Missouri Lakes Trail

MODERATE 107 reviews
#1 of 22 trails in

Missouri Lakes Trail is a 7.2 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 September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1581 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

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
10 days ago

Hiked on 6.1.18 with intent to camp at lakes. Knew snow pack was still there but took a chance. Camping on snow is not for me so I hiked out. Probably a couple weeks before ground is dry and lakes thawed. Beautiful hike tho.

hiking
13 days ago

As of June 2 the trail still has quite a bit of snow. I’d recommend wearing water proof shoes and gators would be helpful as well as hiking poles. It’s a gorgeous hike but the snow and wet shoes made it difficult!

14 days ago

First time in the area. It’s an absolutely beautiful place. The road to the trailhead is a little bumpy, but a 2WD vehicle can make it... slow and steady. Roundtrip, the hike took us about 4.5 hours. As of June 2nd, the snow covered the last half mile or so of the trail, and because of that, it’s difficult to follow the actual trail and reach the lakes without stressing out a little... some people made it, and others had to turn around before actually reaching the lakes. By the time we got to the lakes, we were the only people there. It was quiet and definitely a special moment. I’ll definitely be returning in late June and/or July. If you’re planning to go before June 10th, bring waterproof shoes, extra socks, snacks, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Good luck!

hiking
16 days ago

Hiked this on 5/27/18, almost entire trail still covered in snow but managed to make it up to the lakes. Good moderate to hard incline the whole way. Did not have snowshoes and postholed quite a bit, but once one person blazed the trail, it was easier to follow. Waterproof shoes are a must this time of year. I suggest bringing spare socks. Lakes still mostly frozen and fish still hibernating, even in the little runoffs. Absolutely gorgeous views without any crowds. Can’t wait to go back when snow is gone.

6 months ago

could not access the trail.. the road was about 8 miles of 4wd snow covered road. beautiful out there though !

backpacking
7 months ago

Gorgeous area. Savage peak just dawns over you, and the lakes are beautiful. I camped here, and if you plan to do the same, keep in mind that much of the year it can be somewhat swampy and if you don't get there early you're options for a dry camping spot are pretty limited.

7 months ago

One of the most beautiful vistas I’ve seen.

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing hike! A bit steep at the beginning but then mellows out a bit. The streams and lakes are incredibly beautiful! Be sure to take big spray. Highly recommend!!

backpacking
9 months ago

This was a challenging hike with a wonderful destination. It was challenging due to the rapid elevation gain, but otherwise, the trail was easy to follow. Once in the basin, we were treated with stunning views of the lakes and surrounding rock formations. The condition of the trail at the beginning of the hike and the Labor Day crowds are the only things that kept this from being rated with 5 stars.

9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

One of the most beautiful hikes I've ever experienced! This one has it all - waterfalls, lakes, trees, rocks, some wildlife and wildflowers!

It is pretty steep - almost just as important for the back half of the hike (watch your footing!) as the out half. If it has rained can be pretty muddy and slippery - plan accordingly! The weather went from beautiful to raining in a half hour or so - so TAKE RAIN GEAR! A rain jacket will do you just fine, at least based on what we experienced, although it did get windy as well!

Make sure you have plenty of water and some snacks! My friend and I each had a large hydroflask full of water and that seemed to be plenty for the out and back, but we likely could have used more!

We want to go back & do this as a thru hike with Fancy Pass and camp at the lakes! Cannot wait to hike this again.

backpacking
10 months ago

Difficult yet beautiful hike! My three boys and wife camped out at the big lake last night! We were the only people there! We saw marmots and enjoyed all the scenery. I highly recommend this hike! Dirt road getting there is not in great shape so if you only have a car, you might want to consider going with someone with a high clearance vehicle.

hiking
10 months ago

Tough but gorgeous hike. Beautiful scenery the entire way. A waterfall pretty early into the hike, then a beautiful lake after that (but not the lake you want, continue on from here). You always have a stream or creek along side you. If you get lucky you might see a marmot family at the first lake. Once reaching Missouri Lakes you will be in awe! Mountains as the backdrop.
This hike is highly recommended. Bring lots of water though, and mosquito repellent.

hiking
10 months ago

Absolutely spectacular hike! It's a bit of a haul to,get there, but the scenery is worth it! Bring bug spray, wear good shoes and have plenty of water, as you will be in the sun a lot. We went up,to the top of the pass and my Alltrails map showed we did 8.2 mi with 2031 ft elevation. It took us under five hours with photo stops (we live in Breck, so elevation not huge issue). There are pit toilets at the trailhead.

backpacking
10 months ago

Beautiful views throughout the trek from wildflowers, stream crossings, lakes to, mountains and of course marmots and more. Well marked trail, gradual climb and easy to find many campsites with amazing sights. Make sure to bring bug repellent.

hiking
10 months ago

This is a beautiful hike! We stopped for pictures often as the scenery is so gorgeous the entire way. Definitely bring bug spray, mosquitos were out in full force.

hiking
10 months ago

Easy to follow trail with lots of scenic views. Had to stop for pictures many times which translates to we were loving it!

hiking
10 months ago

We thoroughly enjoyed this trail. The climb alongside the creek was dotted with wildflowers, and the gorge and waterfalls were spectacular. We reached the lake, had lunch, and headed down, 5 hours including our photo stops.

backpacking
10 months ago

Beautiful backpacking trip! Be ready for a climb and scenery you'll be in awww over. Pack bug repellant and a fishing pole! Go to lake 2 for great camping. There are lots of hidden spots to find.

10 months ago

URGENT! Don't forget to use mosquito repellent! Beautiful hike, the river, the lakes, specially the first one, beautiful scenery, it took us 1:45 to get to the top and 1:30 to go down, so yes a 4 hr hike... we had a wonderful time!

fishing
10 months ago

We only hiked to Missouri on 7/22/17. No spikes or shoes needed - side step trail for muddy sections if you care. However, there is a small amount by tributary at Missouri. Good fishing (small but fun). They catch on quick, so mix it up! Pistol Pete FTW.

10 months ago

This trail was great!!!

10 months ago

Did the loop this morning. If you do this, I highly recommend going clockwise. Luckily this is the way I decided to go.
The pass between Missouri and Blodgett Lakes is pretty snowy and difficult. I lost my way a few times, but had GPS to help me out. From the top of this pass all the way until the pass above Fancy lakes has no shade. Rest before there, so you don't have to in the sun.
The pass above Fancy Lakes is pretty much impassible going counterclockwise. Luckily going down was easy. VERY easy. I just put my feet in the pizza position and slid down the entire face. (HAHA AMGIE, I definitely saw a butt slide path, and used that for my shoe skiing.)
I screwed up and almost made it to Mulhall Lakes before realizing, but it was 9.33 miles and 2,489 ft elevation gain for me.

11 months ago

Did this with fancy pass. still lots of snow in mid July. Trails hard to follow at the top but beautiful and so nice to hike next to the stream!

backpacking
11 months ago

Did this hike the last week of June. Lots of snow still! Absolutely beautiful.

hiking
11 months ago

Did the Fancy Pass/Missouri Pass loop 7/7/17 and was amazed at the amount of snow still up there. Came at it by starting at the Fancy Pass trailhead, and really, really should have brought the YakTrax. Had to chip in steps most of the way up Fancy, not quite so bad up Missouri. Fortunately we at least had poles. Coming down did some butt sliding. Some younger people were wishing they had their snow boards. Beautiful hike, lots of waterfalls, lakes, meadows, peaks, etc. but I think I'd wait till August if you don't want to deal with the snow.

11 months ago

Very scenic, follows a stream there. Definitely worth it once you get to the top!

11 months ago

Crowded

hiking
11 months ago

Fantastic trail! If you're bold you can do the missouri lakes to fancy pass trail loop about 12 miles. It is an epic day hike. shhhh. ;) Summer affords glorious wildflowers!!

hiking
11 months ago

Hiked with dogs today! It is still a lot of snow on a trail closer to the lake. Trail is hard to find but watch for people foot prints, easy to coordinate where the trail goes. Snow will probably be gone by the middle of July!

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