The Missouri Lakes Basin consists of four large lakes and around six smaller ones, surrounded by mountain peaks of around 3,900 m (12,795 ft) high. This is a superb area for hiking, situated in the Holy Cross Wilderness Area in Colorado, USA.
The weather is unpredictable and can change at any time, so come prepared for all eventualities.
Of note are the abundant wildflowers, with over 90 species represented on the trails around this area.
The area is extremely popular with backpackers, day hikers and climbers to the trails in Missouri Lakes are often crowded over weekends and holidays; but you are asked to remain on the trails at all times.
Missouri Lakes Basin is an area of lakes and streams, large glacial boulders and surrounded by forest and tundra. The Missouri Lakes Trail is around 12 km (~7.5 mi) to pass the four large lakes as well as many of the smaller ones. The first part of the trail rises gradually and runs through thick trees and meadows, and then the climb becomes more strenuous as you pass streams and waterfalls. After 4.8 km (3 mi), you reach the first of the lakes, the trail climbing steadily to Lower and Upper Missouri Lakes, at elevations of around 3,505 m (~11.500 ft). At these heights, you may see snow even in mid-summer. The trail continues up to Missouri Pass, where you can travel onwards into Cross Creek Basin, or return the same way.
The Holy Cross Wilderness Area in which the Missouri Lakes are set is, as the name suggests, a wilderness. Many hikers have ended up lost or with inadequate equipment and supplies if they encounter emergency conditions. Make sure you are well prepared before embarking on hiking in this area.