Missouri Lakes Trail

MODERATE 174 reviews
#1 of 24 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
1,581 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.

trail running
17 days ago

Amazing trail, the lakes and creeks are gorgeous.

hiking
25 days ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

backpacking
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.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

backpacking
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.

1 month ago

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.

backpacking
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.

hiking
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!

hiking
1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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

2 months ago

Showed up at 10am on Friday to an insanely packed trailhead. The trail is beautiful itself and wooded most of the way, and the views at the lake and grassy areas made the destination worth hanging out for awhile. Saw at least 15 groups of backpackers headed in to camp/do the Missouri/Fancy Lake though. Great hike overall, only 4 stars because it was verrry crowded.

hiking
2 months ago

Tough and beautiful - worth every step!

hiking
2 months ago

Hike and mountain scenery is pleasant however the 10 mile long forest road filed with Rental Vehicles driving like pricks and the Denver crowd flocking to the trail with Bluetooth Speakers and trash everywhere make for an overall unpleasant experience.

hiking
2 months ago

Probably the most beautiful hike in Colorado. Waterfalls, wildflowers, about 10 lakes, fabulous views and incredible rock formations. By the times you hike around the lakes you’ll probably hike around 12 to 13 miles. I recommend taking trekking sticks as there are some steeper rocks to climb over.

hiking
2 months ago

Can’t say a lot about the trail. I loved what I saw , but after a mile in , in the drizzling rain it started lightning!! So , this will have to wait until a better day!

2 months ago

This is a really nice trail with great views, beautiful forest and waterfalls on the way up. Views at the lakes are nice. Great day in the hills!

2 months ago

Such a beautiful hike up, and of course amazing lake at the top. Good workout too!

hiking
2 months ago

This trail is filled with incredible beauty. The wild flowers during the summer are a very nice touch. The fishing in the upper lake was great. Overall excellent trail for family.

2 months ago

went up on 7/23 it was absolutely gorgeous. the wildflowers were peaking. there were not many people on trail. we encountered a bit of rain, but it wasn't too bad. the only thing i will say is the mileage on this site is incorrect. it is 8.9 miles there and back. well worth it.

backpacking
2 months ago

I’ve lived in CO for 5 years and this one of the best hikes I’ve done here! We choose to backpack to the biggest of the Missouri Lakes below Missouri Pass and camp on the northeastern side; bit of a challenge going up the trail with full packs but worth every minute.

The trout are incredibly active right now and the water was chilly but great for the hot day. Make sure to bring bathing suit, something to float on the lake with, a hammock, and filtration pump!

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing trail with a lot of water features along the way. One of my favorite hikes ever. And not very busy at all - huge perk.

3 months ago

Amazing wild flowers. Good fishing (gorgeous brookies on an ant). Great family hike-bit of a challenge, but worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a very easy, pleasurable hike. The incline is so gentle that you barely notice it. There are many little "Missouri Lakes" that are off trail. I used GPS and began with the first one directly West of the trail. I hit small 4 smaller lakes before finding the large main one and did not see another person. They were very peaceful and worth the effort in my opinion. But it will definitely add on time to your overall trek, so keep that in mind when planning your time to descend for storms. From what I can tell, there are 14 other small Misouri lakes outside of the main upper and lower Missouri Lakes. The trail was all clear with minimal mud in some spots. Lots of water flowing, so a filter works fine for this hike. Waterflowers abundant and marmots at play.

fishing
3 months ago

Beautiful hike, June 20-26th range. Moderate inclines at points but nothing too hard for a novice or moderate hiker. Fish bite almost anything at the lakes.

3 months ago

Beautiful views. Great hike!

3 months ago

Absolutely phenomenal adventure. I went in June 26-28, and it was chock full of wildflowers, and gorgeous snow patterns. With some small detours, I hiked to the summit of the pass to Treasure Trove lake with no snow crossings. I'm a landscape plein air painter, and made this video of the adventure, don't worry, it's short, and fun.
https://youtu.be/Wf6S0Q_VTUo

backpacking
3 months ago

Easy trail to follow. Easy enough with a heavy pack. Went out with my boyfriend on Friday (07/06/18) around 1pm. Found parking easy enough. Ran into 4 groups on the way down and one guy going up with his dog. Maybe 10 groups camping overnight, but it was easy to find a spot to camp near the upper lake. The views were incredible, one of my favorite backpacking trips. Took us a little more than 3 hours to hike up, we are from Kansas and had two days to acclimate to the elevation. We planned on doing the loop with Fancy Pass, but didn’t want to risk getting caught in a storm doing Fancy Pass, since we woke up late and explored the lakes until noon. We plan on doing this one again to finish the loop. If you’re deciding between this or Lake Constantine, pick this one. It’s way better. No campfires allowed in Holy Cross Wilderness, keep that in mind bc it does get cold near the lakes.

hiking
3 months ago

One of my favorite hikes I have done! The trail up to the lakes is nice and shady. You are along the creek a good deal of the time so plenty of chances to take a dip. There are also some great canyon views down to the creek. There were wildflowers everywhere!! Lots of Columbines and Indian paintbrushes. The lakes are beautiful and despite a lot of people in the lot the trail didn't feel crowded.

We camped on Homestake Rd but wish we would have grabbed a spot closer to the trailhead on Missouri Lakes rd. There are some good ones!

hiking
3 months ago

Best way to celebrate July 4th — did this hike yesterday and it was spectacular. Not crowded despite the holiday. Wildflowers were blooming and lakes were sparkling!

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