Birthday Backpacking in the Holy Cross Wilderness (Colorado)

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For me, there is nothing better then a good backpacking trip. Being in the middle of nowhere with usually no connectivity is heaven on earth. The air is clean, I’m not on an airplane flying to work, not dealing with difficult clients or trying NOT to lose my shit because of a flight delay. My frenzied, somewhat chaotic life slows down and that’s what I need to keep my sanity. 

I try to go at least once a year – two times is a Christmas miracle. Our backpacking season is so short in Colorado, one weekend is generally the best I can do. Sometimes I’ll fly to another destination in April or October to get my fix. It all depends on other adventures we have planned. I don’t know what I’ll do when my body gives out and can’t backpack anymore. It will be a sad day indeed.

This August, we spent my birthday in one of my favorite backpacking destinations in the Holy Cross Wilderness – outside of Minturn, outside of Vail, Colorado. The scenery up there is just incredible. The wildflowers are beautiful, the hike up is manageable. Though this year, I think we might have packed too much stuff….because it was kind of brutal. I am not kidding when I say our packs were 40 lbs each.

Our weather patterns have been so extreme the last few years. Last year, the terrain was sooo dry – there was a fire on the other side of the ridge. Burning ash was blowing into our campsite – all I could think of ALL NIGHT, was that our campsite was going to catch fire. I plotted my escape and slept in my clothes in case we needed to pack up and run down the mountain. Irrational probably, but wildfires last year were insane.

This year there was still a ton of snow in the area so we were able to build a fire both nights we were out there. Campfires make for a much more enjoyable camping experience!

We camp near an alpine lake inside a box canyon. The lake is stocked with trout, so fishing is a must!

“D” fishing in the rain
A more birds-eye view of our campsite
Yep, I have twinkling lights with me at all times!

I’d share the name of the trail, but then I’d have to kill you! I have been sworn to secrecy not to divulge the trail name on the blog. However, if you march down to REI and grab a topo map of the area, there is no doubt you will find the most amazing places to explore. If you are so inclined, there is a 14er in the area called Mount of the Holy Cross – it is most definitely one of my favorite 14ers in Colorado.

If anyone needs encouragement to get out and at least try backpacking, let me know! It’s been a life saver for me.




    1. Thanks Mel! Yeah, we are pretty lucky here in Colorado. I try not to take it for granted, but I am afraid I do every now and then. Every weekend is a vacation 😉. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve never been to CO and your photos of it are amazing. So pretty. I’m glad you enjoyed your backpacking adventure and the group tats pic is a wonderful idea. Carry on, as in live your life well, not as in carry that backpack every day!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ally! Living life well is at the top of the list these days. Making a conscious effort to do so on a daily basis. Currently finding a little joy in the midst of tragedy. I wish I could have that backpack on every day. But maybe I wouldn’t pack so much next time. Haha.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s like ground hog day right? Yeah you’ll see some repeats cuz I dont want to lose em. I’m posting the retro van one again in a couple of weeks . 😂😂 life has been super crazy lately, but hope to rustle up some new content! I hope you are well!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This place looks GORGEOUS!! …. although I admit that backpacking is not on my must-do list. I prefer ending my hiking day in a warm bed with indoor plumbing … but if I ever did, I too would want twinkle lights 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally get it!!! Yes, twinkle lights are a must have for any occasion! It is one of the most beautiful back country spots in CO. IMO. I hope you are back on your feet (literally). Have a wonderful day 💕


  3. OMG! The photos are divine….. and I have just underlined Colorado on my bucket list. While I enjoy day hiking and being surrounded by nature, my days of schlepping a 40 lb pack are done. (Okay, they never started. But still… no!) And camping in the snow? Not happening. I live in Maine and am fine with it outside.. and me in.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 😂😂😂😂. Do you all have snow yet?? It didn’t look like it from the last post I read! It’s been dumping in the mountains here – supposed to snow tomorrow!

      Liked by 1 person

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