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From the Gibson Creek Trailhead, walk northwest on a trail past private residences to intersect the Rainbow Trail or find whatever access is currently provided to the Rainbow Trail. Head north on the Rainbow and after about .7 mile, you should come to the well-marked intersection for the Lakes of the Clouds trail turning west (left). Older maps like the USGS quad will not show this trail. The USGS quad does show a trail to the lakes on the north side of Swift Creek, but it is not necessary to go to that trail. The trail starts out more like an old roadbed that's large rocks and ruts. Follow the trail on the south side of Swift Creek 2.25 miles, crossing Swift Creek at about 10,100 ft. to its north side along the way and intersect the trail on the north side of Swift Creek at about 10,700 ft. Shortly above here is a good campsite. Continue another 1.3 miles west and southwest to the lakes. Take a nice break. Stronger hikers can reach this location in about 2 hours from the TH. There are excellent campsites at the lakes, some of which are used by pack-horse groups. In the earlier part of the summer, expect mosquitoes.
From the lakes, continue walking SW to the third lake where the distinct trail will play out and plot a course south toward an upper basin with the 12,226 elevation marker on the USGS quad, hiking up steep, grassy slopes and passing through lower willows. In this upper basin, there's something that resembles a lateral moraine you can follow for a while aiming for an even higher tundra-covered basin above 12,400 feet. At whatever point you choose, aim for the SE ridge coming off Silver Peak and hike up steeper, mostly tundra slopes to that ridge. In earlier season and depending on snowfall for that year, an ice axe and micro spikes could prove useful on this approach. Once on the ridge, follow it NW to the easy summit, about 1.5 hours from the third lake. As always with peaks on the central spine of the Sangre de Cristo, enjoy the magnificent view both east and west. From here, we highly recommend that you at least add UN13,490 (Cotton King Peak) to your agenda for the day. If you choose not to, your round trip hike back to the trailhead will be 11.5 miles with about 4,400 feet of gain. If you add on Cotton King, that will add a little over 2 more miles of hiking and at least another 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Round trip time for this hike including both summits was about 9-10 hours for us.