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Little Horseshoe Park Trail

Intermediate
 3.8 (4)

Amble along Horseshoe Park's western edge to glimpse elk and sheep in this scenic meadow.


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Map Key

2.2

Miles

3.5

KM

Point to Point

8,715' 2,656 m

High

8,522' 2,597 m

Low

200' 61 m

Up

108' 33 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

7%

Max Grade (4°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildlife

Description

This is a mellow trail has several access points making it a convenient choice for wildlife viewing. It can be traveled as an out and back or done in sections.

From the Lawn Lake trailhead, take the short path leading northeast from the parking area and immediately turn right (southeast) to join the Little Horseshoe Park Trail. You can also start the Little Horseshoe Park Trail from the first switchback of the Lawn Lake Trail.

The Little Horseshoe Park Trail soon crosses highway 34 (Fall River Road) and turns southwest, away from Sheep Lakes. Now in Horseshoe Park proper, it is easy to appreciate the wonderful views of peaks and valleys in all directions. Cross the serpentine Fall River and follow the western edge of the meadow. This U-shaped valley was scraped out and formed by a 500-foot thick glacier.

The trail begins a gentle ascent and enters a forest near the West Horseshoe Park parking area. At the high point of the trail, cross two branches of Hidden Valley Creek and then pop out onto a dirt road. To complete the trail, hike on the dirt road for only a very short distance, before picking up the trail again on the left (north) side of the road. Continue in a southeasterly direction and enter a large clearing. Skirt the northern edge of this clearing until the trail ends at an intersection with the Aspenglen Campground Loop Trail.

Historical note: from 1917 to 1960, a lodge, restaurant, gas station, an observation tower, and a ski run were situated at Deer Junction. The ski run started on Deer Mountain and ended in Little Horseshoe Park. Once the park service bought the property in 1960, all these structures were removed.

Flora & Fauna

Elk, big horn sheep, deer. Aspens.

Contacts

Shared By:

Megan W

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 4 votes

#21366

Overall
  3.8 from 4 votes
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Trail Rankings

#1,661

in Colorado

#21,366

Overall
5 Views Last Month
1,881 Since Jul 13, 2015
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Photos

Bull Elk at Sheep Lake/Horseshoe Park
Jan 18, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
Perfect reflection.
Feb 9, 2015 near Estes Park, CO
Great views from Horseshoe Park
Jul 14, 2015 near Estes Park, CO
Sunset near Bighorn Crossing in Rocky Mountain National Park
Jul 14, 2015 near Estes Park, CO
Horsehoe Park looking at Chapin Mountain, Mount Chiquita, and Mount Ypsilon
May 5, 2015 near Estes Park, CO

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Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jan 16, 2021
Donald Blake
2h 08m
Aug 4, 2020
Bobby Whitehead
Oct 20, 2018
Edwin Ruis
We got a little lost. 3.9mi
Jun 10, 2017
Eric Pierce
Aug 7, 2016
Paul Harrison
Jul 9, 2016
Mack McCleskey
No river crossing. 1mi — 3h 50m