Lake Constantine, Half Moon - Fall Creek Trailhead, Summit County - Eagle County - Clear Creek County, Colorado
Lake Constantine - 7.9 miles
Half Moon - Fall Creek Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||7.9 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||10,325' - 11,371' (11,423' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+1,046' net elevation gain (+1,753' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Lake Constantine - 7.9 Miles Round-Trip
Lake Constantine is located 3.95 miles from Tigiwon Road in the Holy Cross Wilderness. It occupies an open basin near treeline ringed by damp meadows, tree-topped knolls and rocky outcrops. The lake is especially popular among backpackers for its accommodating terrain, excellent fishing and proximity to the Tuhare Lakes, Fall Creek Pass and Seven Sisters Lakes:
The trail begins on a moderate grade in a heavy spruce-fir forest. It dips at 1.3 miles (10,840’) across a steep, open slope with great views of Fall Creek and distant peaks in the Gore Range.
Walk through a stream that bisects the trail at 1.52 miles and resume steady travel past interesting rock features to the Notch Mountain Trail split (2.34 miles : 11,225’).
The Fall Creek Trail continues SW on mild-moderate undulations to the base of a talus slide and meadow (3.5 miles : 11,240’). It steepens away into the upper valley, where the landscape opens to rolling alpine meadows on the NE corner of Lake Constantine (3.95 miles : 11,371’).
This large, shapely lake is easy and fun to explore. Social trails circle the area and lead to more private areas and ready-to-use campsites. Damp meadows on the east side are rife with flowers, notably elephants head, queens crown, clover and marsh marigold.
The main trail continues up the north side to the inlet area and Tuhare Lakes Trail split (4.55 miles : 11,510'). This attractive space in the upper valley is crossed by streams and lush meadows, and definitely worth exploring if not aiming for the lakes or Fall Creek Pass.
- N39 30.018 W106 25.973 — 0.0 miles : Fall Creek Trailhead
- N39 29.619 W106 26.012 — .5 miles : Fast travel in a thick forest
- N39 29.256 W106 26.164 — 1.0 miles : Rocky-rooted path on moderate grade
- N39 28.863 W106 26.241 — 1.5 miles : Dip and cross stream that bisects trail
- N39 28.481 W106 26.467 — 2.0 miles : Occasional breaks in timber with views
- N39 28.260 W106 26.563 — 2.34 miles : Notch Mountain Trail split
- N39 27.888 W106 26.734 — 2.85 miles : Mild-moderate undulations into upper valley
- N39 27.481 W106 27.182 — 3.5 miles : Trail opens in first subalpine meadow
- N39 27.162 W106 27.352 — 3.95 miles : Lake Constantine (11,371')
- N39 26.802 W106 27.698 — 4.55 miles : Fall Creek - Tuhare Lakes Trail split (11,505')
- N39 26.977 W106 28.165 — 5.2 miles : Lower Tuhare Lake (12,090')
- N39 26.986 W106 28.488 — 5.6 miles : Upper Tuhare Lake (12,365')
- Lake Constantine is popular among backpackers and sees many visitors, especially on weekends. Arrive early to secure choice campsites at the lake.
- Mosquitoes can be a nuisance on this trail corridor. Long sleeves and repellant are recommended.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Dispersed backcountry camping is permitted in the Holy Cross Wilderness Area. Self-registration permits are available at the trailhead and/or Wilderness Boundary. There is no fee or limit to the number of permits issued. Backpackers must carry a completed registration form with them for the duration of the trip.
- Camping is prohibited within 100' of any lake or stream. Group size is limited to 15 individuals.
- Campfires are permitted for dispersed camping in the backcountry, with potential seasonal restrictions. Campfires are not permitted above or within .25 miles (440 yards) of treeline, or within 100' of any lake or stream in the Holy Cross Wilderness. Campfires are also prohibited all along the Mount of the Holy Cross Trail, and within the Bowl of Tears basin.
- Contact the Holy Cross Ranger District (970.827.5715) for the latest weather, trail conditions and trail-specific guidelines when planning your trip. The office is open M - F from 8am - 4pm.
- Half Moon Camp is a primitive campground located at the trailhead. Spaces are limited and fill up quickly, especially on weekends. There are also many undeveloped pull-offs along Tigiwon Road where camping is permitted. These are not marked but the turnoffs for each are fairly clear. Be mindful of adjacent private property.
- Fishing is permitted at Lake Constantine, the Tuhare Lakes and all related streams with a valid Colorado fishing license. Fishing is particularly good at Lake Constantine.
Rules and Regulations
- Dogs must be leashed or under strict voice control at all times.
Directions to Trailhead
The Half Moon - Fall Creek Trailhead is located 8.2 miles west of Highway 24 on Tigiwon Road. Tigiwon Road is depicted on many maps as an improved dirt road, however it's very rough. High clearance vehicles are recommended. Call ahead for road conditions and access.
From I-70, take Exit 171 (just west of West Vail) and follow Highway 24 south 4.9 miles to Tigiwon Road (right turn). Anticipate this turn, as it comes quickly on a bend in the road.
Follow Tigiwon Road 8.2 miles to the trailhead. Spaces are limited, however roadside parking is permitted.
Holy Cross Ranger District
24747 US Highway 24
Minturn, CO 81645
White River National Forest
900 Grand Ave.
P.O. Box 948
Glenwood Springs CO 81602