Mount of the Holy Cross is a mountain situated in the northern Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. This is possibly one of the most important mountains in North America. The peak is tall at the height of 14,011 feet (4270.5 m). To be precise, the mountain is 6.6 miles (10.7 km) in the west-southwest (bearing 244°) of the Town of Red Cliff in Eagle County, Colorado of the United States, and inside the Holy Cross Wilderness of White River National Forest. The Holy Cross is the highest peak in the northern Sawatch Range and Eagle County.
There are several interesting facts that you will enjoy about Mount of the Holy Cross. Make sure to read till the end of this article to know more!
Mount of the Holy Cross, Colorado
Mount of the Holy Cross in Colorado is best known for its cross-shaped snowfield, which also justifies its name. This snowfield is located on the northern face of the mountain. President Herbert Hoover assigned the area of the peak as Holy Cross National Monument under the United States Forest Service administration on May 11, 1929.
It was further shifted to the National Park Service in 1933. The wilderness of the location made it impossible for the locals or other visitors to climb the mountain. Hence, President Harry Truman abolished the monument and returned the area of the peak to White River National Forest on August 3, 1950. As of now, the Mount of the Holy Cross in Colorado is a part of the Holy Cross Wilderness.
Holy Cross City was formed in 1880 as a mining town to facilitate mining operations around the area at the time. Holy Cross City Trail was built in 1883. It was depopulated by a population of 600 people the very next year of its formation.
Who climbed the Mount of the Holy Cross first?
The first person to ascend the Mount of Holy Cross was F. V. Hayden and photographer W. H. Jackson in 1873. This happened during the process of Hayden’s geographical surveys. Though there is no record, it is possible that the peak was, whatsoever, climbed before by miners and American Indians much earlier. Russel Keene and Howard Freedman ascended the mountain during winter in 1943. They went to the 10th Mountain Division first and stayed at Camp Hale.
Mount of the Holy Cross Trailhead
The trail of the Mount of the Holy Cross necessitates visitors to go 16.9-km out-and-back trail. This trail is very close to the Red Cliff in Colorado. The routes of the mountain are not meant for beginners and can only be climbed by experienced mountaineers who are willing to push their limits. The 8-hour 52 minutes long trekking to the mountain is no less than a challenge for the climbers.
Certain rules prohibit a lot of activities in the mountain including carrying a dog with a leash of less than 6 feet, damaging property, harassing other visitors, and camping within 100 ft of any lake, trail, or stream. Likewise, if a person is using an overnight pass to the Mount of the Holy Cross trailhead, he must carry along a permit found in most trailheads throughout his stay in the area.
Mount of the Holy Cross Weather
The climbers tend to go to the Mount of the Holy Cross from May through October because of the favorability of the weather during these months. Since the Mount of the Holy Cross is a mountain, it is quite tough to climb or even trek near the area due to snow and cold. Hence, people tend to go to the peak during much warmer seasons. Mount of the Holy Cross is the best to go during spring and autumn. However, even December can prove to be a tough journey for the visitors as it starts getting cold during the month. Most people tend to skip the winter to go to the Mount of the Holy Cross. Likewise, it is not the best time to go to this peak when it rains as the trails, which are already quite difficult to conquer, get all the tougher to get through.
Mount of the Holy Cross Hiking
Hiking to the Mount of the Holy Cross is very common during spring and autumn. People tend to get a permit at the different trailheads of the mountain if they plan on staying overnight. Likewise, if not for a climb, people often come to this peak for the sake of recreation and refreshment. Hiking does not have to be to the top of the mountain, as anyone looking for a day out can get a permit to camp overnight.
However, one is not to camp too close to streams, waterways, and trails of the mountain. Hikers have to follow special rules not to get in trouble any time during their stay on the Mount of the Holy Cross.
The Half Moon Pass switch is the most common place to stay overnight when a person is on the Mount of the Holy Cross. A person can’t plan their whole hike within a day. Therefore, one should make sure to know the locations of the area properly before attempting hiking around. Summer can be very dangerous for trekkers, especially if they are hiking above the tree line. One is likely to reach a ridgeline that is not defined as a trail. It is very important to remain as cautious as possible during the hike.
The cell service in the area is not the most reliable. So, you should trust a map more than anything when you’re on the Mount of the Holy Cross. Driving an all-wheel drive or a four-wheel drive vehicle is important when you are in the peak during winter months because the trails might see snow and ice, which makes hiking almost impossible. Likewise, it is important to remember that it starts snowing in September itself.
Frequently Asked Questions about Mount of the Holy Cross
How long does it take to hike Mount of the Holy Cross?
It takes a person 6 to 13 hours to hike Mount of the Holy Cross.
What class is Mount of the Holy Cross?
Mount of the Holy Cross is Class 2.
Where is the best view of the Mount of the Holy Cross?
Julia’s Deck is the best view of the Mount of the Holy Cross.
How do I get to Mount of the Holy Cross?
Driving 5 miles to the Tigwon Twon will help you get to Mount of the Holy Cross.
How hard is Mount of the Holy Cross?
Mount of the Holy Cross makes for a strenuous climb and is fairly hard.