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Words can not express this awesome trail. I will definitely be back since it's technically my backyard now. Only downside is I was with a beginner and didn't take them all the way to the lake. Next time that is a must. Meet an awesome boonedocker on the way out had a great conversation.Keep living your life buddy as I will do the same. It was a near perfect hike from the views...people..to the weather. Still in Awe...

Nov 19 , 2018

backpacking
1 month ago

A wonderful trail! Slightly longer than what AllTrails says, but worth every step. One of the best we’ve ever tackled.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views, definitely returning to see the Sand Lakes. Also, I made it to the trailhead in a manual 2003 Subaru Forester with AT tires and skid plates. I didn’t touch my skids once on anything and there was snow and ice on the steeper hills. Disregard all the high clearance 4wd only comments. Just need a good driver.

Comfortable slope up to wilderness boundary where two other trails branch off to access canyons to the north and east. Huge wide valley filled with the yellow and orange fall brilliance of aspens.

hiking
2 months ago

I loved the scenery on this trail, but it was a bit confusing to get to! The trailhead is actually the Gibson Trailhead and then you take the marker towards rushing creek, from there it’s .5 of a mile until you see a sign that says Lakes of the Clouds. My boyfriend and I thought we were lost multiple times. Other then that, the fall colors were amazing!

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike with a friend and well worth the climb to see the 1st lake. It is an emerald green and so clear you can see the lake floor. We went to the 2nd lake and ate lunch before we headed back. The leaves were falling fast, so the autumn beauty is fading fast. Plan to do a weekend trip and camp next year.

Beautiful fall colors and good fishing. Took five people who live at 1500 feet and it was a challenge but doable if you take it slow. Recommend taking plenty of fluids. Worth the trip.

backpacking
2 months ago

Backpacking camping weekend trip with Boy Scout Troop 268 from Colorado Springs. 17 Scouts and 4 adult leaders. Took upper trail on the way up on Saturday. Left trailhead at 8am and first group of 10 arrived at meadow a couple miles from lakes at 12 noon. Second group arrived within an hour after. Setup camp next to the stream for a water source. Spent Saturday night sharing stories, skits and general Boy Scout fun. Rocky trail in some areas but relatively moderate trail. Beautiful scenery with aspens changing colors. 10 Scouts went to the first lake with daypacks and enjoyed the hike and the lake.
On Sunday broke camp at 8am and came down on lower trail. Steeper and very rocky. Arrived at trailhead at 11am. Had a simple church service and headed home. All had a great time. Temps during the day were in the mid to upper 70’s, night down to mid 40’s. No rain and no clouds. There was no moon so stargazing was phenomenal.
Great trail for all to enjoy, highly recommend it!

Great hike. The aspen are GORGEOUS now. However when you get to the sign that says Rainbow trail and points both right and left, go right. You have to be a Mt. Goat to do the left trail. We lost quite a bit of time going that way then turning around to find the right trail. Didn't make it to the lake so are heading back next Sat.

hiking
2 months ago

We took the swift creek trail which led to a sign and we took the Lake of the Clouds trail marked 3.75 .. it was probably 6-8 miles total from the trailhead to the gorgeous lake. We walked through the aspens and the leaves were changing to gorgeous yellow and orange. The lake was crystal clear perfect for trout fishing.

hiking
2 months ago

This trip is a strong uphill on a trail that is overwhelmed with rocks and hard to get into a good flow. For 4 miles you are in trees with glimpses of mountains but no real view until the top. Once at the top it is pretty but I don't feel it is worth the effort required compared to other hikes in the area.

Plus side is the drive in is on pavement most of the way. Downside is you have to dodge horse crap in the parking lot

backpacking
2 months ago

Great trail. The last half mile before the lake is quite steep and difficult. The lake is beautiful and well worth the effort.

Does anyone know if there is dispersed camping on the way up?

hiking
3 months ago

This trail head is difficult to find and when you do it is busy with Jeep & 4 wheelin’ vehicles. Dust in your face, rocky, nothing very scenic to justify the climb. Too many other good trails to experience in CO.

hiking
3 months ago

We hiked about 3.5 miles up-for a round trip of 7 miles-on August 29. Gorgeous trail. Some aspen groves up on the mountain and on the trail starting to go golden. Saw one person starting ahead of us and one person on our way down. Puppy dog loved all the smells. Creek crossings easy.

Backpacked here on 9/1/18. We drove our ‘13 Subaru Forester just past the grape creek(?) TH. We tried to make it further up the road, but it was too rough. High clearance is needed if you want to drive to the trailhead for music pass.

After parking, we put on our packs. I believe we hiked over 2 miles up the road before reaching the upper parking lot/TH. It is steep, and quite difficult with a heavy pack on. Many four wheelers and trucks went by us on the road. Not very pleasant to be left in the dust from all the vehicles. That being said, we were very happy once we got to the actual trail. It is beautifully forested before opening up on the pass. Gorgeous 360 views near the sign for Music pass. We found a dispersed site with an incredible view. With our packs off, we went down the trail towards the lakes. It was about 5 pm now and were unsure about weather so we turned around. Would love to head back here next summer to see the lakes.

Love the Sangre de Cristo range!!

backpacking
3 months ago

Awesome dispersed camping spot in an aspen grove about ~4 miles into the trail on the left marked by a post if you’re headed to the lake.

backpacking
3 months ago

Beautiful trip for my first time backpacking, only passed a few people and largely had the whole trail to myself! Some really nice camping spots set up for disperse camping, there were some raspberry bushes along the trail close the lake and the lake itself was gorgeous!

backpacking
3 months ago

This was my very first trip to Colorado and the lakes are still my favorites in all the state. It is a rocky uphill climb, and for a "flatlander" Hoosier like myself, the elevation was challenging to adjust to. As it also was my first real backpacking trip, I pretty unprepared as far as gear and choice of clothes. The campsites up top were a great place to unwind and recharge for a couple days. A very friendly doe lived up there while I visited and followed me around most the time I was there. Beautiful mountains, lakes, and insanely undisturbed, dark-night, galaxy-filled skies await at these lakes.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike. Parked at the second parking lot....I wouldnt drive to that point but a friend did and it was kinda like a roller coaster ride.

However you can walk up from the first lot like previous people have mentioned.

THIS IS A MUST DO HIKE.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful spot with very little traffic. A few camping spots along the path.

camping
3 months ago

It was a great hike. Trail was clear in the way in, but wind knocked down some trees and the trail was obstructed on the way back. Camp close to the hot springs so the walk back wet is short. Amazing views! The only wildlife we saw was snakes. The hot spring on the other side of the river is the warmest.

hiking
3 months ago

Had noooooo idea what I was getting myself into. Just decided that I was going to take the Lakes Of The Clouds trail and it was definitely challenging. But the view was beyond amazing.

Similar to comments below, the mileage is wrong on All Trails ... It’s nearly 2 miles longer round trip. But wow - what a breathtaking hike!!! There are panoramas and landscapes in clear view throughout 95 percent of the hike, along with unforgettable rock formations and a “key hole” formation than indicates you’re more than halfway to the lake. We hike regularly, and it took about 2:30 to the lake and 1:45 back with some light jogging on the return. Be sure to get out early if you’re doing a day hike (ideally by 7 a.m). Storms routinely roll in by 1 p.m. This is a stunning and underutilized hike you will never forget. We’ll be back!

Over 7 miles to first camp site.
Springs not marked

backpacking
4 months ago

This review is for backpacking the trail. It was an absolutely beautiful but challenging hike. With 3,000 vertical ft gain over 5.6 miles, expect to be going uphill most of the time. There's some strenuous uphill stretches that start about 2/3rds of the way in but you are rewarded with amazing scenery throughout. We set up camp about a half mile from the lake. The trail was pretty lightly trafficked which was nice.

This was a challenging hike with a pack on, but I can see how day hikers find this more of a moderately difficult hike without the extra 25+ pounds of weight. The trailhead sign states 12 miles roundtrip which was accurate, but the time estimate of 11 hours seemed exaggerated unless you are a beginner hiker, not acclimated to Colorado altitudes, or not in great shape. The hike up took us a little over 5 hours with frequent breaks, the return around 3 hours. I would estimate hiking with just day packs should shave off around an hour each way.

backpacking
4 months ago

Hiked this trail Aug 11. Our app recorded 6.2 miles RT from the upper parking lot/TH. It takes about 45 min-1 hr to drive to the TH from Westcliffe. You definitely need a high-clearance 4WD vehicle to drive the last 3 miles of the road to get to the upper parking lot and to get out of your parking spot (HA!) (we had to tow someone out of their spot because they were stuck). There is room for about 20-25 vehicles at the upper lot, and another parking area about a minute down the road. The lot was mostly full by 9am, and this is the busiest TH we've seen in the Westcliffe area. A bathroom is at the lower TH.
It is a typical CO trail and not anything too extreme or rugged. We had gorgeous weather and it was beautiful, varying scenery. Saw about a dozen ptarmigan. Also saw 4 horses along the trail, and some horse poop. Some remnants of wildflowers, but mostly dried out. No mosquitoes. Lots of views from Music Pass and neat bristlecone pines around the pass. The view of pointy Tijeras Peak was our favorite, and it also happens to be the backdrop of Lower Sand Creek Lake--just gorgeous! Some backcountry camping sites at the lake and good fishing! Many trout were swimming around as we ate lunch at the lake. Note: You do hike up in elevation and down and up again to get to the lake and then reverse to get back to the TH, so it can make for some "hot" climbing back up to Music Pass in the afternoon on your way back to the TH.

The above, posted directions for this trail are wrong. Here are the correct ones:
-Drive south on Hwy 69 for 4.6 miles
-Turn right on CR 119 (Colfax Ln) and drive south for 6 miles to a T intersection
-Turn left on CR 120
-After 0.2 mi, the road makes a sharp right and becomes CR 119
-Continue 5 miles to lower Music Pass TH
-Road (now 4WD) continues for another 2.5 miles and ends at upper Music Pass TH

hiking
4 months ago

So, the trail head on this one is misleading as there are 2. We parked at the LOWER TH and this will add 2 miles each way to your hike. The lower trail/road is not marked very well, we only saw 1 arrow pointing the way. The upper TH is apparently 2 miles or so up the road, we never got that far. The road is a 4X4 trail and looked a bit rough. We saw a newer Ford Explorer go up but I would not venture up this one in my truck. We came across a very nice guy in a jeep (at our turn around point) who said we were half way to the upper TH, even though we were 2.5 in?? We did decide to return to the car as we had some time constraints. This was a beautiful hike none the less. We are hoping to head back up on 4 wheelers and find the upper TH and the true trail. The elevation gain and distance listed are most likely from the upper TH and not the lower one. The climb up the first leg has steep areas and will make the heart pump but is not bad. There is a restroom at the lower TH and is clean for the most part.

hiking
4 months ago

The roads to the TH are mostly paved followed by a short section of an easy dirt road.
Although this area is beautiful, I'm only giving it 3 stars because my friend and I lost the trail. We hiked it on July 29. Our guidebook ("Hiking Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Wilderness" Falcon Guide) had incorrect directions--the correct directions are to go right at the Rainbow Trail and then left on the Horn Lakes Trail. So with the extra detour of going the wrong direction at the beginning, this hike didn't start off well. There is a bathroom at the TH. Only a few downed trees on the trail, lots of wildflowers, and even wild strawberries that were quite yummy! Complete solitude--we only saw 2 other hikers on this trail the entire time. AROUND TREELINE, THERE IS A SECOND CREEK CROSSING--MAKE SURE YOU GO RIGHT AND CROSS THE CREEK! We went the wrong way and continued straight ahead on the well-worn trail that ended at a pond in the beautiful basin. We should have turned around and backtracked, but we thought the trail was overgrown (like some others in the area) and thought we'd soon find the lakes. No such luck! We bushwacked for 1 1/2 hours through thick bushes, mud, and what must have been game trails with lots of (bear?) poop, and we finally gave up when we figured out we were on the opposite side of the basin where the lakes were and it was time to head down.

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