Holy Cross

One-way Distance: 2.4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 4775 - 5182 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Tabeguache/Lunch Loop
Fee: none
Attractions: Very scenic, technical singletrack

The Holy Cross trail is located in the Tabeguache Lunch Loop Trail System just off Monument Road in the Redlands area of Grand Junction, Colorado. 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.

Mountain bikers normally ride the Holy Cross trail in the downhill direction beginning off of the Prenup trail. For this post we are beginning at the lower end of the trail on Coyote Ridge and following the trail in the uphill direction. We are hiking to make it easier to take pictures without constantly stopping and getting in riders way as they negotiate the trails many features.

The trail takes a gradual drop off of Coyote Ridge. As it levels off the Gunny Loop/Clunker trail branches off on the left. A sign at that point warns riders that the Holy Cross trail is technically challenging.

As the trail passes below the hill where Ali-Ali-Loop is located it travels over a path of uneven rocks. From there it skirts the edge of the valley taking a fun route around and between large rocks and boulders.

Near the 3/4 mile point the Holey Bucket trail branches off on the left. Holy Cross begins its climb up the mountain at that point.

One bonus from hiking in the uphill direction is the different perspective there is while photographing some of the trails more challenging features.

The Holy Cross trail navigates a multitude of house sized boulders where in some places there is just enough room between them to squeeze a trail.

At one point there is indeed a large wooden cross for which the trail is named that is nestled serenely within the boulders.

The trail comes out in the open for awhile as the landscape opens up but it isn't long before it gets lonesome for some boulders and seeks out the more scenic route.

Small pockets within the boulders provide quiet places to take a break.

On the day that we were taking the photos for this post we got hit by a thunderstorm about a half mile before the end of the trail. We were able to ride it out beneath an overhang until it let up and the lightening had passed. While Holy Cross is a challenging romp for mountain bikers it is one of the prettiest places in the Lunch Loop to enjoy a hike. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.