Explore the most popular birding trails in Holy Cross Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

trail running
2 days ago

Beautiful views & scenery most of the way. Went in October and bit more snow than expected!
But beautiful once you get to the lake. I wore running shoes and it was okay but hiking shoes would have made it easier!

trail running
14 days ago

Amazing trail, the lakes and creeks are gorgeous.

A good bit of pavement to actually get to trailhead, then heavily trafficked. Good trail if your staying in Beaver Creek, otherwise there are better options.

20 days ago

this hike is a 99% incline uphill 3+ miles so be prepared for that. also be prepared that 80% of the hike you are looking out to not step in horse poop. it's a horse trail and human trail so constantly looking on the ground. other than That! beautiful views and a gorgeous lake at the top. you will be tired coming down and sore the next day!

Great hike on Saturday, 9/22. Very few people on trail. Sunny, clear day, sea level friend joined us and did fine! The first lake you come to is just as beautiful as Lower Missouri Lake, which is just up a bit. We didn’t do the loop to connect up to Fancy Lake Trail bec two in our party were tired. Will try that next time.

Tough hike but very beautiful. The road to the trailhead was a long dirt road but not bad as far as clearance goes-- only the last mile or so was uncomfortably bumpy/slow, I imagine most vehicles could make it up. The beginning of the trail is steep, then it levels out a little with less dramatic gains. Don't be fooled by the first lake you come to... continue up about another 1/4 mile ish to see the bigger lake, it's worth it! Gorgeous water color and mountain backdrop. Highly recommend this for a great workout and views. Not too much fall color change on the hike bc of the tree composition in the area, but the drive from Minturn was stunning with tons of aspens.

off road driving
28 days ago

Very Rocky trail. Stock Rubicon handled it slowly but beautifully. Nice trail through the woods, and decent hike around lake. Very secluded, we didn't meet anyone on this trail. Decent scenery.

29 days ago

Have hiked this trail 3 times. Always a pleasure. I take my dog. He loves the lake. I try to hike during the week to avoid crowds.

1 month ago

We completed a overnight backpacking trip this past weekend, and it was absolutely perfect. It stormed a bit at night, but was perfectly clear by morning. There were plenty of other people staying overnight, but there are so many nooks to camp in that it was easy to feel like you were nearly alone. Incredible views and many places to scramble and explore around the lakes.

After reading about this hike we decided to make the drive from Breck to give it a go. We weren’t disappointed. A good bit of the hike follows the creek with a few bridges over the water. We covered about 8 miles total as we spent a good bit of time walking around the lakes. The lakes were really nice with good clear water. Great place to camp and we talked with a few folks that were staying the night. Only caveat would be that the trailhead is around 10 miles down an unpaved road but most any vehicle should be able to make it.

1 month ago

Great trail with a variety of scenery from meadows, to waterfalls, small gorges, alpine lakes, streams etc. We camped at the larger lake, it looked like there were 1 or 2 other groups there and a couple more at the lower lake.

Good hike worth doing. Average, no spectacular features. Well maintained, easy to get to. Lots of ups and downs, mostly in woods, occasional views of mountains. Nice Aspen groves. Not as much trail along creek as some and no lakes. Limited parking but not usually a problem.

This was a very nice hike! It is about 2.0 miles to the lake, with easy-moderate hills the whole way, and it is basically in the shade the whole way. The lake itself is very pretty and a great place for a dog to go swimming and cool off. It would also be a gorgeous place to have a picnic.

Moderate, my ass. Hiked this today. And I hike the backcountry a lot. Went clockwise from Missouri lakes trailhead. Fine up to the lakes but then a butt buster on fancy pass over the ridge. Rocks and steep as hell. Snowed on me and you have to cross it twice. Coming down, signage is bad. Follow fancy pass lake trail. I goofed and went left and ended up on holy cross city 4x4 trail. Lots of fresh bear droppings. Still, stunning scenery.

Awesome trail!! Uphill the entire way to the lake but very scenic and interesting. The lake was beautiful! A great place to have a picnic!

We did this hike two weeks ago. “Everyone” is right! Best hike I think I’ve ever done. It is not technical, it is also not that hard, but the terrain is varied, and beautiful. Our dog had a great time too. Lots of water and wildflowers.

1 month ago

We did a backpacking trip at the end of July to this beautiful destination. The weather was perfect, the trail was beautiful, and the lakes and surrounding scenery were stunning. Although I took my fly rod, I forgot my reel so no fishing! The only drawback was the number of people there. We went on a Monday and a slew of people were coming down the trail after a weekend trip. There were still others up there but we were glad not to have gone on a weekend. It's a stunning destination worthy of your time.

We did this entire loop yesterday. We started on Fancy pass trail which worked well because it was steeper and descending down Missouri Lakes trail was a breeze. Be careful staying on trail at Missouri Lakes. We got sidetracked as there are many paths around the lakes.

1 month ago

Had the trail to Beaver Lake to ourselves for about 90% of the time. Eventually had 2 people riding horses pass at the lake. Instead of taking BLT back down we took the Royal Elk Trail across to the gondola - some great sights along the way. Around 6-6.5 miles total.

1 month ago

This was a solid workout with uphill and downhill throughout the hike. Takes about 2 1/2 hours round trip. Great for our dogs as they could be off leash. Also the lovely creek at the end of the trail is a nice destination. Good picnic spot before heading back to trailhead. Gave 4 stars instead of 5 as no wild flowers blooming. But still a serene setting with most of the hike in the shaded woods.

Beautiful hike! Definitely recommend doing it clockwise as the last 3 miles of Fancy Lakes Trail were down, down, down. Great hike for day hikers or those wanting to camp. Stunning views, with plenty of places to fill up for water. Wasn't too crowded on the trail, great for dogs. Water was very cold, but not cold enough to stop one lady from skinny dipping which was an added bonus! If you have the time I recommend checking out Holy Cross Trail. It only adds a couple of miles and is a very easy hike.

1 month ago

Beautiful hike! Living in Memphis where the altitude is roughly 250ft above sea level, I must admit the ascent took its toll on me. Did the Missouri Lakes loop and went down Fancy lakes trail which was much easier and allowed me to descend at a 3mph pace. But the hike up Missouri Lakes had me stopping to catch my breathe every 30 yrds or so. Which wasn't too bad because it was absolutely beautiful. Highly recommend this hike for anyone wanting a lil exercise with beautiful views!

Of course it is all uphill to the lake but it is a beautiful trail. At the lake you have to deal with aggressive chipmunks ready and able to steal any and all snacks you have. Figure about 3 1/2 to 4 hours round trip. Great workout.

Beautiful features, seemed to be more difficult than other moderate trails we have hiked. Very crowded the day we were there!

Pictures do not do it justice...this is a MUST see. Great hike...fantastic views. Highly recommend it!!!

This is a great short backpacking trip with stunning views and very few people (once you get over the pass). We spent two nights camping at Fancy Lake and had it completely to ourselves. Climbing the two passes with heavy packs was a chore (especially getting down the scree slope on the east side of Fancy Pass) but the scenery is spectacular, with numerous alpine lakes and viewpoints. After we set up camp, we did some day hikes and explored a couple of abandoned mine shafts. The Forest Service road up to the trailhead is pretty rutted...a high clearance vehicle is a must.

Had a nice hike with wife and daughter. We saw no one else and that was pretty great.

1 month ago

This was a very nice hike and worth the effort to get to the lake. Little muddy
through a short section with very minimal snow. Wild flowers haven't budded yet. Very peacful trek.

Loved the aspens on this trail. I didn’t trail run today but it would be a great path for runners.

BEAUTIFUL hike. My watch said it was 9 miles. Started at 8am, made it to the summit of the second pass by noon. Went with my mom who lives at sea level, but otherwise great shape. She had a hard time with the second pass. Gorgeous views the entire way. Lots of water for the pups to drink.
I give it four stars because some asshole left their human shit wrapped in paper towels on a pile of pinecones at a camp site that you walk right through and my dog ate it. So whoever you are... your shit you left behind is no longer there. Also. You’re a piece of shit too. Please learn backpacking etiquette before doing this again.

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