Holy Cross

Round Trip Distance: 5.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 4697 - 5195 feet
Cellphone: 2-5 bars
Usage: Hiking - Biking - Dogs
Time: 2 hrs.
Facilities: Vault toilet
Trailhead: Tabeguache
Fee: none (donations appreciated)

View Holy Cross in a larger map

The Holy Cross trail is located in the Tabeguache Lunch Loop Trail System just off Monument Road in the Redlands area of Grand Junction. The Holy Cross trail is a masterpiece of design and construction that was created to provide a challenging ride for advanced mountain bikers. For hikers it is just a whole lot of fun climbing around the huge boulders and trees that make up the obstacles on the trail. The manner in which the trail adapts itself to its seemingly impassable surroundings was accomplished superbly.

The Lunch Loop Trail System is located on BLM land and is managed in cooperation with the City of Grand Junction and the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA). To show your support and appreciation for all the hard work put into building and maintaining these world class trails, and others in the area, you can make a donation at the trailhead or on theCOPMOBA website.

There are several ways to get from the trailhead over to the Holy Cross trail. This route takes advantage of Bentonite Hill which is probably the most direct route to the lower end of the trail. It appears that most bikes tackle Holy Cross in the downhill direction. Here is a link to another post that began at the top.

At the top of Bentonite Hill the trail meets up with Curt's Lane. Turning right onto Curt's Lane will take you past Raven Ridge and over to Coyote Ridge. Coyote Ridge can be followed to the left, past Ali-Ali Loop, and over to the beginning of the Miramonte and Holy Cross trails. A right turn, heading down off the ridge, will get you on the way to Holy Cross.

The fun starts almost immediately at the bottom of the hill where the Gunny Loop trail branches off to the left. The Holy Cross trail continues around the mountain, beneath Ali-Ali Loop, working its way through the massive boulders.

The trail builders put forth a Herculean effort in moving large slabs of rock to span gulches and firm up areas as in the above picture. It's like hiking through a massive rock garden that has been designed to not only challenge the skills of any hardcore mtb but to please the senses of anyone that passes amongst their splendor.

And then there are those two sticks of wood that can lift the down trodden spirit of some while stirring the animosity of others.

The curvature of this flat slab of rock looks like the sidewall of a racetrack. The trail really does mesh up perfectly with its surroundings.

The playground atmosphere of the Holy Cross trail is sprinkled with scenic views that might cause you to pause a moment to enjoy them.

After hiking about 3.6 miles from the trailhead the Prenup trail merges in and after about 3.75 miles the Holy Cross trail comes to an end when it meets up with the Tabeguache trail.

There are several ways to get back to the main trailhead. The Tabeguache trail is the shortest and most direct route back. For this go around I decided to hike down through the Lemon Squeezer and take an unnamed trail that cuts through the badlands between the Tabeguache trail and Raven Ridge.

This hike only took me a couple of hours but I still went through 60 ounces of water and Gatorade. It made for a nice hike to do after work. If it had been a weekend I could have played around a little more among the house sized boulders of the Holy Cross trail. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.