Trip Reports: Exploring The Holy Cross Wilderness, Colorado - August 2017

In early August we set out into the Holy Cross Wilderness (in the Sawatch Range of Colorado generally between Vail and Leadville) for a 3-night backpack trek. We spent our first night at the super popular Missouri Lakes then explored an off trail route over a high ridgeline to a remote and pristine lake where we spent the second day and night. We spent our third night near Blodgett Lake before hiking back via Fancy Pass and Holy Cross City, completing an irregular loop through this beautiful wilderness area.

Colorado, Holy Cross Wilderness, Missouri Lakes, Sawatch Range, reflection, photo

After a rocking thunderstorm in the evening (including a deafening lightning strike within perhaps a hundred meters of our tent) we awoke to clear skies and sunrise light at Missouri Lakes.

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Colorado, Holy Cross Wilderness, Treasure Vault Lake, Sawatch Range, Missouri Pass, hiking, photo

Hiking over Missouri Pass with Treasure Vault Lake ahead. This area at the head of Cross Creek is a tundra paradise!

Colorado, Holy Cross Wilderness, Sawatch Range, photo

Looking down towards a remote alpine lake below rugged peaks deep in the Holy Cross Wilderness.

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Colorado, Holy Cross Wilderness, Sawatch Range, reflection, photo

Evening light reflects in this remote alpine lake. Some places like this are so pristine that it's obvious that people rarely visit. Whenever we camp in the backcountry (and especially in pristine places like this) we take great care to not pollute, trample, or leave any trace of our visit.

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Colorado, Holy Cross Wilderness, tent, wildflowers, Sawatch Range, photo

A flower garden above our third night's tent site.

Colorado, Holy Cross Wilderness, Sawatch Range, reflection, photo

Sunrise light on the peaks above Blodgett Lake.

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Colorado, Holy Cross Wilderness, Sawatch Range, photo

Morning light at some zen ponds on the tundra.

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Colorado, Fancy Pass, Holy Cross Wilderness, Treasure Vault Lake, Sawatch Range, photo

Looking back towards the head of the Cross Creek valley from Fancy Pass, with monsoon thunder clouds rolling in.

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Colorado, Fancy Pass, Holy Cross Wilderness, marmot, Sawatch Range, photo

A marmot peeks out from the rocks to see what's up with these humanoids hiking by.

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