There are at least two bodies of water named Horseshoe Lake within a relatively short drive from Denver. This one is located in the Byers Peak Wilderness in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests. To get there and enjoy the Horseshoe Lake Trail, you'll need to take either US Highway 40 or Colorado Highway 9 to County Road 3, then continue along County Roads 30 and 302 to the Kinney Creek Trailhead. The only amenities at the trailhead are parking and an information kiosk. From there, you'll need to take the Kinney Creek Trail for about two miles to get to the 1.7-mile Horseshoe Lake Trail.
The rewards for finding your way to Horseshoe Lake are beautiful views and relative solitude along these lesser-traveled trails. There is much to delight both human and canine senses on your journey to the lake. Breathe deep along the way to take in the scents of the rich pine and spruce forests and note the unique land formations called cirques or corries. These bowl-like shapes were dug into the sides of mountains over many centuries by slowly receding glaciers. In the warmer months, your hike will be brightened by different species of wildflowers, including purple subalpine larkspur and golden aster.
Starting at the Kinney Creek Trailhead allows you to get to Horseshoe
Lake in 3.5 miles, making this quite doable as a day hike, including
drive time. However, if you're eager to linger a little longer in these
wilds and camp overnight, you can take a different route
to extend this to a twelve-mile round-trip hike. If you start at the Lake
Evelyn Trailhead, you'll follow a few
different creeks as you hike from one lake to the other. Anglers should note that fishing opportunities abound on this hike.
Whether you come here for the beauty, the adventure, or the solitude, you and your pup are sure to make great memories on your way to Horseshoe Lake.