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Great hike yesterday. 4AM start. Two goats at the top. No clouds or wind. I think they should resurrect that pile of rocks on the top to make it higher than Elbert again!

Maybe my new favorite 14er. Really gorgeous, especially for a 14er. Not as much traffic as a lot of popular peaks either. Highly recommend early start, if for no other reason so you can see the sun rise above the Mosquito Range to the East. Also recommend a camp at Elbert Creek Campground the night before. Top notch campsites and just around the corner. And folks, please: STOP starting 14er climbs too late in the morning. Lightning is a real threat with late starts so get on the trail early.

We hiked this se trail on our descent after hiking up the steeper sw trail.
This trail was a dream.

I live this hike. I don’t remember it being very difficult.

Great trail along creek, then up to views, then to ponds. Last bit of trail overgrown with mostly ferns. Easy to follow. Pond level down since it’s August. Overlooks and creek are fantastic on sunny day. Nice view of vail and holy cross. Creek refreshing stop along the way.

Loved it. First fourteener and I liked the long approach, seemed a steady incline. With beautiful alpine meadow views. Brought the dogs and they did great, water on the ct section. Only at the scramble portion at the very top did I feel the need to keep them out of people’s way for safety.

Excellent hike that takes you through pine forest, sub-alpine shrubs, and an amazing ascent up the massive granite field (which is full of marmots and pikas). Views are phenomenal, especially at the very top. Bring lots of water and food to stay energized.

We were planning to make the Halo Ridge traverse over to summit Mount of the Holy Cross, but the weather came in hard and fast at noon.

The notch mountain trail is beautiful. The switchbacks Offer gorgeous views and the lakes and valleys below. The shelter up top perfectly frames Mount of the Holy Cross in the window.

Next time, we’ll get an earlier start and make the Halo Ridge traverse.

hiking
9 days ago

There is just one "Fancy Lake." The trail to it is about 2.6 miles with an elevation gain of 1,500 feet. (The contours on these maps are confusing because the contour interval is 10 meters (about 33 feet) whereas every fifth contour is labelled with the elevation in feet.) The first 1.5 mile passes through pine forest before some meadows with wildflowers start to appear. This part is moderately difficult.

The trail from the lake to Fancy Pass gains about 870 feet in 0.7 mile, of which the last half is especially steep and difficult. In particular, it is easy to miss where the trail jogs to the right, and climb up a natural rock chute that was used for dropping mine tailings to a lower elevation. The trail is difficult enough, but the mining chute still has loose tailings in it and is worse. It is hard to appreciate the scenery while focusing on your footing, but as others have said, the view from the pass -- particularly to the north down the valley of Cross Creek -- is spectacular.

Most people who get to Fancy Pass continue to Missouri Pass and return to the trailhead by way of the Missouri Lakes Trail, which starts at the same parking area. I think that that route has better alpine scenery with less extremely difficult trail conditions than the Fancy Pass Trail described here.

Very tame trail up until the end. Slightly rocky near the top(predictably). The trail split is very well marked and it’s easy to tell where to go without any kind of map. The view was great. I wouldn’t say it is as challenging/rewarding as Elbert but that’s why you hit both while you’re in Leadville

Beautiful trail, would absolutely recommend! Lots of wildflowers, cute marmots and different landscapes on the way. But, this took much longer than I anticipated, and I’m a speedy hiker. Started my ascent at 6:50 and summited at 11:10, with a couple generous breaks on the way up. Stayed up there for about an hour and then got back to the car at 3:20. Went on a Friday and if you can make it on a weekday it is so worth it. Only saw about 20 people total the whole day and didn’t see anyone on my descent—so peaceful. Also definitely go all the way and don’t just stop at the false summit!—it’s not that far off!

Also, if you are feeling ambitious, camp over the weekend and do Elbert and Massive on back-to-back days. There is a ton of camping space along the dirt road that connects the trailheads (as well as on the Colorado trail that starts out Mt. Massive it seems), would make for a great few days.

This is a great hike if you prefer less traffic. There are some areas of thick vegitation towards the top of the trail, however this was also where we saw elk. The lake at the end was more bog like, but was worth the hike as the entire trail was beautiful!

backpacking
23 days ago

Lovely trail, switchbacks and woodsy with Fancy Lake and Notch Mountain greeting you at the top!

Wonderful trail, moderate paced hiking but still challenging enough to be fun. Stunning views throughout the trail.

Only down side is that there are a few patches of thick vegetation throughout the trail, but overall, fantastic.

Beautiful trail that runs along a babbling creek about 50% of the time. Lots of shade along the way. This is a challenging trail on the way, mostly uphill the whole time. The lake is gorgeous and well worth the effort. For me, it was 4 hours up, camped and woke up to a pristine setting, and 2.45 hours back down.

This was pretty strenuous for me compared to most non-14er Colorado hikes. The final stretch up the Fancy Pass side can take it out of you, but what a reward at the top. Definitely pair it with the Missouri Lakes trail to make the 8 mile loop. You get to walk along side beautiful lakes for 2 miles and it’s not harder at all on that side, just a bit longer.

Had the best time hiking this today! This was my tenth fourteener and probably has been my favorite so far. Not super hard and the trail was very well defined and easy to follow. Views were some of the prettiest I have seen! It also isn’t as popular as Elbert which I did last summer so it was nice not having the trail be super crowded. Saw some mountain goats as well. 10/10 recommend!

Was awesome!! Done 11 and this was my favorite.

This is a great trail for a hard but not too technical climb of a 14er..long enough to make it difficult and some fun but not crazy scrambling and route finding to get up to the summit ridge. The parking can be a challenge due to the Mt Elbert trailhead close by so arrive before 6am to give yourself enough time. Also lots of varied terrain from the CO trail at start to the high meadow with wild flowers. Superb views from the top. There was a fair amount of traffic on the trail this Saturday but not at all overcrowded.

backpacking
1 month ago

Did the Fancy pass trail and finished the loop with Missouri lakes/pass. It is a fairly difficult hike with a pack but well worth it as the views and flowers are amazing. Also worth bringing a fishing rod as the brook trout up there are very beautiful. only thing is definitely bring bug spray as there are a good amount of mosquitoes around the lakes.

Clean up after yourself, including dog poop bags. Pack it in, pack it out. Put out fires and DON’T have a fire when there are bans! Beautiful but challenging.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a beautiful hike! Steady incline at the beginning leading to a beautiful lake at the top where the huts are. My hiking partner and I plan to return in the Fall to hike up and stay in one of the huts. We took the trail leading around the lake on the way down. We went in July on a 90+ degree day but started early. Despite high humidity bugs were not a nuisance.i highly recommended for anyone that hikes moderate trails. Scenic views and wildlife (we saw a doe under the main hut! 歷.

View is worth the steep, but short hike

Went all the way up to Suprise Lake (the second beaver dam at the end) beautiful views of Mt of the Holy Cross and the bridge over the creek and waterfall is stunning. It's pretty rocky and a few points require some minor scrambling but nothing me my friend and my German Sheppard couldn't do. Probably a hard moderate rating to be more accurate.

Great views and a lovely hike! From the parking lot it’s about 14.8 miles, and it took us about 7 hours. Definitely start early!

hiking
1 month ago

Phenomenal trail. It was lush and green, with tons of wildflowers in bloom. Slide Lake it self is gorgeous. You can walk this entire trail, or you can drive almost all of it. The road is rough and you'll need a vehicle with a bit of clearance (stock SUV should be fine if you go slowly). There's a set of campsites where the road ends and you can take the trail 15 mins or so past that to reach the lake.

Epic hike and epic views 10/10!

It’s beautiful up here. I’d like to hike it further next time.

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked the loop starting from Fancy Pass, to Fancy Lake, then up the pass to a valley, then up Missouri Pass, then down toward Missouri Lakes, ending at the Missouri Lakes trailhead. I believe it is a little over an 8 mile hike (felt longer).
The hike up to Fancy Pass is good with moderately steep climbs. Fancy Lake is beautiful.
After that, you'll head toward a stream crossing that seems like the wrong direction. After crossing, you'll make a sharp left and head up toward the pass.
The pass was still snow covered. You can stay far left and avoid most of the snow or stay near the path and just cross through the snow. The pass is where you really feel the elevation gain in terms of steepness and breathing.
At the top, the views are spectacular but the wind can knock you over (or take off your hat).
The valley below is covered in wildflowers. It is just stunning. The marmots and pikas are plentiful.
Then you head up Missouri Pass, a much shorter and friendlier climb. Again, at the top the views are stunning.
Heading down from the pass you travel past several lakes, then you return to what seems like a normal forested trail and head towards the Missouri lakes trailhead.
While anyone can do this, it has some parts that are not easy for all. To get up Fancy Pass, you need to be at some level of fitness.

off road driving
1 month ago

The gate is open to off road vehicles. We went up there last night and camped at the end of the trail. There are about 4 or 5 primitive camp spots but the fire ban is in effect and it got super chilly at night. Did catch a few brown trout at the lake and explored.

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