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Horsethief Falls

  4.0 ( 15 ) Favorite


2.9 mile 4.6 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 639' 195 m
Descent: -646' -197 m
High: 10,333' 3,150 m
Low: 9,711' 2,960 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)


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Trail shared by K Keiter

A mellow meander to Horsethief Falls.

K Keiter

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Pack the baby in the Kelty and lace up the older kids’ boots and head to the waterfall! Plus a chance to teach stewardship of pack in pack out.

Foot and horse trail. Motorized vehicles are prohibited.

Camping is permitted along the trail and is recommended 300’ from any trail or stream. Use no-impact camping techniques. Pack it in/Pack it out rule applies. Campfire permits are not required but please be sure your fire is dead out before you leave. Respect other trail users.


Abundantly used trail that leads to the cascading water of Horsethief Falls. The trail is easy to use year-round, but microspikes are a good idea near the falls after first freeze.

Need to Know

Directions: From Colorado Springs, take Hwy 24, through Woodland Park, to Divide. Turn south on Hwy 67. Drive 8 miles until you come to a tunnel. Parking is available on the other side of the tunnel. This is where the trail begins.


Take Horsethief Park Trail (#704) about 0.7 miles from the parking area to the first fork. This section of the trail is an abundantly used, spacious path with a slight incline that runs parallel to an Oil Creek tributary.

At the fork, continue straight to head to Horsethief Falls Trail (#704AA). There are no signs to follow at this point, but this is the transition to Pancake Rocks Trail (#704A). The footpath continues to be fairly easy and wide. You'll only be on this section of Pancake Rocks Trail (#704A) for about 0.2 miles before Pancake Rocks Trail (#704A) splits to the right. There will be signage at the junction.

At the junction, continue straight onto Horsethief Falls Trail (#704AA). The trail narrows and begins to meander through mixed pines as it gains slightly in elevation. Again, the path moves alongside the creek and starts to head toward the falls. Enjoy the sunlight streaming through the pines and climb alongside the rocks to enjoy the cascading of the water.

Flora & Fauna

Mule deer, woodpeckers, rabbits, blue spruce, limber pine, aspen, bristlecone pine.

History & Background

Horsethief Park is a valley long known as a hideout for cattle rustlers, tax evaders, and sundry other outlaws. Butch Cassidy and John Wesley Powell are among notorious travelers of the area.

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Jun 25, 2019
Deb Asher Lefforge
Jun 16, 2019
Sam Taylor
Apr 19, 2019
Logan Shaver
Jan 25, 2019
Ralph Dieck
nice day w/ wife & dog 2.9mi
Jan 20, 2019
Pamela Lyles
Aug 30, 2018
Michelle Sieglaff
Aug 5, 2018
Tyler Harding
Jul 28, 2018
Jeff G

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 15 votes


  4.0 from 15 votes
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in Colorado


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3,789 Since Sep 24, 2015



Oil Creek Tributary alongside Horsethief Park Trail
Nov 19, 2017 near Cripple…, CO
At the falls
Jul 2, 2015 near Cripple…, CO
Frozen Horsethief Falls
Nov 20, 2017 near Cripple…, CO
Tipi Survival Shelter
Nov 21, 2017 near Cripple…, CO
Well-trodden trail, even in the snow!
Nov 21, 2017 near Cripple…, CO
Lower part of the falls full of debris and iced over.
Nov 21, 2017 near Cripple…, CO


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