Holy Cross City

4.9/5 (21 reviews)
Minturn, Colorado (Eagle County)
Last Updated: 06/01/2023

Trail Information


Ghost Town
Located in the Sawatch Range, on the side of 14,009 foot Mount of the Holy Cross, Holy Cross City is one of the state's most challenging and famous rock-crawling trails. Stock vehicles should not attempt this trail. Best known for its two most significant obstacles, French Creek and Cleveland Rock, this trail will test your driving ability and your vehicle's durability, while also providing incredible scenery and fantastic historical highlights. Before attempting this Jeep Badge of Honor trail, be sure you have the required equipment indicated at the trailhead. This includes a winch, 33'' or larger tires, locking differentials, and various recovery and repair equipment. This trail is always crowded on the weekends, so expect a full day on the trail as you wait your turn to conquer the major obstacles.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

If you are looking for trailer parking to start your day, please read the "Directions to Trailhead" section below. Holy Cross City is an out-and-back trail that starts by quickly climbing the mountainside with a handful of small boulder obstacles. The first 1.3 miles are one-way uphill only, followed by the exit intersection. If you have problems traversing the trail to this point, you should consider taking the exit. Beyond the one-way section, the obstacles increase in size and difficulty. Along this 4-mile trail, there are many small off-camber rock obstacles between the five major obstacles; The Notch, Steep Rock, French Creek, Tippy Tree, and Cleveland Rock. Holy Cross City is a trail for experienced drivers with modified vehicles. Be sure your vehicle is equipped with the proper equipment, including recovery gear. There is no cell service along this trail, and the closest town with any services is over 40 minutes away from the trailhead.

Trail Reviews

4.9/5 (21)
Official Crew
Temporary Closure
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/01/2023

Temporary closure 6/5 - 6/16 per White River Nat'l Forest. (Facebook link) https://www.facebook.com/WhiteRiverNF/posts/pfbid0FikK9zPr2RJG7bUTLXnUVixFsj9X5Q1uR8VU2YkwkCZ6Lp7xGeU2KH3n51jduBJol
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/17/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Great trail, but very challenging. There are 4 main obstacles before getting to the city. I was able to do this trail with a 2-door Jk Rubicon with 2.5" lift and 35" tires. With the help of spotters I did not have to winch, but did see others having to winch over the challenges. Going back down seemed to be more challenging and was when I received the damage to my bumpers and skid plates. We went on a Saturday and it took 5hr just to get to the city due to the amount of people on the trail queuing for the obstacles.
Official Crew
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/19/2022

Still one of my all-time favorite trails! Ran up with the Forest Service to scout out some future maintenance needs, like adding new winch points since most of the old winch points are in locations that are hard to use now. Last year's flash flood changed french creek a little. It moved a lot of the big boulders so the lines are different than they once were. The Knotch is getting more and more dug out each year, so that obstacle is only going to continue to get larger. Overall the trail was in pretty good condition.
Visited: 07/31/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

The trail is open, but the small parking lot to the left of the trailhead (where you’d normally air down) is closed 🤷‍♂️. Our group come upon a SxS that rolled over while descending the Notch. Be careful out there.
Temporary Closure
Visited: 06/12/2022

As Ryan said, definitely still closed as of Sunday the 12th.

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