Backpack the High Alpine Seven Sisters Lake Chain

Rate this Adventure 12 miles 1000 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Ryan Gasper

Explore these 7 high alpine ladies that infamously go by the name of the Seven Sisters Lakes.

This lake chain is in a spectacular, undeveloped bowl of jagged and rugged mountain goodness located in the Holy Cross Wilderness Area. This hidden gem is easily accessible and, to my amazement, it is relatively unheard of even among many locals. More wonderful perks included in this backpacking endeavor include the fact that there are no campsites or developed trails to restrict you while exploring this beautiful area. The possibilities are endless for all skill levels of adventurers. You could use this area to either do a day hike or take an overnight trip to wander aimlessly from lake to lake.

You can start hiking up the jeep trail on the way to Holy Cross City (see driving directions below). This will be a steep ascent for about 1,000 feet until you reach the end of the jeep trails about 2-3 miles in. From there, a trail deviates to the right and the trail continues into the Seven Sisters Lake Chain for about 3 miles or so. You do gain elevation but it is gradual and spectacular.

You will see Hunkey Dory Lake and a Holy Cross Wilderness sign within 15-30 minutes of leaving the jeep trails. The hiking trail ends about 3-4 miles in and lets loose into this mountain bowl that contains the Seven Sisters - let the off-trail navigation begin.

At this point you have already reached the Seven Sisters. Hike, roam and camp where you please within the mountain bowl and explore all that these sisters have to offer. Off trail navigation is super straight forward - you are above treeline and have little chance of getting lost due to the massive jagged peaks that confine you to the small bowl that holds these lakes.

Getting there: Proceed 12 miles on Hwy. 24 to Homestake Road #703. Turn right and travel 8 miles onHomestake Road to the Holy Cross City jeep road #759. Park here and walk about 2 miles up the road to the trailhead. NOTE: This jeep road is very rough and should not be attempted unless you have a 4WD with a winch.

Take the junction 727 dirt road that's between I70 and Leadville and follow that all the way to Missouri Lakes Trailhead, then continue right onto Homestake Road. Homestake will take you up a dirt road to the east where you will see a big black pipeline of sorts on your left, eventually crossing a substantial river as well. There are many pull-offs where you can park but the ideal destination is a unmarked parking lot that feeds an intense jeep trail. A basic 4 wheel drive car should handle these roads just fine. If you can find this lot you will be saving yourself some walking time. The jeep trail ascent into Holy Cross City begins around 9,400 feet and this undeveloped lot cuts off the jeep road at around 10,400 feet.

Read More

Tags

Survival
Chillin
Camping
Fishing
Photography
Swimming
Backpacking
Hiking
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Groups
Lake
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Leadville, Colorado

Camp Hale Memorial

Overview Camp Hale Memorial Campground sits at an elevation of 9,200 feet, offering guests a wonderful setting for recreation and relaxation. Camp Hale is historic because the 10th Mountain Divisio...

Leadville, Colorado

Camp Hale East Fork Group

Overview Located in the wide-open spaces of a lush green valley near the headwaters of the Eagle River and East Fork Eagle River, Camp Hale East Fork is the ideal spot for large group camping. The ...

Turquoise Lake Road

Father Dyer

Overview Father Dyer Campground is situated on the eastern shore of Turquoise Lake in the shade of a lodgepole pine and subalpine fir forest. The family-friendly campground is a popular summer dest...

Turquoise Lake Road

Molly Brown

Overview Named after the "unsinkable" Molly Brown on the Titanic, Molly Brown Campground, on the eastern shore of Turquoise Lake, sits in a shaded lodgepole pine forest. The campground is ideal for...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike to Fancy Pass

    The Fancy Pass Trail near Red Cliff is an excellent option for those looking to experience hiking in the rugged and pristine conditions of a wilderness area. This 6 mile roundtrip trail will take you into the Holy Cross Wilderness and up close and...

    6 miles 2373 ft gain

  • Climb Mount of the Holy Cross, North Ridge

    Just a few miles South Minturn, Colorado, turn onto Tigiwon Road (dirt) and take it about 5 miles to the Half Moon trailhead at . Tigiwon Road is easily accessed by 2WD vehicles and the trailhead should be reachable in the Summer months after the ...

  • Hike to Tuhare Lakes

    Overview: About a 12 mile hike, with 3 alpine lakes, a significant climb and views worthwhile Photos: See all photos here. Getting There: The hike is accessed from the Half Moon pass parking lot - from the Fall Creek trailhead. The parking lot and...

    12 miles 3000 ft gain

  • Scramble the Halo Ridge on Mt. Holy Cross

    The Halo Ridge is by no means the easiest route to the summit of Mt. Holy Cross, but it is definitely the most interesting and scenic. You'll begin at the Half Moon (Tigiwon) trailhead, but instead of the popular Halfmoon Trail, you will start on ...

    15 miles 5210 ft gain

  • Inspire Your Fall Aspen Trip!

    Autumn days in Aspen are filled with sunshine and nights with crisp cool air. Watch the mountains and valleys turn gold with the changing Aspen trees. Take in the scenery while enjoying scenic drives, hiking through forests, road biking, and exploring our IMBA Gold Level Ride Center recognized mountain bike trails. 




    Learn More