Fancy Pass - Missouri Pass Loop

Distance: 8.1 miles (loop)

Holy Cross Wilderness, White River National Forest, near Leadville in Central Colorado

Peaks at the head of the Cross Creek Valley

Peaks at the head of the Cross Creek Valley

 

This great loop hike climbs to two scenic passes and visits a pair of gorgeous lake basins surrounded by 13,000-ft. granite peaks and ridges in the Holy Cross Wilderness. (full description)

  • Distance: 8.1 miles (loop)
  • Elevation: 10,000-ft. at Trailhead
    Maximum elevation - 12,380-ft.
  • Elevation Gain: 2,380-ft.
  • Difficulty: moderate-strenuous
  • Basecamp: Leadville / Vail
  • Region: Central Colorado

Why Hike Fancy Pass - Missouri Pass Loop

This is one of my favorite loop hikes in the Holy Cross Wilderness. The trail visits two scenic passes, traverses a beautiful alpine valley and wanders through the gorgeous Missouri Lakes basin. There are some steep sections of the loop, but overall the hike features moderate grades on good trails.

If you desire a degree of solitude the hike is best done during the week or in the fall. The Missouri Lakes basin is a very popular camping area that can become quite crowded on weekends and holidays.

If you like ghost towns and mining ruins a 3.0 mile (RT) detour near Fancy Lake contours northeast to Holy Cross City, a mining town occupied during the 1880’s and 1890’s. There is quite a bit of mining equipment scattered about the site as well as the remains of several cabins.

Read the full trail description

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile Fancy Pass - Missouri Pass Loop Hike

Best Hiking in Central Colorado around Aspen, Marble, Leadville, Buena Vista and Crested Butte

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