HALF MOON PASS TRAIL #2009
3.4 miles (one way)
Open To: Hiking, Horseback
Ending Elevation: 11,095 ft.
USGS Map(s): Minturn,
Access from Vail
Take Exit 171 from I-70 for Minturn, Leadville, and Hwy. 24. Turn right onto Hwy 24.
Proceed south about 5 miles, passing through Minturn, to
Tigiwon Road #707 (immediately on right before crossing bridge over
River). Turn right and continue up this rough dirt road to the end, 8 miles. Park in the parking area at the end of the road.
From the parking area, the trail is a moderately steep climb to Half Moon Pass; passing through spruce-fir stands the first mile then climbing above timberline to the Pass. On the west side of Half Moon
Pass, the trail descends, with some steep sections, to Cross Creek. The maintained trail continues .75 miles further.
From the top of Half Moon Pass, views to the west are of the Sawatch Range and the Mt. of the Holy Cross ridge. To the northeast are views of the
Range and to the southeast lies the
Those wishing to
Mt. of the Holy Cross can continue past the end of the maintained trail following a fairly evident path up the northern ridge of the mountain through boulders. The path is periodically marked with
cairns, but topographic map and compass are strongly recommended. Use caution on the descent as many experienced hikers have gotten disoriented and lost by not following the
cairns back down.