IntroductionThis is the shortest and simplest route to Notch Mountain’s summit. The route is more direct and you don’t have to mess with the mountain’s namesake notch.
Roundtrip: 5.62 miles, 2,900 ft. gain
Red: Half Moon Pass / North Ridge Route (line does not mark climber's trail)
ApproachStart at the Half Moon Trailhead. Two trails start in this immediate area, and hikers have confused them. Take care in making sure that your are on the right trail! Standing with your back to the Tigiwon Road you drove up, to the right you will see the usual trailhead regulation sign. The Half Moon Trail starts off past the sign and begins to angle off to the southwest. The Fall Creek Trail starts off to the left in the trees and shortly crosses a creek and heads south.
Take the frequently traveled Half Moon Trail as it climbs 1,330 ft. in about 1.5 miles to Half Moon Pass.
Route DescriptionAs you near the top of the pass, start looking to the south (your left) for a climbers trail leaving the trail and heading off into the trees. This trail branches off just about at the crest of the pass. Turn south and follow this trail up through the trees. This trail continues to the summit. You will continue hiking south over talus up to Point 12,743 (0.63 mile from the pass). Continue hiking south-southwest along the ridge for 0.64 mile to the summit.
Essential GearNo special equipment is necessary. Be sure to carry the essentials for backcountry travel. Due especially to the fact that so many people have gotten lost in the area around Mount of the Holy Cross, bringing a good topo map and compass is a very good idea. Be sure you know how to use both of these important tools; they are worthless if you don’t!
Camera! The summit of Notch Mountain is the classic view of Mount of the Holy Cross and its namesake cross (season permitting).