Minturn is surrounded on three sides by the Holy Cross Wilderness, a national forest, and the mighty Eagle River runs all the way through town. Whatever the season, make sure your visit to Minturn includes a trip into the great outdoors!
Hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing are only some of the year round recreation opportunities offered by the White River National Forest. Roughly 35 percent of the district is designated Wilderness and includes major portions of the Holy Cross and Eagle's Nest Wildernesses. Five huts operated by the Tenth Mountain Hut Association along with their associated trail systems are found on the district. Camp Hale, a World War II winter training site now on the National Register of Historic Places, is situated toward the south end of the district.
The Holy Cross District lies on the northern extent of the Sawatch Mountain Range and the western flank of the Gore Range, about 100 miles west of Denver. It includes the forest areas surrounding the towns of Vail, Minturn, Red Cliff and Avon. To the north, the district takes in much of the Piney River and Sheephorn Creek drainages.
The upper Eagle River provides a variety of scenic, outdoor recreation opportunities along its 20+ mile stretch from Tennessee Pass to Dowd Junction. For river enthusiasts, fishing, rafting, kayaking and canoeing are plentiful. Floating season generally occurs during late May through July. Access to the river is available from several public access points along the Highway 24. For more information visit our local guides - Minturn Anglers and Timberline Tours.
This is one of the flattest trail systems in our area due to the concentric loops and wide open Cross Creek drainage. Great for summer hiking, a winter snow shoe, or cross county skiing.
Take U.S. Highway 24 south, through Minturn, making a right at the sign for the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy. The trailhead for snowshoeing at Maloit Park is located at the end of the road, past the Minturn Fitness Center and in between VSSA and Camp Minturn. There is not a ton of parking when school is in session so if you’re planning on taking the whole family out, car-pooling is a great idea.
Expect to see the next generation of local Olympic cross-country hopefuls zipping around the groomed trails. Please be courteous of the skiers and follow the signs for the snowshoe trails, making sure to do your best to remain off the groomers. Our favorite trail at Maloit Park passes by the oval track and heads up to the south through a mixed Douglas fir and aspen forest.
Roughly a quarter mile after you pass through the first aspen stand, look left to see a “sentinel of the forest,” or one of the few ponderosa pines we have in our local area. The winter is a great time to trudge the short distance uphill to stick your nose into the cracks of the bark and deeply inhale the magnificent vanilla aroma.
The trail continues on through a mixed pine, spruce, and fir forest before looping back at a great overlook of Cross Creek. Notice how little water may be running in the creek now, and then check back in June as the snowmelt rushes off Mount of the Holy Cross (thus Cross Creek). As you work your way back towards to parking lot, you pass by great beaver habitat as the local ecosystem engineers have been hard at work for decades. Check out the two lodges, and look uphill towards the young aspen to see where the beavers have found all their building material.
Ski & Snowboard
Minturn is five minute drive to world class skiing at Vail and Beaver Creek. For more information on winter activities at these resorts, please click here.