Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
2,763.00 ft (842.16 m)
Trail type
10.20 mi (16.42 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

This 10-mile round-trip hike gains 2,700 feet to reach a shelter on Notch Mountain where impressive views of Mount of the Holy Cross are to be found. The views are so impressive that the site was a frequent stop for hikers making pilgrimages to see the cross formation, and the shelter was built for those staying overnight.

The trailhead shares a parking lot with the Mount of the Holy Cross trailhead as well as the entrance to Half Moon Campground. Starting your hike at the Fall Creek Trailhead (Trail #2001), you will hike through forest for about 2.5 miles. There is a fork in the trail at this point; turn right and begin ascending quickly toward tree line. Switchbacks guide you through a meadow as you gain elevation. The trail remains well marked all the way to the shelter. The last few switchbacks provide views of the notch of Notch Mountain, signifying you are getting close to your destination. There are two large cairns that mark the end of the Notch Mountain Trail. At the top you will enjoy views of Mount of the Holy Cross to the west, and the cross formation is highlighted by snow in earlier summer months. To descend, simply follow the trail back the way you came.  

The shelter is off limits for overnight stays now, though it does have a lightening rod and can be a good shelter in case of thunderstorms.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Great views. Wildflowers. Historical site.


Heavy use during the summer months. Trailhead and campground may be full on weekends and holidays during summer months.

Trailhead Elevation

10,314.00 ft (3,143.71 m)


Big Game Watching
Big Game Watching


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