Missouri Lakes Trail is a 7.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Red Cliff, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,581 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

snow

Take Hyw. 24 out of Leadville over Tenn.Pass to FSR. 703, which is on a hairpen curve, then drive to Missouri Rd.(704), then to the trailhead.

hiking
snow
2 days ago

Attempted to hike 5/30/20. Only made it one mile up because of trail conditions- there was still a significant amount of snow on the trail, soft enough to post hole, up past my knees often. When the trail wasn’t covered in snow, it was completely covered with running water. Mostly easily avoidable by stepping on rocks, but my feet definitely got wet. At times we went off trail to avoid walking through deeper areas. Decided to try again in a few weeks once things have melted a bit more. Seems like a beautiful trail though!

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
11 days ago

Beautiful hike! Definitely needed snowshoes/spikes the whole way and the trail is difficult to follow. We followed the trail on the app to point us in the right direction since there were no footprints or signs to follow. Round trip it was 8.4 miles (not 7) and was hard but view was beautiful! Snow the whole way and had steep rocks to hike over.

hiking
closed
25 days ago

Homestake Rd closed about ~8 miles from trailhead. Assume COVID. Stay safe! Will return..

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked a few weeks ago and it was beautiful. There is a section of the hiking path that was destroyed by last season's avalanche. When tou get to that section, you will divert up and around the fallen trees. Still able to complete the hike though!

hiking
8 months ago

Saturday was a beautiful day to explore this trail. Great temperatures and the sky was so blue in contrast with the green and yellow foliage. For my first hike of the trail I’d say it was rather well marked and in good shape. As has been indicated, the 2nd avalanche area was a bit of a challenge but manageable. I enjoyed walking along the stream and hearing the little waterfalls for a majority of the lower hike. It is strenuous in several spots but I’d put it on the lower end of difficult .. hard but not crazy hard. The lakes .. wow .. I could have stayed there all day soaking in the view. There is plenty of lake side spots to have a bite to eat and not really see another soul. The drive down from I-70 was amazing .. the yellow aspens were such a wonderful start to the hike. The roads off of 24 were in good shape, but I’d imagine at other times of the year they would be a problem. I was glad to have a SUV but a car (rental) would be fine. Watch your speed as the ruts and rocks can sneak up on you in the shadows. This is definitely a trail I’d recommend.

hiking
8 months ago

I'm giving this hike 4 stars because although it's very beautiful there needs to be better signage at Fancy Lake that indicates where to go back down to the trailhead. I ended up unknowingly going do French Creek thinking it was Fancy Creek, and it added an extra hour plus to my hike, and that was only because I started running once I realized I was in a different part of the valley from the beginning. There's plenty of signage up there, but it's all useless advertisements and trail recognition that doesn't help at all. Make sure you take the trail that goes around the lake to continue the Fancy Creek trail if you're coming down to Fancy Lake!

hiking
8 months ago

Avalanche field is mostly clear but we took a higher route above it. My friends and I did a full loop from Missouri lake and up and over Missouri and Fancy passes to Fancy lake then back down to my truck which we highly recommend if you feel inclined! Trail is definitely not moderate the 3 of us we have lived locally for almost a decade collectively and felt it was not for those who are not that experienced. Took us 5 hours and 40 minutes to complete the full loop

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked this trail this past weekend and it was gorgeous. No bugs. There were two avalanche spots as indicated by others - the second was intense but definitely passable. There were some large fallen logs and trees you'll need to semi climb carefully maneuver over. I'm 5'2" so there were a couple spots I used all hands and feet, but found still, nothing hard.

hiking
9 months ago

This trail was gorgeous! Plenty of climbing and moderate walking as well. The alpine lakes were so beautiful and the wildflowers stunning. We had read other reviews about the trail being out due to avalanche area, but we found the alternative trail to the right up-mountain was well marked and easy. The climb to the pass past the last lake was well worth the view. Took us about 5.5 hours with breaks and snacks.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike with my lab. Would like to rate it 4.5 stars, but couldn’t ratchet up to 5 stars based on so many gorgeous Colorado hikes. Key thing to know is the avalanche area. You’ll encounter a small avalanche area first - which every hiker (me included) thinks it’s THE avalanche area and it is easy. 20 minutes later you encounter THE avalanche area - and it is massive and impressive to view. No way, no how, do you try to follow the original trail. Instead, immediately as you encounter the area, turn right up-mountain and look for the interim by-pass trail - it takes maybe 20-40 feet before it is obvious. It’s a savior - but know that it has some steep slopes at times and you still hop/scale fallen tree trunks - it’s the hardest part of the entire trail. Note that small or older dogs need lifting assistance in several spots. Once up to the lakes, wildflowers are still plentiful and the vistas are spectacular. A- hike in my journal.

hiking
9 months ago

Super fun energetic trail. Beautiful water and bridges.

hiking
blowdown
9 months ago

Dates of Hike: Aug 26-27 Weather: Sunny, hot, breezy during the day; clear with HEAVY wind storm overnight. Experience Level: Regular hikers, roughly acclimated to elevation. Such a beautiful hike! There's a good balance of flats, gradual uphills, and steeps on this trail, so it never felt overwhelming. Would personally rate it Moderate, particularly if you're only going to Missouri Lakes and not doing the full loop to Fancy Lake. At the top, the wildflowers are GORGEOUS!!! Loads of different types spread out all along the marshes and meadows. We chose to camp at the first lake on the left because there was so much wind exposure up at Missouri. But the sunrise hit our lake and the surrounding peaks/ridge first anyway, so everything was glowing rose and gold around 6:15! Plenty of beautiful spots for tents and hammocks, and great swimming if you can withstand the freezing water! They've already begun sawing up the trees in the avalanche area, so it's challenging, but definitely passable. There IS a path that forks right and uphill as soon as you reach the avalanche clearing. It's well trodden and easy to follow, but you will gain some elevation and about 1/2 a mile of distance.

hiking
bugs
muddy
9 months ago

Stay up high when going around avalanche area

hiking
9 months ago

Gorgeous trail. Really fun. Definitely more like 8 miles than the 6.5 this site lists it as. Bring bug spray. The mosquitos are insane.

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
10 months ago

backpacking
10 months ago

Great trail. The avalanche debris was a bit of a pain with packs, but do-able. Cutthroat and brown in the upper lake

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail. Going over the avalanche field adds an extra 1/2 hour-ish

hiking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
10 months ago

Did this trail yesterday and so glad we picked it. It was beautiful! There’s avalanche debris that is about 2.5 miles in. It’s pretty gnarly to see. Try to go up and over it. We attempted to go through the center, but isn’t really wise. Give them time to clean it up. We cut up to the side and headed over it. It did not take terribly long. The lakes are gorgeous. Lots of mosquitos. Bring bug spray. Water is running highly. Wild flowers are out in full force. Enjoy!

hiking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
off trail
snow
washed out
10 months ago

I did the loop over from Fancy Pass this past weekend. Just wanted to post: This trail is NOT MODERATE. This is an advanced trail in its current condition. Spikes, gaiters, poles, and gloves for climbing highly recommended. The avalanche debris field is no joke, at about 2.1mi in. It's almost a half-mile of debris, with water running under much of it. There is supposedly a rough trail around via the slope to the north, but I failed to find and follow it. The snow near the lakes is considerable, but there are plenty of footprints to follow. Incredibly beautiful though, and I can't wait to come back and try it again!!

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