Lakes of the Clouds Trail #1349

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.

At a Glance

Fees: No fee is charged
Open Season: June
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions: difficult/moderate
Water: No drinking water provided
Restroom: No outhouse
Information Center:

USGS Topo Map
Beckwith Mtn, CO
Electric Peak, CO

General Information


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.


Day Hiking


Horse Riding

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
4.2 Miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
9,200 Feet - 11,500 Feet