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He decided to get up early on the July 2nd morning to try to avoid some of the traffic on the trail. There were 5 rigs in our group including a CJ, YJ, 2 Toy's (one IFS, one solid-axle) and a Jeep hybrid driven by Clifton and Nancy from Avalanche Engineering. We left camp shortly after 7am and made our way up to the trail head on bumpy FR703. In hopes of staying ahead of everyone, we decided to skip the first section of the trail and take the bypass further into the trail.
Most of the trail is pretty easy, but the tougher sections will definitely cause some shorter vehicles some problems. Everyone in our group had 35" tires or larger and substantial lifts. I wouldn't recommend attempting much of the trail without 33s and a good spotter. The trail is isn't a loop either, so remember that everything you drive up, you'll have to drive back down as well.
Although French Creek is considered the first of only 3 or 4 obstacles, there are a few sections before that deserve mention. Some of the rock climbs require a good line choice to keep you level. The obstacle formerly known as 'Tippy Tree' has lost its tree, so it's not much of an obstacle anymore. Some of the sections can bounce you off the trail, so use your throttle sparingly.
Once you make it to French Creek, you may want to take a walk across the stream and look at the rocks that await you on the other side. Slick tires make the obstacle much more difficult. On this day, the rocks made a nice hole that caused nearly everyone in our group and few extra efforts (except Nancy, who managed to crawl over everything with ease).
After the creek, you'll run past a number of sections that are being repaired, so please stay on the trail and remember to tread lightly. If your vehicle can't make it on, don't make your own bypass.
A few obstacles later and you'll reach the remains of Holy Cross ciy. We made it u p by 11am and stopped and had lunch. Three of the 5 in our group parked their vehicles hiked the rest of the way to watch Clifton and Eric tackle the harder parts of the trail. As you can see from the photos, things got a bit tougher. Clifton rolled off an embankment when one of his limiting straps snapped. A few winches later and he was back on the trail (he rolled after easily making it up the 'easier' line and backing back down the obstacle to try his luck on the difficult section).
The last obstacle is a wall the spans the width of the trail and marks the end of the trail for vehilces. We hiked up to the lake and beyond to play in the snow and snap some photos. We all then headed back down the trail to avoid the incoming thunderstorms. Things were much easier on the way down. To our suprise, we didn't run into very many vehicles either.
Overall, Holy Cross is a very fun trail that offers up some very difficult obstacles. The scenery is spectacular and that area of Colorado is exceptional. There are often rumors of Holy Cross being closed, so please stay on trail and leave it in better shape than you find it. I can't wait to get some bigger tires and lift on my Cherokee so I can come and drive it myself next year.
Between Vail and Leadville. Take I-70 West from Denver to Exit 171 heading South towards Leadville. Look for FR 703 heading West as well as signs for Blodgett Campground. Stay on FR 703 until you see the signs marking the trail (FR 759).