Explore the most popular dogs on leash trails near Red Cliff with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This was listed as a moderate trail. The sign we encountered at the trail head gave warnings of the high level of difficulty. We made it maybe a 1/2 mile. Not sure why the disconnect

Beautiful hike but to do the whole loop is more like 12 miles and it is more difficult than moderate.

Did the Missouri Lakes to Fancy Pass loop on 6-10-18. I had the lakes and the valley all to myself. The trail disappears in the snow a few times, but still didn’t have to do any postholing all the way to the lakes. Perfect time to do the Missouri lakes trail. Definitely start at the Missouri lakes trailhead if you do the loop, lots of snow after fancy pass, but you’re going down so it’s not bad (I actually slid down it, lot of fun). Also, warning, I had never done this before and got pretty lost after going over the initial pass above the last lake because of all the snow on the other side. Granted, I didn’t have a map and didn’t have the directions saved from this app, but either way you won’t find but one sign that mentions fancy pass and it’s almost buried in the snow and it doesn’t point toward the pass. If you go down into the valley after getting over the “initial” pass above the last lake and then “hug” the ridge line to your right then it’s the first pass on the right. Bottom line, Perfect time to do this loop if you get started early enough before the snow gets soft. I did this in just my regular hiking boots, spikes would’ve been helpful.

Did the Missouri Lakes to Fancy Pass loop on 6-10-18. I had the lakes all to myself. The trail disappears in the snow a few times, but still didn’t have to do any postholing all the way to the lakes. Perfect time to do the Missouri lakes trail. Definitely start at the Missouri lakes trailhead if you do the loop, lots of snow after fancy pass, but you’re going down so it’s not bad (I actually slid down it, lot of fun). Also, warning, I had never done this before and got pretty lost after going over the initial pass above the last lake because of all the snow on the other side. Granted, I didn’t have a map and didn’t have the directions saved from this app, but either way you won’t find but one sign that mentions fancy pass and it’s almost buried in the snow and it doesn’t point toward the pass. If you go down into the valley after getting over the “initial” pass above the last lake and then “hug” the ridge line to your right then it’s the first pass on the right. Bottom line, Perfect time to do this loop if you get started early enough before the snow gets soft. I did it in just my regular hiking boots, spikes would’ve been helpful.

Beautiful trail. Lots of vegetation so lots of bugs. Steep all the way as others have mentioned. Not very many camp sites. Good day hike.

hiking
16 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
17 days ago

Great hike, initially steep with no letup but not technically challenging. Bridge across river was out but multiple alternative routes are manageable and fun! After the bridge, trail is notably easier and winds through some great old lodge pole forest with some huge squirrels and mushrooms. Lake is a great reward and Mount Whitney views are impressive! We even got a huge white fish coming to check out our picnic! Some snow at the top but easily passable. Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

hiking
19 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!

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
22 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.

hiking
26 days ago

Loved the views out and back. Didn’t quite get to the lake due to the snow on the trail near the top. The description is a bit off. It’s not Slide Lake Road on which you turn, it’s Wuritz Ditch Road. You can utilize a number of pull-offs to start your hike at any time.

backpacking
27 days ago

This hike would definitely be more enjoyable later in the summer. We were able to get past the roaring creek runoff from snowmelt, but trudged through lots of knee-deep snow even in late May. Access to the lake (we got about a half mile outside the vicinity) was blocked by too deep of snow to pass. We ended up turning around and camping at the first meadow break (which is still a lovely area!). The trail itself is quite a bit inconsistent, especially with the snow cover, so we ended up having to improvise some of the navigation and constantly re-seek the trail. Lots of moose tracks but did not see one. However we did spot a mountain lion that came into our camp in the middle of the night that wasn’t afraid to curiously hit at our tent! Eek! Overall it’s a beautiful hike with many water features and open areas with great views. Looking forward to coming back at a different time in the season.

We tried camping at Missouri Lake but was unable to make it due to deep snow and not great trail conditions. At a little under 2 miles decided to turn around. Another large group of backpackers also turned around soon after we did. Will definitely be making this trip again soon! The views we did see were absolutely stunning!

walking
28 days ago

Nice trail, easy to lose your way I thought. Lost the trail markers when we came up on the huts/cabins and I’m pretty sure I cut out a chunk of the hike by accident. Oops!

hiking
30 days ago

A quarter mile in, we could hear the creek, which was quickly deemed ominous at best. Turns out that the spring run off, as it’s prone to do, turned Elk creek into a raging, wicked cold, death machine. Short of felling a tree or learning how to levitate, were stymied. So, in the grand tradition of good adventures... we backed up off of the creek about 200 meters (so the critters could hear us) and made the best out of it. It was a gorgeous night. Probably best hiked a bit later in the year (we were the first footprints in the May snow drifts)...with wet weather gear and a good attitude about wet socks.

This was the best hike I did in 2017. We went in the middle of July. There is great dispersed camping before you reach the gate. Once you are at Lilly Lake you will need to walk the rest of the trail-you cannot drive to the point that the description shows as the trail head. So you will walk along the old road until it turns to the trail at the old parking lot. There were lots of insects when we went, so bug spray is a must in summer. The wildflowers were amazing! I felt like I was walking in a rainbow. The trail is easy and gradually goes up. Because the trail actually starts farther back, the hike was probably about 10-12 miles (we didn’t keep exact track). If you have high enough clearance you can park near Lilly lake. We parked farther down the road so it made the hike longer.

snowshoeing
5 months ago

Great trail. Steep and pretty much clear of rocks making it ideal for backcountry skiing and snowshoeing! Four legged friends are welcome but on leash. Views are awesome as you progress and get higher. We went yesterday and if you go sometime soon you will be rewarded with fresh deep powder!

hiking
6 months ago

Walked up the road today using poles and spikes. Beautiful morning for a hike to Shrine Pass. Good elevation training for this Denverite soon to be hiking Mt Kilimanjaro.
Today 11/30/17 is the last day this hike is free. For the rest of the winter there will be a fee.

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.

One of the most beautiful vistas I’ve seen.

hiking
8 months ago

Stunning views! Will always hold a special place in my heart, got engaged on a rock there. 7/17/17. Best hike!

super fun

It is a hard trail. Some what challenging. Great views

hiking
9 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!!

9 months ago

Ran into 2 hunters and 4 hikers the whole day. A good spot to actually enjoy nature. The hike has an incline the majority of the trail, it's a big gain in elevation.

All the good of Colorado. Even the drive, while a little rough is 5 star.

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.

This is my all time favorite hike in the Vail area, for all the reasons listed below. And it is more like 10 miles than 7.5. Fancy is 2,000 vert gain in 2.3 miles, and the best way to start. Awesome!

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful walk with the kids (5 & 6). It took us a little over 2 hours to hike the loop.

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