Hiking Project Logo

Missouri Lakes Trail #2003

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.7 (21)

Wind along Missouri Creek past several waterfalls to a gorgeous cirque full of alpine lakes.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

4.7

Miles

7.6

KM

Point to Point

11,976' 3,650 m

High

10,026' 3,056 m

Low

1,968' 600 m

Up

160' 49 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

43%

Max Grade (23°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Overnight camping requires a free permit - self-register at the trailhead. No fires allowed.

Description

Start from the Missouri Lakes trailhead, which is immediately to the left of the Fancy Lake trailhead at the end of Forest Road 704. If you have 4WD, you can drive an additional half mile up the road and join the trail there; you won't miss much except for a water pipeline and diversion dam. You'll have to wade across the creek if you use the 4WD trailhead, so unless you have sandals to stash on the other side or the creek is particularly low, it's best to start at the main trailhead.

Starting about a mile in, the trail begins winding back and forth across Missouri Creek, passing several small waterfalls and striking cliffs. The stands of confer you pass through feel unusually lush for Colorado. The trail climbs consistently through the trees, eventually opening up into beautiful alpine meadows as you approach the lakes.

More consistent climbing out of the meadows brings you into the Missouri Lakes basin. You'll have gorgeous views no matter where you look, dominated by 13,139 ft Savage Peak to the south. The next mile or so is a very gentle climb though several smaller lakes, with many spurs and footpaths if you'd like to explore a bit more.

Continue past the lakes for a steep climb up to Missouri Pass (11,986 ft), where you can simply enjoy the expansive views of the Missouri Lakes basin to the south and Cross Creek Valley to the north before heading back, or had a little further to join Fancy Pass Trail #2006 and make a loop back to the trailhead.

The lakes are also a popular fishing spot.

Contacts

Shared By:

Rachel Vecchitto

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 21 votes

#125

Overall
  4.7 from 21 votes
5 Star
71%
4 Star
24%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#35

in Colorado

#125

Overall
264 Views Last Month
3,964 Since Jul 25, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
65%
0%
35%
0%

Photos

Missouri Lakes
Jul 26, 2016 near Avon, CO
The eastern side of Missouri Lakes.
Jul 26, 2016 near Avon, CO
Non-stop gorgeous views at Missouri Lakes, with Savage Peak just out of the frame in the upper right.
Jul 25, 2016 near Avon, CO
Missouri Lake
Aug 7, 2017 near Avon, CO
Missouri Lakes
Aug 7, 2017 near Avon, CO
Perfect
Apr 28, 2018 near Avon, CO

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Minor Issues 16 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jun 26, 2020
Ro Lyon
Sep 3, 2019
Noelle Frantz
Gorgeous hike. Amazing lakes. Took the up-mountain trail at the avalanche field and it was no problem. Highly recommend — 5h 30m
Aug 6, 2019
Shira Hecht
Aug 5, 2019
Shira Hecht
Aug 4, 2019
Caitlin Kinnett
Girls trip. 9mi
Jul 27, 2019
Blake Gansborg
Jul 17, 2019
Spencer Merage
Avery, Mats & crew. Beauty hiking w/ raging creek up. Felt strong and fast. Huge Avy debris field, tree scrambled. Hella snow up to 1 lake @ 2.7 m 5.4mi
Sep 12, 2018
Ryan Kempfer
Great hike, even better when you loop it with fancy pass. the views are incredible and the waters crystal clear 9mi — 6h 00m