Fancy Pass Trail

MODERATE 28 reviews
#22 of 196 trails in

Fancy Pass Trail is a 5.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Red Cliff, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

5.3 miles
2,381 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly






nature trips


trail running





wild flowers



11 hours ago

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

4 days ago

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.

7 days 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.

20 days 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.

22 days ago

Hiked up to the lake and camped. Elevation is no joke if you have Texas lungs. Views are spectacular all around the lake and both directions on the trail.

10 months ago

Pretty basic hike for anyone with medium to excelled hiking fitness. Still enjoyed it though.

11 months ago

Best hike I've ever done. Definitely doable and the views are incredible.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Did this with Missouri pass and I thought the trail and the scenery on Missouri were better.

Monday, July 17, 2017


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Awesome hike, we hiked from Holy Cross city to Fancy Pass and then to Missouri Pass, backpacked near Missouri Lakes. The passes we're still pretty snowy and pretty challenging at times. Having hiking poles and microspikes made this a lot more doable. Coming down Missouri pass we lost the trail under the snow and wound up going off trail at times to find a way down. The only additional thing I wish I'd brought is something to slide down on.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Awesome trail to the lake. My friend and i decided to continue on and turn it into a 14er hike on the Missouri mountain and saw even greater views of the lakes

Monday, September 05, 2016

did missouri lakes and stayed on the back side the first night, came over fancy pass and finished up. super beautiful loop.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Perfect weekend of backpacking. We started with fancy pass to Treasure Cove Lake then headed to Harvey Lake about 4 miles down the trail. Headed back towards Treasure Cove the next day and went over Missouri Pass and to the lakes. Absolutely gorgeous the entire way.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

We hiked the fancy pass trail to the Missouri Lakes trail to hike a loop. The trail was beautiful! Made the day of it, stopping to fish at fancy lake and one of the Missouri lakes. The wildflowers were everywhere!

Friday, August 28, 2015

We hiked in over Fancy Pass and camped in the valley on the other side near Treasure Vault Lake. Gorgeous place to camp. Hiked out the next day over to the Missouri Lakes to finish off the loop. Pretty well traveled area because of the relatively short distance, but a very nice overnighter.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Great hike with lots of beautiful features. We hiked over from the Missouri Lakes side after camping there the previous night. Great trail that I would certainly recommend to anyone looking for an alpine experience.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

I like hiking in Holy Cross Wilderness. The mountains are beautiful.

Monday, August 02, 2010

beautiful hike - we did the Fancy Pass / Missouri Lakes loop. I strongly recommend doing it from the Fancy Pass side first, as the skree fields would make the descent more difficult than the ascent.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Friday, July 07, 2017

Friday, July 07, 2017

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Saturday, July 20, 2013