Eagles Trail/Holy Cross Trail

Date: December 24, 2009
Round Trip Distance: 8.71 miles
Difficulty: Moderate-Strenuous
Elevation: 4673-5752 feet
Cellphone: 3-4 bars
Usage: Hiking - Biking - Equestrian - Dogs
Start: 09:00 End: 13:45 Elapsed: 4 hrs. 45 mins.
Facilities: Vault Toilets
Trailhead: Tabeguache
Fee: none

I was back at the Tabeguache Trailhead on Monument Road at 0900 this morning to hike up the Eagle's Trail to the Eagle's Wing to the Lunch Line over to Little Park Road, down the Tabeguache Trail to Prenup then down Holy Cross and over to Kurt's Lane and back to the trailhead. The entire hike was a little less than nine miles and the scenery was spectacular.

The temperature at the trailhead was 20F when I started out. I followed the Tabeguache trail as it wound through the wash for a little over 4 tenths of a mile. From here I took the right fork and started up the Eagle's Trail. I passed the fork for the Pet-e-Kes trail after a short distance. From here the trail began climbing gently as it followed a series of switchbacks up the side of the hill.

At about 1.35 miles I came to the fork of the Andy's Loop trail which broke off to the right. I continued straight ahead on the Eagle's trail as it continued to climb the ridge towards Little Park Road.

The trail climbed steadily at a moderate slope. Even with the snow it didn't seem too strenuous. I came to the occasional south facing slope where most of the snow had already melted away from the trail.

I came to the Eagle's Wing trail around 1.71 miles. Looking to the east I could see where the Tabeguache and High Noon trails meet up in a grassy area where the Tabeguache trail levels off a bit.

The trail leveled off a bit after about 2 miles. This only lasted about a quarter mile while the trail traversed around a high knobby hill. I met up with the Eagle's Connector trail around 2.4 miles and from there the Eagle's Wing trail began climbing steeply up the ridge over looking Andy's Loop and Echo Canyon to the west.

I reached the high point of the hike around 3 miles at an altitude of 5752 feet. From here I had a good view of Andy's Loop, the Ribbon Trail, Old Gordon's Trail, Echo Canyon, Devils Kitchen and the Serpents Trail all off to the west. To the east lay the Grand Mesa and Mt. Garfield and the city of Grand Junction. I spent a little time here instant messaging with my son Daniel who is in Iraq before continuing on.

It was some nice hike along the ridge from here. I took the Lunch Line trail around 3.45 miles and followed it the rest of the way to Little Park Road. Once I reached the road it was not more than a couple hundred feet to the Tabeguache trail.

I hiked down the Tabeguache trail about a tenth of a mile until I came to the Prenup trail. This fun little trail branched off to the right and headed down a side canyon.

I followed the Prenup trail down the canyon until it crossed over a ridge and headed backup another branch of the canyon. The trail traversed along the east slope all the way to the head of the canyon and then crossed over to the west side and followed it back out. I don't know why they call it Prenup but it sure is a nice trail.

I came to the Holy Cross trail at about 4.7 miles. I took the branch to the right that headed east away from the Tabeguache trail. I didn't have to hike very far before I decided that I really liked this trail. The trail wound its way along the slope of the hill through some massive boulders. I thought as I walked amongst them that a pharaoh probably would have put the boulders to good use making a pyramid.

The trail wrapped around the hill and retreated around to the back of the next canyon to the east and then back around to the north again. I came upon the appellative icon for which the Holy Cross trail derives its name. I couldn't tell from looking at it how old the monument was.

Here is a look at the cross from the other side looking back up through the rocks as I passed behind it.

The trail would break out into the open and then find some more rocks to pass between. All the boulders lent an aura of adventure to the trail.

The trail crossed over the upper section of a large open area and wrapped around the cliffs of another hill before coming to an end when it met up with the Gunny Loop trail. From here I hiked over to the Ali Loop trail to the north end of Raven Ridge where I got onto Curt's Lane.

Curt's Lane crosses the ridge above the Tabeguache trailhead on Monument Road before it serpentines down to the bottom area. There's a nice little trail around the wash called Kid's Meal. Get out your BMX and give it a few laps.

I made it back to the trailhead after hiking almost 9 miles in a little less than 5 hours. There are several ways you can chop up this hike a make a couple of shorter hikes. Taken separately they are all 4-5 star hikes. They get high scores for both scenery and fun factor.

I took 20 ounces of Gatorade and 40 ounces of water and drank it all even as cold as it was. This hike would take at least 200 ounces for me in the heat of the summer time. I took 200 pictures and separated them into 3 different slideshows. One for Eagle's Trail, Eagles Wing and Lunch Line. Another for Prenup and Holy Cross and the third one is mostly for Curt's Lane. Grab your coat and boots and go 'Take a hike'.
Eagle's Trail, Eagles Wing and Lunch Line Trails.
Prenup and Holy Cross Trails
Curt's Lane