Peak(s):  Mt. of the Holy Cross  -  14,007 feet
Date Posted:  09/11/2021
Date Climbed:   08/08/2021
Author:  Miles P
 Overnight camp at Holy Cross   

Camped overnight from 8/7 to 8/8 and then did the summit on 8/8. While camping isn’t necessary (most people do this hike in a single day) it is a great way to get away from it all. There are 10 sites which are spaced out enough that you don’t know anyone else is around you. Feels like you have the whole valley to yourself. Cross creek is fairly high flow and a good source for re-filling on water if you’ve brought a filter (recommended as it saves weight). I wished I would have brought my Chacos to cross the creek as the log across the creek was very unstable; I worried about falling into it both times I had to cross. I was glad to have trekking poles with me to steady me on the walk across the log. The trail to the summit is one of best I’ve seen on a 14er maintenance and ease of following it. Almost impossible to get lost on this trail as it is well defined almost all the way to the top. Much ado is made about the approx. 1,000 feet of elevation gain that must be climbed on the way back out to get back over Half Moon Pass. However I didn’t think it was that bad - there are 10 switchbacks that wind back up the pass which keep the grade manageable.

One benefit of camping is that you can get to the summit very early (before sunrise). I made it up just as the sun was coming up over Notch Mountain and it was one of the best sunrises I’ve ever seen. I had the summit to myself for about 30 minutes which made the experience extra special; I actually went about 18 hours without seeing another person (from the previous afternoon before I pitched camp until I was coming down from the summit the next morning). If you are lucky enough to be on the summit at sunrise it is worth it to walk slightly south from the summit in order to look down the cross couloir. The east side of the mountain (including the couloir) is bathed in golden light and it is a cool sight. Great spot for a bit of second-breakfast.

Comments or Questions
Bear bags
06/29/2022 15:49
Does the campground at Cross Creek have any poles, or something similar, to tie bear bags to or does everyone just find a spot to hang their food?

Miles P
Re. Bear bags
06/29/2022 19:38
No poles. I used a bear canister and placed it in the woods far from my tent (and others tents). I saw a few hanging bags. You‘ll see little signs along the main trail with numbers for each site and a path that goes back to the respective site. A rock on the sign generally means it is occupied.

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