Tag Archives: Missouri Lakes

Missouri Lakes

I backpacked into Missouri Lakes basin in the Holy Cross Wilderness in Colorado.  I intended to complete the loop with Fancy Pass but too much snow at the top of the pass.  I got hailed on twice but it was worth the effort.  I saw an amazing sunset and the alpenglow on the mountains was stunning this morning.  The basin has three large lakes and a number of small tarns that make for great reflection photography.  I even caught a couple of brook trout out of the middle Missouri Lake.  En route to the lakes, a number of cascades and waterfalls make the hard hike an enjoyable one.  

Trail Description

The trail starts at the Missouri Lakes trailhead after an 11 mile drive on Forest Service roads.  It begins gently as the trail parallels the creek.  After a half a mile it begins to ascend more steeply.  At around one mile, you are treated to a beautiful double waterfall.  Unofruntately, there is no way to get close to the falls as the area is surrounded by dense undergrowth.  Just ahead, a little pond is a good place to stop and grab a snack.  From here, the trail begins ascending steeply and the trail becomes rocky.  Cascade after cascade can be seen along the creek.  At one point, the trail crosses the creek.  Here, a the creek cascades through a granite gorge. The trail levels out monetarily as it crosses a boggy meadow.  The trees start to thin as you approach Missouri Lakes basin.  The first lake soon comes into view around mile 3.  A number of small tarns can be found off trail just before the lake.  A number of good camping sites can be found in this area.  After passing the first lake, the trail makes a hard right turn up the hillside and the second lake can be found about 200 feet higher.  The trail passes the second lake and the third lake comes into view on the left.  For those wanting to take in the view, the trail climbs very steeply up to the pass.  Snow will remain here into August this year it looks like.  


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