Horsethief Falls Trail
casual, relaxing, getaway day hike…
A getaway day with my hiking girlfriends. A beautiful sunny day in May and snow had fallen the night before. Off we went wondering what we were in for.
How much snow is up there tucked in between the tall aspens and dense forest found on this trail, known for its deeply shaded areas? It’s always a mystery in the spring in Colorado!
We found a bit of snow in some areas and clear warm sun in others. Quite alluring, beautiful. The recent snow must have kept some hikers away, it was quiet. This hiking area can become busy with many outdoor enthusiasts.
Several trails lead off this hike, popular “Pancakes Rocks” and “Horsethief Park Trail”, giving you a choice of doing a relaxing getaway day or a challenging day.
You’ll begin on a slight accent through a couple switchbacks and soon level off to a gentle well maintained and marked trail. A small creek trickles down the side of the trail and several beaver ponds can be seen through the trees.
Just before reaching the falls, we came upon a few stick teepees someone made, a few hikers about with their dog buddies and visitors from out-of-state.
Springtime is everywhere, continuous bird song, lots of busy squirrels, all excited for the new season. Just before reaching the falls, the trees open up, warm sun shines down on us and the snow has melted.
You will notice old barb wire fences scattered here and there alongside the trail and legend or true “colorful history” says…
Horsethief Falls trail and Park received its name from thieves who lived here in the early mining days and stole horses from the miners camps and hid them near the Falls.
After reaching the falls, you can’t help but take a moment and just take it all in.
The trail is located on the backside of Pikes Peak and is popular for snowshoeing in winter. If new to snowshoeing this is a great trail to get started.
Horsethief Falls is not a large waterfall by any means, but as always, in Colorado something about the surroundings brings out the giddy, happy place in your heart.
A trail you want to be prepared for with appropriate hiking gear for any weather conditions.
This trail to the falls is a 2.6 mile out and back, rated moderate. It’s seems moderate for a very short ways then becomes quite easy.
Great getaway adventure for the kiddos, dogs, tourists, and those new to higher altitude hikes.
An easy get-to hike. Located near Divide, CO off of Hwy 67, go about 8 miles towards Cripple Creek, CO. Just past the closed Little Ike Tunnel, on the left you will see a parking lot. Usually filled with many vehicles.
TIP: You can continue hiking beyond the falls on a not so traveled trail, unknown to most people, leading up from the left side of the falls. You might want to take a peek… but please tread lightly and stay on the trail.
Leashed dog and horse friendly
2.6 mile out and back
Elevation: Starting at about 9800 ft. with minimal gain to the falls
Pike National Forest
Deep shaded trail, notorious for cold in winter, be prepared
A favorite snowshoe and cross-country ski area
Owning a pair of snowshoes is like having hiking boots, you’ll get out there more!
A GENTILE REMINDER: Venturing off trails damages vegetation, leads to erosion and impacts wildlife.