A 12 mile hike, with 3 alpine lakes, a significant climb and views worthwhile
This article is published on The Outbound.
Getting There: The hike is accessed from the Half Moon pass parking lot - from the Fall Creek trailhead. The parking lot and trailhead are accessed at the end of Tigiwon Rd. which is just south of Minturn, CO on HWY 24. You’ll want to take it slow coming up Tigiwon road if you don’t have a high clearance vehical.
Description: The hike start off at the Fall Creek trailhead. The first two miles of the hike lead you through the high alpine, occasionally popping out on a cliff side to take in the views. At the two mile marker you will see a a split in the trail. Straight on will take you toward Tuhare Lakes and Lake Constantine. The trail to your right will take you up Notch Mountain. Also - to note - this is a good break spot. You’ll continue on forward toward Lake Constantine. For the next two miles you descend and stay level on the trail, through the alpine, eventually coming to a slight incline before popping out at Lake Constantine. This lake is about the 4 mile mark. Now begins the climb, you’ll just slightly by pass the lake to your right and follow a canyon over to the river - you’ll find yourself crossing the river and heading up. As you begin to climb, to your right you’ll notice a massive waterfall and view of the backside of notch mountain. The snow will be around even into the month of August, so be prepared to cross a couple patches of the winter white. Be sure to take in all the small flowing steams, tarnes (small lakes) and copious varieties of wildflowers that cover the mountain side. The majority of the climb comes between the river crossing and the first meadow. After climbing the face leaving Lake Constantine, you will cross two meadows - high above the alpine. These meadows can get marshy - your goal is to cross the fields and head over the ridge if you lose your trail. Once you reach the ridge - you’ll drop down into Tuhare Lakes.a The lakes sit just south of the Holy Cross Halo Ridge. Stay alert for the marmot swarms, they want your electrolytes! But here you’ve made it, you’ll find yourself among two lakes nestled high in the mountain tops above the trees with almost nobody to be seen. And yes - bring your fishing pole!