Missouri Pass / Fancy Pass Loop

This weekend a couple friends and I decided to go fishing in the Missouri Lakes region. After what seemed like a pretty long drive into the middle of nowhere, we hit a parking lot and realized just how popular this destination really is. There were at least 30 cars there and probably half or more were backpackers (vs day hikers).

We hiked the 3-4 miles up to Missouri Lake, set up tents, and spent the next 3-4 hours fishing. I didn’t get a single strike, although my friend had slightly better luck. The fish are really timid and weren’t interested in much of anything. According to one person we talked to, if you wanted to catch anything you needed to be using a spin rod. We spent the night (no camp fires allowed) and fished a couple hours the next morning with pretty much the same results. This time I got a few strikes but still didn’t catch anything.

Around noon we decided it was time to hike over Missouri Pass toward Treasure Lake. This area probably would have had more secluded camping as many people (us included) decided to camp among the Missouri lakes area. Once down the other side, we went back up through Fancy Pass and back down to Fancy Lake. We decided to stop and throw a line in and ended up having the best fishing of the whole trip. I think that area doesn’t see quite as many people fishing and as a result the fish were more willing to bite. I ended up catching 4 fish in the hour we stayed before hiking the rest of the way down to complete the loop and end up back at our car.

Over all it’s a great hike, the fishing isn’t so hot and the fact that you can’t have a campfire is kind of a bummer. The views are amazing and I can see why the trip draws so many backpackers. Not much seclusion to be had but still a very beautiful place to visit.



Beautiful spot to set up a tent!
Beautiful spot to set up a tent!


Not the best fishing, but tough to beat the view!


View of pass
Looking back from Fancy Pass


Between Missouri Pass and Fancy Pass


Coming back down Fancy Pass was a bit rough
Coming back down Fancy Pass was a bit rough