Cross Creek Out-and-Back
ElevationAscent: 1,759' 536 m
Descent: -1,759' -536 m
High: 9,728' 2,965 m
Low: 8,474' 2,583 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 50% (27°)
Current trail conditions
Popular hikes nearby
10.9 mi 17.5 km • Out and Back • 2,831 ft Ascent 862.98 m Ascent
Singletrack Minturn, CO( 5 )
Grouse Mountain Loop
27.9 mi 44.9 km • Point to Point • 5,936 ft Ascent 1809.18 m Ascent
Singletrack Minturn, CO( 2 )
Two Elk Trail
10.0 mi 16.0 km • Point to Point • 1,825 ft Ascent 556.19 m Ascent
Singletrack Vail, CO( 3 )
Upper Piney River Trail
6.1 mi 9.8 km • Out and Back • 845 ft Ascent 257.64 m Ascent
Singletrack Vail, CO( 14 )
9.2 mi 14.8 km • Out and Back • 3,390 ft Ascent 1033.27 m Ascent
Singletrack Vail, CO( 8 )
Peter Estin Hut to Harry Gates Hut
6.8 mi 10.9 km • Point to Point • 569 ft Ascent 173.31 m Ascent
Singletrack Edwards, CO( 1 )
Navigate on-trail with our free app
“This is a lengthy romp along the creek & behind Mt. Holy Cross with early wildflowers & fall colors.”— Megan W
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.
Hiked this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Need to Know, History & Background
Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow hikers know what's here.
Land Manager: USFS - White River - Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District