Horseshoe Lake Trail #23

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Trail Distance: 3.5 miles
Time Estimate: 5 hr +
Elevation Gain: 1400 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Hard
Parking: Free
Route Type: Out-and-back
Restroom: No
Description

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.

Trail Features
Forest, Lake, Wetland, Mountains, Grassland
Wildflowers, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
Make sure to pack and plan accordingly for this wilderness hike by bringing your own water, food, and emergency supplies.
Address
Kinney Creek Trailhead, Co Hwy 302
Parshall, CO 80468
Hours
Mon Open 24 Hours
Tue Open 24 Hours
Wed Open 24 Hours
Thu Open 24 Hours
Fri Open 24 Hours
Sat Open 24 Hours
Sun Open 24 Hours
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Address
Kinney Creek Trailhead, Co Hwy 302
Parshall, CO 80468
Hours
Mon Open 24 Hours
Tue Open 24 Hours
Wed Open 24 Hours
Thu Open 24 Hours
Fri Open 24 Hours
Sat Open 24 Hours
Sun Open 24 Hours