Trail # 1349. The Lakes of the Clouds trail follows Swift Creek for about four miles to the lowest lake. Another access (favored by horse back riders) is the Short Creek trail. This trailhead is about another mile north of Swift Creek as you follow the Rainbow trail. This trail has a lot less rocks and is a longer but gentler climb than the Swift Creek trail. The lowest lake is about 4 miles from the trailhead at the Rainbow Trail and Swift Creek. The trail is easy for hiking, and 4.2 miles in length. These trails are in the Sangre de Christo Wilderness area.
Access via Gibson Creek….from Westcliffe; follow Highway 69 north to CR #170, follow this dirt road about 5 miles and turn left at the Forest Service sign for Gibson Ck.. Take a right at the next sign and you’ll be on CR #172, follow this to the end of the road (about 3 miles) to get to the Gibson Ck parking area. The access trail to the Rainbow is on the north end of the parking area and goes west about 200 yards until it meets with the Rainbow Trail. The Lakes of the Clouds trailhead (junction with Rainbow Trail) is 1 mile north.