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    Missouri Lakes Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    14.8 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    708 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Missouri Lakes Trail is a stunning adventure in the Holy Cross Wilderness that exhibits the diversity and beauty of Colorado’s Sawatch Mountain Range. This wonderful adventure travels through dense pine woodlands before revealing a postcard-worthy mountain basin laden with alpine lakes. This expedition is a must-add to your Colorado adventure bucket list.

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    Route Description for Missouri Lakes Trail

    The Missouri Lakes Trail is a must-do the next time you find yourself in the Leadville area. The diversity of the scenery and the beauty of the Colorado wilderness will overwhelm you as you hike. When traveling in the summer months, you will be in the company of dozens of other outdoor enthusiasts, as this impressive trail is a crowd favorite. If you were hoping for a secluded walk, then we urge you to consider an early morning excursion or an off-season trek. In the winter months, trade your hiking boots for snowshoes to enjoy this versatile expedition year-round. Hikers planning to camp overnight are required to self-register at the trailhead. Note the road to the trailhead is subject to seasonal closures.

    Who doesn’t love a hike abundant with cascades, alpine lakes, and mountain views, right? If you are anything like us, then you will enjoy this picturesque adventure through Colorado’s high country. Travel through lush meadowlands, alpine tundras, and dense forestlands; this adventure is anything but short of picturesque scenery. However, if you are in the area preparing for a Colorado 14er ascent, then the Missouri Lakes Trail is the perfect way to get acclimated to the area’s high elevation. Don’t get us wrong, this is no easy feat, but the stunning panoramas and stimulating sights will motivate you to persist up to the Missouri Pass.

    Embark on your adventure along the Missouri Lakes Trail from the trailhead on Missouri Creek Road. From here, the Missouri Lakes Trail tracks southwest along Missouri Creek. Traveling through the evergreen forests and along the stream, you will be lulled into a state of relaxation by the sounds of the gurgling waters and mesmerizing sights of the small cascades. Soon the path will divert northwest, gaining elevation as you near the Missouri Lakes basin. Follow the woodland path along the creek and through impressive outcroppings up to the alpine tundra.

    Revel in the vibrance of the tundra’s vegetation that encircles the blue-hued lakes. Admire the jaw-dropping sight of the alpine lakes surrounded by the tundra and towering pines, hemmed by craggy snow-dusted cliffs. From the Missouri Lakes basin, you will also be granted a commanding view of Savage Peak in the south. Continue tracking the Missouri Lakes Trail past the alpine waters and up to the Missouri Pass and Treasure Vault Lake. From here, you will be rewarded with another perspective of the impressive basin littered with alpine lakes below. Appreciate the sights of Colorado’s mountainous wilderness, and when you are ready, retrace your footing along the path back to the trailhead. ​

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Where are the Missouri Lakes?

    The Missouri Lakes are located in the Sawatach Mountain Range in the Holy Cross Wilderness near Minturn, Colorado.

    Are dogs allowed on the Missouri Lakes Trail?

    Yes, dogs are permitted along the Missouri Lakes Trail if they remain on-leash.

    Can you fish in the Missouri Lakes?

    Yes, you can fish in the Missouri Lakes assuming you have a valid Colorado fishing license.

    Insider Hints for Missouri Lakes Trail

    • If you are seeking a longer journey, consider tackling the Missouri Lakes and Fancy Pass Loop Trail
    • In the winter months, trade your hiking boots for snowshoes
    • If you have a fishing rod and valid license, then try your hand at some trout!
    • Pack your camera because you are going to want to take plenty of photos along this stunning adventure

    Getting to the Missouri Lakes Trail Trailhead

    The Missouri Lakes Trail departs from the trailhead at the intersection of Missouri Creek Road and Fancy Creek Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Dispersed backcountry camping, restrictions apply.

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Missouri Lakes Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    Missouri Lakes Trail Reviews

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