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Shrine Ridge Trail #2016

Intermediate
 4.3 (16)

Offering magnificent views, wildflowers and an easy alpine-like experience that does not disappoint.


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Map Key

2.2

Miles

3.6

KM

Point to Point

11,873' 3,619 m

High

11,019' 3,359 m

Low

855' 261 m

Up

188' 57 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

18%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Ease of access, mellow grades, plenty of scenery and critters to look for.

Description

The lovely Shrine Ridge Trail is so named for its wonderful views of Mount of the Holy Cross. The trail was first made by Ute Indians and afterwards used by settlers and silver miners.

From the Shrine Pass parking area, first take the doubletrack driveway west for 100 feet before turning left (south) onto the Shrine Ridge Pass Trail. The gentle descent is often very muddy with water running down the trail. However, the views are already amazing and will only get better. After passing through lush grassy meadows and hopping over a few streams, the trail turns west and enters a pine forest ascending at a steady grade.

Emerge from the forest with the ridge looming above you. Skirt the rocky hillside and climb a short steep ravine to the saddle. If you can tear your eyes away from the views you'll see the Wingle Ridge trail leaving to the south. Ignore this and turn north to stay on the Shrine Ridge Trail as it surmounts some rocky ledges. Stay right at the fork (junction with Shrine Spur) to reach the summit of Shrine Mountain. From here you'll truly appreciate the massive Gore Range to the north, Copper ski area/Ptarmigan Pass/Tenmile Range to the south, Holy Cross/Sawatch Range to the southeast, and the Flat Top Mountains far to the west. Continue downhill along the ridge to ogle from all angles the unique red sandstone formation which has a few technical rock climbs on it. Retrace your steps once the trail peters out at a final rock outcropping.

This high elevation trail suffers from early season mud and snow drifts that can last into July depending on the severity of the previous winter. The trail is badly braided. Don't make the problem worse- it is better trail etiquette to hike through the muddy center than to stray off trail and thereby widen it.

This trail is open to hiking and equestrian use in summer. No mountain bikes. Wear blaze orange in the fall to be visible to hunters. This area sees heavy use in the winter from backcountry skiers, snowshoers, and snowmobilers. Winter travel info.

Flora & Fauna

Deer, elk, marmot, chipmunks.

Contacts

Shared By:

Megan W with improvements by Rock Meng and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 16 votes

#1

in Vail

#461

Overall
  4.3 from 16 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
38%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
6%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#1

in Vail

#90

in Colorado

#461

Overall
515 Views Last Month
20,984 Since Jun 23, 2015
Intermediate

0%
0%
93%
7%
0%
0%

Photos

Stunning wildflowers on Shrine Ridge
Jul 26, 2020 near Copper…, CO
Inspiring views all along the length of Shrine Ridge Trail
Jun 23, 2015 near Frisco, CO
Some park personnel assessing the trail conditions
Jun 23, 2015 near Frisco, CO
The treed sections of the trail hold snow a long time
Jun 23, 2015 near Frisco, CO
Climbing up the snowy trough to the saddle
Jun 23, 2015 near Frisco, CO
Views south from the shoulder of Shrine Mountain
Jun 23, 2015 near Frisco, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Aug 1, 2021
Brian Blankenship
2.4mi — 53h 00m
Jul 18, 2021
Carolyn Jungels
Jul 4, 2021
Rachel Sanders
Oct 3, 2020
Taylor West
With Ellen
Jul 22, 2020
Brian Smyth
Sep 28, 2019
Jackie Skramstad
Sep 1, 2019
carol Secor
Aug 31, 2019
Ellen Jardine
4.4mi