Missouri Lakes Trailhead


Range: Sawatch Range
Coordinates: 39.39008, -106.47055
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Road Difficulty

2WD, rough dirt road 2   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)

Driving Directions

From Minturn, drive approx. 11 miles south on Highway 24 OR from Leadville, drive approx. 19 miles north on Highway 24. Turn west onto Homestake Road (dirt). Drive nearly 8 miles and turn right onto the Missouri Creek road. Continue 2.25 miles to reach the Fancy Lake TH on your right and turn left to reach the Missouri Lakes TH. 4WD vehicles can pass through the TH parking area and continue (easy 4WD) 0.6 mile to reach an unmarked 4WD parking area along Missouri Creek. If you drive to this point, reach the trail by crossing the creek and walking about 50 yards up a hill.

Winter Access

Closed far below the trailhead.
Status Updates 
Posted By: kempenjn
Info: Shortly after Holy Cross City 4x4 road, snowpack increases significantly. 4wd / awd highly recommended.
Posted By: Chicago Transplant
Info: Note: The FS is replacing the culvert at French Creek on the main Homestake Road, which is before the turnoff to Missouri Lakes between 9/20 and 10/1. They will be constructing a bypass for the work zone, but expect possible delays:
Posted By: Chicago Transplant
Info: It’s open again, the flood damage at French Creek is filled with gravel and shouldn’t give anyone any issues. 70 cars at 9.30am, and 91 at 1.30 pm... yes I walked up the road and counted them all. Stretched over a quarter mile from the trailhead.

I was hosting the trailhead for my wilderness volunteer group and about half the groups I talked to were packing in, that is a lot of campers. No limits (yet), so all I can do is encourage LNT as best I can, tell everyone to set up 100’ from trails and water, not have fires and hope for the best.

FS law enforcement officer hung out with me for a bit, didn’t have to ticket anyone for blocking the road but was checking it. Hopefully seeing him led people to take my advice more seriously about LNT
Posted By: JasonKline
Info: My Hyundai Ioniq made it to the 2WD trailhead no problem. The road to the 4WD trailhead is now clear of snow as well.
Posted By: adrenalated
Info: Save one large puddle, the road to the 2WD trailhead is clear and dry, passable by any vehicle with average ground clearance. The 4WD road has been plowed and is full of many large puddles, which will get deeper as snow continues to melt. The road is somewhat rough but not a real 4WD road; any SUV with moderate clearance (think Subaru Outback) will have no issues reaching the 4x4 trailhead.
Posted By: martinleroux
Info: Homestake Road (FS703) is now only open from May 21 to Nov 22. The rest of the time it’s gated and closed at US 24.
Posted By: brerrabbit
Info: Clear to the dam although the 4WD trailhead starts before the end of the road if you are attempting Savage. There’s a fair bit of puddles although they are not very deep and I didn’t see any hidden significant rocks in the puddles. A subaru outback made it to the 4WD TH without difficulty with care in just a few spots.
Posted By: brerrabbit
Info: Snow starting ~0.4 miles into the turnoff from US 24 onto Homestake road. There were tire tracks in the snow but since there were ~7.5 miles left just to the turnoff for Missouri Creek Road we decided to switch to a secondary objective.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Open
Posted By: Wildernessjane
Info: We were able to get 1.1 miles up the 4WD road. I think with the warm weather someone could get all the way to the end of the road by now. There were about half a dozen pools of standing water 4-6 inches deep on the 4WD road.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Open and dry
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Homestake (FS 703) road is open but the Missouri Lakes road is current blocked by snow after 1.3 miles from the Homestake junction.
Posted By: TravelingMatt
Info: See entry for French Creek (spoiler alert: closed for season).
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Open and dry. Drove the extra 0.6 mile to the 4WD which shortens the approach by 1/2 mile. To avoid having to cross the creek on foot, we drove across and parked just below the trail intersection - no problem.
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