Lakes of the Clouds is a 11.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Westcliffe, CO that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is accessible from April until December.
Directions from : Take Hermit Road west out of Westcliffe to where the jeep road intersects the Rainbow Trail. The sign is hard to find. It is off to the right on the north side of the road, after you get into the trees. Park along the road.
Spectacular views; great fishing...just got back, this was my 1st real backpacking trip...6 days living in the woods...a childhood dream come true! The hike kicked my butt a lil bit but totally worth it...
Great trail. Beautiful views the whole way. I didn't struggle to make it at all, and I am an out of shape flat lander (live at 285'). The hardest part is the final ascent to the lakes, but don't give up they are worth the effort. I calculated (according to the park service signs) as being 13 miles round trip from the parking area not 11.8
Amazing! The hike is arduous and challenging and will force you to mentally buckle down and push harder. The views at each of the lakes are absolutely phenomenal! The hike is incredibly worth it with the views and wonderful sights to see once you hit the lakes.
First- this is not an easy hike for anyone from lower elevations. As a 33yr old NJ resident with no altitude training, every step was a challenge on the way in. After 3 days of camping, the effects of 11,000 ft were still noticeable, but manageable. The hike out was a breeze in comparison. It took my friend and I almost 7 hours to hike in and around 3 to hike out for a comparison.
The parking lot sits around 9,000 ft and a fairly steady climb takes you to around 11,100 at the lower lake. Take your time on the way in and enjoy the scenery- it's worth it. The fishing is great, the air pure and fresh, and the areas surrounding the lakes is excellent for exploring or day hiking. Bring a jet stove, don't forget your rain gear and fly, and your fishing gear and lose a few days at lake of the clouds, you will not regret it.
Great place. 12-14" cutthroat and browns in 2nd, 3rd, and stream in between. I will be back next year. Tough hike for an old man kike me, but keep pushin and it will all be worth it.
Backpacked in with a group of scouts. Places available to camp along the trails and offers some spectacular views. Worth the hike to the top. Recommend taking the second trail from the Gibson TH to the lakes as it has gentler slopes even though its a little further. Elevation can make the trail difficult for flatlanders.
One of the best trails I have ever done
did it twice when i was younger in the scouts
all i can say
i want to live in Colorado now
but great trail for hiking and camping
but that view on top, priceless
Nice trails, took Swift Creek Trail the first leg (going in) of the hike. Very rocky and bit steep for the first few miles of the hike. Second leg (going out) took Lake of the Clouds Trail, nice Aspen views and colorful mushrooms along the way. Very nice lakes, possibly good fishing, beautiful surrounding area scenery at the lakes....last lake (third) was tough to get access to! Overall a challenging and good hike, total around 14.5 miles.
Nice hike. Three lakes. The 3rd one is hard to get to... surrounded by thick willows. Fishing was good. Lakes pretty. A lot of mushrooms in Aug.