Lakes of the Clouds

MODERATE 24 reviews

Lakes of the Clouds is a 10.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Westcliffe, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until December. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

10.6 miles
2719 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



mountain biking

nature trips






wild flowers

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.

14 days ago

The trailhead shown on the map is actually the Gibson Creek trailhead. at the termination of County Road 172 (Not hermit Road which hits Rainbow trail much further south. Hermit road is a continuation of County Road 160. The best description of the trail directions is at the San Isabel National Forest website.

1 month ago

Wrote a detailed blog post. You can read it here :)

1 month ago

The route shown on this app, is not the best route in my opinion. There is a route if you turn left (walking from the parking lot, to the trail on the app) following the Forest service signs, that is shorter and more scenic. I went up on the shorter route, and back on the longer route. The longer route has nothing to recommend it, again this is the route shown in the app, as it bypasses both of the impressive waterfalls I enjoyed on the way up, and the added mileage is almost entirely on an ATV track that is not particularly scenic.

2 months ago

Great day, beautiful hike. Saw only 2 other hikers.

2 months ago

How bad were the mosquitos?

2 months ago

We want to go back. We did not plan enough time. It was gorgeous. We are going back in a few weeks.

2 months ago

Has anyone been up to here in the last few days. Looking for a snow report.

3 months ago

3 months ago

Had a blast on this trail. The top third required snow shoes and only made it to the first lake. As other reviews mentioned, it is frozen over and covered in snow. We saw bear tracks in the snow, but didn't see much wildlife other than birds. Snow shoeing was an amazing experience, but even without them the trail is gorgeous and rewarding.

We love this trail. tried it today, too much snow for us. Difficulty varries depending on weather. Fallen trees and changing terrain.

4 months ago

Beautiful hike..!!! Made it to the lower of the three "lakes" and it was frozen solid. We hiked back to lower elevation where there was less snow and better melt to stay one more night. We will be coming back to this trail in a month once most of the snow is gone. Again, upper 1/2 of trail is COMPLETELY buried in feet of snow. Still, the whole trip was stunning.

4 months ago

best fishing and hiking

Sunday, September 18, 2016

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...

Thursday, September 15, 2016

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

Thursday, September 08, 2016

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.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Monday, August 08, 2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

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.

fly fishing
Thursday, October 01, 2015

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.