Missouri Lakes Trail

Holy Cross Wilderness Area, Colorado

Distance4.5mi
Elevation Gain2,736ft
Trailhead Elevation11,837ft
Top12,002ft
Elevation Min/Max10013/12002ft
Elevation Start/End11837/11837ft

Missouri Lakes Trail

Missouri Lakes Trail is a hiking trail in Eagle County, Colorado. It is within Holy Cross Wilderness Area and White River National Forest. It is 4.5 miles long and begins at 11,837 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 9.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,736 feet. Along the trail there is a wetland. This trail connects with the following: Fancy Lakestrail.

Missouri Lakes Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The beautiful Missouri Lakes Trail wanders through forest,
over some slabs of rocks, across crystal- clear streams, along
meadows of colorful wildflowers, past waterfalls, and near
some interesting mini- canyons.

This chapter describes the trail to three turnaround points (easy to more challenging) because the hike to the lakes is very challenging. This trail provides something for everyone in a magnificent part of Eagle County."

"Cradled at the foot of towering peaks, Missouri Lakes attracts the expectant eye of wildflower lovers. Among some 87 other alpine lakes within the roughly 126,000-acre Holy Cross Wilderness Area, the collection of Missouri Lakes rewards hikers with majestic mountains, jeweled waters, and abundant wildflowers. The trail begins flat through damp forest and then rises, quite strenuously in a few places, and levels periodically to reach the lake basin.

Along the way are intriguing spots with a mysterious air. About 90 species of wildflowers line the three-mile hike, which leads to the first of several lakes. This description includes the largest lake situated at 11,502 feet. Like all high-country hikes, go prepared for inclement weather that often manifests itself in lightning activity. Sturdy boots help negotiate the trail which can be muddy, rooty, rocky, and steep in segments. Wildflower Alert: This hike features wildflower, lake, and mountain landscapes worthy of calendar covers."

"Missouri Creek’s alluring waterfalls and flower-rimmed cascades draw you to its exquisite source: an alpine basin jeweled by a dozen pristine lakes. Even tired little ones resist turning back before reaching the lakes at the top."

"This loop hike offers three scenic rewards, any one of which would be enough to make the trip worthwhile. The first treat is the beautiful Missouri Lakes Basin, with four large lakes and a half-dozen smaller ones surrounded on three sides by peaks nearly 13,000 feet high.

The second point of interest is the view into the spectacular Cross Creek glacial valley from the summits of Missouri Pass and Fancy Pass. And the third reward is the opportunity to walk through Holy Cross City, a late 1800s mining town that lies just outside the wilderness boundary."

Missouri Lakes Trail Reviews

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9/2/2018
So much fun. Only downside was the construction on lower 1/2 miles of trail for the watershed.
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8/23/2011
Great Hike! Breath tacking views! Easy hike with short steep terrain followed by flat terrain.
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7/23/2011
Breathtaking hike! We went with a group of 10 and everyone loved it. Definitely moderate to difficult and the elevation gain seems a lot more then minimal. It took us about 2-2 1/2 hours to get to the top and about 1 1/2 hours to get down. It was surprisingly busy, but it was a Saturday. I'd recommend this to anyone who loves beautiful trails, waterfalls, and idyllic mountain views. A+
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7/4/2007
Very enjoyable. Moderate to difficult hike. Most of the difficulty is within the first two miles. The lakes are gorgeous. I saw a bobcat in the morning not too far past the trailhead as well as many marmot at higher elevations. If you combine this with the Fancy Lake trail via Missouri and Fancy Passes, start with Missouri Lakes trail first for an easier ascent.
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Missouri Lakes Trail Photos

Trail Information

Holy Cross Wilderness Area
Nearby City
Holy Cross Wilderness Area
Parks
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Accessibility
For current conditions and more information, contact Holy Cross Ranger District, www.fs.fed.us/r2/whiteriver or (970) 827-5715
Local Contacts
USGS Mount of the Holy Cross, USGS Mount Jackson
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018