Missouri Lake and Pass

Distance: 7.1 miles (round trip)

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

View of the Missouri Lakes Basin from Missouri Pass

View of the Missouri Lakes Basin from Missouri Pass


A great little hike to a beautiful lakes basin and scenic pass in the Holy Cross Wilderness.
See Trail Detail/Full Description

  • Distance: 7.1 miles (round trip) to Missouri Pass
  • Elevation: 10,130-ft. at Trailhead
    11,986-ft. at Missouri Pass
  • Elevation Gain: 1,856-ft. to Missouri Pass
  • Difficulty: moderate-strenuous
  • More Hikes in:
    Leadville / Central Colorado

Why Hike Missouri Lake and Pass

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.

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile Missouri Lakes and Pass

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

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Trail Resources

Trail Detail/Full Description / Trail Photo Gallery / Trail Map

Basecamp(s) Information:

Region Information:
Central Colorado

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