents" if you stick to the top of the ridge. It's definitely more easy class 3 scrambling most of the Halo Ridge, but extremely safe in good conditions with only 2 short 3 foot strips that are truly "exposed" and only 6 feet wide. No snow, avoidable snow the entire way! We did the counterclockwise direction, and would definitely recommend it because of the location of the campground, and the ability to rest for longer at the end of the loops push with the gorgeous cross panorama at the Lightning Shelter's grassy lounge area. The 30 switchbacks on the way down are in amazing conditions (thank you trail crew!!) and the last 5 miles were a piece of cake as 99% of it is downhill. Would love to do this hike again in the other direction maybe during wildflower season. Also, we didn't see any mountain spiders, so no stress Enjoy!! 
 
Route: North Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-19, By: GiveMeMtns
Info: Hiked on 9/18/2020. No snow on the trail, but I always carry microspikes in case. A fellow hiker pointed out that the yellow tree posts show the general way to descend down (very helpful!). Needed much more water than I usually do. 
 
Route: Halo Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-15, By: climbskiyogi
Info: Took the North Ridge up and Halo Ridge down. No snow up to the summit of Holy Cross, and just a little bit of snow along Halo Ridge - but easily avoidable. Took plenty of breaks and clocked in right under 12 hours RT. Make sure you have plenty of time & good weather. Bring lots of sunscreen & water for the ridge! My dog did this one with me but like someone else reported, you'll need to be mindful of the lines you take to protect their paws. Only saw 2 other people on the ridge & a few people on the way up to MHC. Beautiful day! 
2 3
 
Route: Halo Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-13, By: Will_E
Info: Did the Halo ridge loop, not much snow, and what is there isn't hard to get around. Also did unnamed bicentennial 13,748, same deal, easily avoidable snow. 
4
 
Route: North Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-12, By: salmanalsaif
Info: Vast majority of people I saw Saturday 9/12 did not have any traction whatsoever. I wore a single microspike at the beginning of the intermediate descent (~1.5 miles from the TH) just to quicken the pace early morning (shaded areas). On the way back that ice was mostly gone. May benefit from traction near the summit for descent, but I wouldn't stress it too much. I went without it much of the day, and felt I could get away without it if I wanted. Perfect day for a hike, went all the way with a running t-shirt and light hiking pants (in hindsight tights/running shorts would've worked if one can tough out the early shaded miles). Forecast said a high of 45 degrees, light breeze, felt a touch warmer. Road to TH is clear (ranger said people are not supposed to park on the side of the road near the TH, although no signs say otherwise so just keep that in mind). 
 
Route: Halo Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-08, By: E_A_Marcus_949
Info: Up Halo Ridge down standard North Ridge. Great trail the whole way and easy to follow in the dark to the shelter. Long day and scrambling along the ridge. Steep up Pt. 13,373 (2nd bump on ridge) - pick your line and go - followed by the fun false summits of HCR. Easy to get over to MHC from HCR. Plenty of people on a Sunday of a holiday weekend on the 14er summit. Didn't see anyone until the saddle between HCR and MHC. Down standard North Ridge was uneventful but great trail with lots of cairns. 1k gain back up Half Moon Pass was a slog. 
2
 
Route: Halo Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-08, By: sailingstar22
Info: ***This report is from prior to the forecasted snow. We did the standard route up (3:45hr) and Halo Ridge (5:15hr) down. There is not a trail, but the route is very straightforward (just follow the ridge); BUT, I want to caution on a few fronts - 1) it takes a long time and is very slow going (even for astute boulderers) despite the fact you can see the entire route from the start and finish; 2) Be mindful of incoming weather, the ridge offers few places to duck out 3) dogs can do this route, but it's a long day: bring tons of water (4-5L), do careful route finding for them, and be mindful of their paw pads. 
1
 
Route: North Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-26, By: beau730
Info: The entire route up until the last quarter mile was easily followed and well maintained. The last quarter mile is all scrambling and can be done slowly and surely. Only saw 6 people the whole day. The smoke from the fires wasn't too bad either 
6
 
Route: North Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-23, By: laffycaffi
Info: We intended on taking the standard route, but accidentally ended up on Halo Ridge. At 2.5 miles up I had to drop a deuce in the woods and my buddy Jim went around the corner to wait, looked at his GPS and realized we were headed the wrong direction. we figured we could have stayed on the trail but didn't want to make any more careless assumptions so we went back, adding 5+ miles to our journey. Pretty demoralizing. Ended up for 17.65 miles instead of 12 RT. The trail however is incredibly cairned with these gigantic 6 foot high cairns. Youd have to be a real dumby to get off course. Kudos to who ever built them all. The trail is almost too manicured up to the final pitch. Everything is solid. Nothing sketchy here. Everyone mentions that you must regain 1000 vertical feet on your way back. I dont know what the big deal is. It seriously only felt like 980 vertical feet, but whatever. ;) Overall a great day on the trails. I was glad I brought a water filtration pump. 2L wasn't enough for me and I'm traditionally a pretty light drinker. The creek before that final 1000ft ascent on our way back was happily utilized. 
3
 
Route: Halo Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-22, By: GordoByrn
Info: You can see smoke forecasts here: https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/WestCentralColorado We also used OpenSummit.Com map overlay to see surface smoke actual and forecast. Route description very helpful. I'd echo the advice about water and allowing plenty of time. Left the TH at 4:10am and had second breakfast at the Notch Shelter at 7am. Didn't leave Holy Cross Summit until a bit after 11am. I ran two different GPS tracks (Garmin, InReach) and both had the ridge considerably longer (+1.5M) than the NatGeo map. So allow plenty of time and be sure of the weather forecast/conditions. Rained a lot the night before so perhaps that's why there were not that many spiders out. We'd expected more based on the route description. We both felt like a nap when we arrived at East Cross Creek but we pushed onward. The out-and-back would have been too much for us so glad we did the loop. Loop clocked at 14.5M for us. https://www.strava.com/activities/3946780322 g 
4
 
Route: North Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-16, By: rmconard
Info: Very nice hike. Air quality (smoke and falling ash from fires) was a concern, but livable. To reinforce a previous report, signs onsite state that the road to the trailhead will be closed from 8-17 to 8-19. Notices were placed on windshields at the trailhead echoing this information. Camping at East Cross Creek was great - very spread out with a lot of space between spots. The approx. 1,000 ft ascent (and then 1,200 descent) with full pack to return to the trailhead from East Cross Creek was the most taxing part of the trip. We returned to our cars on same day as our summit hike and afternoon heat and sore/tired muscles were issues. If I had it to do again, I would have planned to sleep another night at East Cross Creek and hike back the morning following the day of the summit hike. 
2
 
Route: North Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-13, By: bsargeant1
Info: HOLY CROSS ROAD CLOSURE A message from the US Forest Service: MINTURN, Colo. – The Forest Service will close the Tigiwon Road (FSR 707) south of Minturn from Monday, Aug. 17 to Wednesday, Aug. 19 for annual road grading and maintenance. The Forest Service is temporarily closing the road this year to ensure the heavy maintenance can be accomplished safely by ensuring the large grader equipment, dump trucks and loaders are not interacting with the high volume of forest visitors the area is seeing this year. In past years this maintenance could be accomplished without a temporary closure during mid-week, when visitation was relatively low. This year the road has been busy all week long. “Many of our visitors are parking along the side of this very narrow road to access the Cross Creek and Half Moon trailheads,” said District Ranger Leanne Veldhuis. “It would not be responsible for the heavy road equipment to try to navigate between the parked vehicles to get this important road work accomplished. We thank our visitors for understanding.” The road will close beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday to ensure crews can begin early that morning. The gate will be closed at the Forest boundary. The land before the gate is privately owned and not available for parking. “There are a number of great alternate hikes on the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District visitors can use during this short, three-day closure,” Veldhuis said. Visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver for up to date information or call the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District office at 970-827-5715. 
1
 
Route: North Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-12, By: HenkeTooRaw
Info: Sick hike with summer conditions all the way through. Poles will save the joints a bit on the way down. Took 3:25 to get to the top and 2:50 to get back to the car. Take note that you have to regain about 1k feet of elevation on your way back so make sure to save plenty of fluids (honestly hardest part of the hike for me). Got rained on a bit under tree line on the way back despite the forecast calling for no rain. Hopefully the homies on the ridge made it down safely! 
2
 
Route: North Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-29, By: Mbuck1
Info: Hiked in and camped at Cross creek the night before. Great camping area and slightly buggy but not too bad. The campsites further from the creek have less mosquitos. The hike up to the summit went about as expected. Be prepared for a steep climb. Trail itself is in good condition, the toughest part was definitely the last 600 feet. The trail was hard to find in some sections and some rock scrambling is required. Great view at the the top, and it was very windy as well. Very cool and unique mountain. Didn't cross any snow at all on the route 
4
 
Route: North Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-24, By: mtgoatmike
Info: Trail was very wet, some washed out sections in the forest just across East Creek heading up. Zero snow on trail. 

Return to the main Peak Conditions page



© 2020 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.