HALF MOON PASS TRAIL #2009

 

Length: 3.4 miles (one way)                      
Trail Use: Very High
Difficulty: More Difficult                             
Open To: Hiking, Horseback
Beginning Elevation: 10,314 ft.                 
Ending Elevation: 11,095 ft.
Elevation Gain: +776 ft.                             
USGS Map(s): Minturn, Mt. Holy Cross

 

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 Eagle 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.

 
Trail Highlights : 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.
 
Comments : 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 Gore Range and to the southeast lies the Mosquito Range.   Those wishing to climb 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.
 

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