Lake Constantine, Holy Cross Wilderness

The weekend of July 4th, saw my good friend Nahum back in town for the month of July.

Nahum is one of my closer friends. Someone who’ve I known for a few years. We’ve established a strong friendship through many times shared in the outdoors, discussions about military history (esp. World War II!) and a share interest in skepticism towards many New Age beliefs. And being a friend with an astronomer is VERY handy on night hikes. 🙂 I was also honored to take part in Patricia and Nahum’s wedding last year.

As part of being back in town, Nahum wanted to do a couple of “social backpacks”. More like camping trips than a traditional backpack. The trip featured a short hike in to base camp, plenty of wine to share, a campfire, great hikes with awesome scenery and even better company. A wonderful way to spend the weekend and to catch up with friends.

Nahum on the trail

We started the hike at the Fall Creek Trailhead. This area is a launching point for Mount of the Holy Cross. Like all 14ers, the trailhead can be crowded. Luckily, our hike took us away from this popular trail and lead to quieter areas.

The lovely Ms. Wendy G at the trailhead  

The hike was mellow. Easy grades that lead to the payoff of the first day: Lake Constantine. A gorgeous sub-alpine lake with an impressive ridge for a background. This area would be base camp for the weekend.


After making camp and taking a walk around the lake, dinner was prepared. We enjoy the simple meals in the wonderful setting.

There were no fireworks that night, but we did have something better: a campfire!
There is something elemental about sitting around the campfire – the conversation (and wine) flows, the setting is relaxing and hours can go by quickly and effortlessly.

The following day we hiked up to lower and upper Tuhare Lakes. The lakes were enclosed in a cirque with enticing views. The snow covered peaks formed the perfect backdrop. A nap was the perfect accompaniment for the afternoon.

Lower Tuhare Lake
After camping out that night, we decided to go to Fall Creek Pass and do an assessment of the weather once at the pass. The clouds forming quickly made us decide to go to the pass and soak up the views. The ridge would have to wait for another day. Looking from the pass, I saw another set of mountains and a lake covered valley that I will have to see another day.

Levon at Fall Creek Pass  

While at the pass, we saw a very friendly marmot who scampered very close to us. We could almost reach out and pet it!

The weather eventually started to move in. Luckily we made it below treeline well before the thunder, lightening and hail started. We made it back to the vehicles, enjoyed a steak dinner in a nearby town and had another memorable weekend in the back country.

All the photos

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Mike Hill
Mike Hill
9 years ago

Thanks for the posting of the pictures and comments. My brothers and brothers in law took this trail many consecutive years, the third week of July. We would stay 4 days and nights and camp about midway from Constatine and Lower Tuhare, which is right at timberline, so we could have campfires. The fishing was always excellent at the Tuhare lakes, and we only kept what could eat that day. We woke up one morning to about 6 inches of snow on our tents and campsite, which quickly melted. This is my favorite place on earth. Thank you for sharing.