Best of Vail — Hike: Missouri Lakes Trail |

Best of Vail — Hike: Missouri Lakes Trail

Kim Fuller
Best of Vail

1. Missouri Lakes Trail
2. Booth Falls Trail
3. Shrine Pass

Like several of the area’s best hikes, the Missouri Lakes are located in the Holy Cross Wilderness accessed from Homestake Road near Red Cliff. This hiking trail leads hikers about 3 1/2 miles into the wilderness through an alpine basin below Missouri Pass.

The hike is popular in the summer and fall months, beginning with a mild grade that steepens after about a half mile. The route continues up through a thick forest and then crosses a creek over a bridge before climbing in more elevation to reach the lakes.

Missouri Lakes sit at and just above treeline in a gentle expanse dotted with ponds, streams and tree-topped knolls. The area’s mild terrain is ideal for camping, fishing and extended exploration.