A great little hike to a beautiful lakes basin and scenic pass in the Holy Cross Wilderness. (full description)
It isn’t often that you can walk just 3.5 miles to a beautiful lake basin and scenic pass. The Missouri Lakes trail offers just such an opportunity.
The first leg of the trail is not very picturesque, passing water pipes and a diversion dam. Beyond the water project the scenery improves markedly as the trail climbs through conifers, passing small waterfalls, pretty cascades and interesting cliffs along Missouri Creek on its way to the lakes basin.
The basin, located just below the timberline, is carpeted with emerald green meadows littered with rocky knobs and clusters of trees. For the next 1.2 miles the path wanders through the pretty basin, passing five of the lakes, before the final short, steep ascent to the pass.
Missouri Lakes is a popular destination for hikers and fisherman. Legal camping spots can be in short supply on busy weekends and holidays. If you wish to spend a night in the basin it is best to travel on the weekdays or in the early fall.
The trail can be extended into a wonderful loop trip when combined with the Fancy Pass trail. See the Fancy Pass / Missouri Pass trail for more information.
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