SECTION 3 - HOLY CROSS

SECTION 3 - CAMP HALE TO CLEAR CREEK

Moderate Difficulty
Highest Elevation Point for Week - 11,480
Lowest Elevation Point for Week - 9,000

Start Date Description Miles Elevation Gain Elevation Loss
Day 1 Meet for Week - Leadville      
Day 2 Camp Hale to Wurtz Ditch 11.1 1,100 200
Day 3 Wurtz Ditch to Turquoise Lake  11 2,600 2,800
Day 4 Turquoise Lake to Half Moon Campground 13.1 2,700 2,700
Day 5 Half Moon Campground to Twin Lakes 11 1,500 2,200
Day 6 Twin Lakes to Clear Creek -Disperse
Arrive at your vehicle between 3-4 pm
10.5 1,400 1,800
  TOTALS 56.7 9,300 9,700



Day One… this hike is very easy from Camp Hale to Wurtz Ditch. The hikers will have plenty of time in the afternoon to relax back in camp. We shuttle back to the Camp Hale campsite. Relax in the afternoon… take a nap or bring a book to read.

Day Two… the trail starts to enter the skyscraping Sawatch Mountain Range. The Sawatch Mountain Range includes some of the highest peaks in Colorado, including the highest, Mount Elbert. Today, you will enter the Holy Cross Wilderness area and finally end up at Turquoise Lake public campground.

Day Three… we hike through the Mount Massive Wilderness area, named appropriately since The Colorado Trail passes right under the second highest peak in Colorado. The hike is still in the Forest because, at this point, we are still 3.5 miles and 3,180 vertical feet below its summit of 14,421. You will be shuttled back to the campground at Turquoise Lake.

Day Four… we will hike below Mount Elbert Peak (the highest peak in Colorado). However, the trail is significantly below the summit as was the case with Mount Massive the day before. After passing through a beautiful grove of Aspen Trees the trail finally drops through an aromatic sagebrush field, which allows views south into the huge glacial basin containing Twin Lakes. From here you are hiking at a lower elevation (9280) around the North Shore of Twin Lake amidst fields of Sagebrush. This last segment of the hike around the lake occurs in the latter part of the afternoon and can be particularly warm, thus, make sure you have plenty of water.

Camp is at Lost Canyon in a non-public campground. We shuttle you to this campsite.

Day Five… after a thirty-minute shuttle ride… we start the hike by briefly hiking around the South Shore of Twin Lake (which is vastly different than the North shore) in a Spruce forest. The trail leaves the shoreline and we encounter several ups and downs throughout the day finally finishing in the Clear Creek valley between 1 and 3 p.m. Probably no other section of The Colorado Trail gives such an obvious view of glacially deposited debris as the stretch from Twin Lakes to Clear Creek.

You will be shuttled back to your vehicle in Leadville late Friday afternoon by 3:30 p.m.