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This trail was an awesome, snowy workout. I could potentially rate it a 5 after another visit, but with the sky dumping buckets of snow there was just no view, so I couldn’t get the whole picture. The snow sure made for its own beautiful spectacle, though, 6-8+ inches on the ground and snowing during the whole hike. We worked counterclockwise, and parts of the ascent were a bit slippery and tricky in the snow. The decent was very gradual and easy breezy, quite picturesque. We saw maybe 15 people during the 2 hours, 45 minutes it took us, which is unusual for this normally very popular spot. All in all, the views may have been nonexistent in the snowstorm, but it’s definitely worth it for a great workout and general good time.

trail running
4 days ago

First time on this trail this afternoon. Nice trail, a few mildly interesting spots and a bit of a view right before the falls. Even without any mind blowing highlights, there is pretty complete immersion in nature. Was a bit icy in spots... I didn’t have any traction devices and my dog and I were just fine, but bring some kind of spikes if you aren’t comfortable on ice. There are still plenty of decent foot placements that aren’t solid ice if your eyes are open, but I’m sure many would appreciate spikes. I’m wondering how this’ll be in late winter/spring though... yikes!

Some mention they recorded the trail as longer than 6.3 miles, but my gps recorded it at 6.2 miles, 1440 ft of ascent, and it didn’t feel any longer than that to me.

beautiful place to be! the trail is beautiful with plenty of things to see. BE AWARE: there are wildfire midigators working around the trail and in the forest. they are there M-F from 8 am to about 3:30 pm they do a good job keeping everyone in mind but just be aware if you are sondering they could probably use a heads up! currently they are over by HP.

Trail is indeed open and lovely!

Beautiful trail, especially in the snow!

Beautiful but definitely a challenge. If you are visiting, bring water and be prepared for climbing up on rocks. Waterfall was lovely even though it’s not a lot of water. But considering it hasn’t rained, it was such a treat to hear any water. Loved it.

Open today! Lots of people hiking. Gorgeous as always.

For beauty, challenge, trail head access I give it 5 stars. For speeding, inconsiderate and sometimes dangerous mountain bikers I give it a zero. Especially if you bring your dogs please watch for bikers.

A fun run and nice variety of trails for mountain biking/trail running of different skill levels.

Anyone know if it’s still closed?

Beautiful view of the Broadmoors 7 falls and zip lining course

Great payoff for the short hike!

hiking
22 days ago

If you're looking for an easy hike, this isn't it. Almost the entire way to the falls is uphill & there are several parts of the trail that are narrow (1 person wide). It is doable for beginners, but it will be pretty difficult. Tread carefully & watch your step. Wear good hiking shoes if you plan on going to the top. Bring some snacks like Clif bars & plenty of water/Gatorade.

Beautiful views of nature throughout the hike (especially when you get higher up), and it wasn't overpopulated like a lot of touristy places are. You will be immersed in nature. We noticed a bunch of small Brook Trout swimming in the stream that leads up to the falls, which was the only sign of wildlife we saw on our trek. Once you get to St. Mary's Falls, there will be a waterfall on a steep slab rock. I wouldn't say it is "magnificent", but it's still quite pretty. There are some rock stairs that lead you up to a sitting area of log benches and a better position to look at the falls. Our group went in mid-October, so it was significantly colder when we reached the top. The temperature when we got to the parking lot was high 60's, but when we reached St. Mary's Falls there was snow on the ground! If you go later in the year, bring a sweatshirt or jacket. When the sun went down behind the mountains, it also got significantly cooler.

One thing we did notice is the trail is longer than 6.3 miles, which was mentioned by some other reviewers. There's a part on the trail with a sign that states the falls are 1.7 miles away, but it's actually closer to 2.4 miles away. We clocked the total hike (there & back) as over 7.5 miles. There might be some discrepancies between our mileage and other hikers' mileages, but regardless it's definitely longer than 6.3 miles.

Despite being in pain for a large portion of the hike, I enjoyed this hike overall & would do it again. (Next time I will bring better hiking shoes!)

This was a very nice trail with beautiful views at the top. We clocked it as closer to 6.7 to 6.9 miles. The last part is fairly steep. The water flow was low, but there was a bit of ice around the falls which made it very pretty. We did not encounter too many people on the actual trail up to the falls. Most turned off and went the Seven Bridges route.

hiking
23 days ago

beautiful short hike. I went early to get parking and was happy that the trail was fairly empty. there are a few steep drop off on the trail but totally navigable. views at the top are great.

Great moderate trail.

A step trail up and over the falls. Very pretty and if you want to hike longer there are many more trails close.

The dog restriction is unfortunate but was bound to happen. We would frequently hike out dog poop that others had left behind on this trail. To add insult to injury, the town didn’t have any disposal bins at the trailhead, so often times we would have to drive into town to dispose of the waste properly...that certainly didn’t help matters, I’m sure. I wish there was a way to punish the irresponsible dog owners and not all of all of us (some poop cams following by some social media shaming?) because this is bound to happen on all of our trails. If the city willing to spend money to have police officers patrol the trail, then please ticket the people not following the rules instead of punishing all of us. It’s frustrating to the good dog owners out here who are cleaning up after the bad ones.

Did this trail with the family while carrying the young ones in packs. Wife had a difficult go up the first 1/4-1/2 mile but once it leveled out it was very pretty and would love to finish the pancake rocks portion sometime! Trail was clean, well marked and in good shape. I think moderate is a good classification

This trail was OPEN yesterday-rough ascent and descent due to steep incline and trail conditions but worth it for views at top. Palmer lake police were patrolling it to enforce no dogs rule.

hiking
1 month ago

A mostly easy climb, occasional sheer cliff-face with some washout. Beautiful views of Colorado springs, Seven falls and the surrounding mountains. Highly recommend an early hike for low temps and striking photography light.

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of my favorite hikes yet. You get beautiful views of the city and mountains. There is a cute area at the top that would be great for a picnic. There are a few narrow areas so just be careful with the kiddos.

Not the most spectacular falls by any means, but an average hike with some elevation gain. Heavy traffic with familes and dogs on a narrow trail most of the way. If you're up for the challenge and more miles I highly suggest continuing up to Mt. Rosa for some beautiful views.

hiking
1 month ago

Response to post below concerned about little boys carving names in teepee on Horse Thief Falls trail: I was there yesterday, saw the teepee and several marks made by past hikers. The teepee is not sacred, looks like it was made by someone with some time on their hands, using dead wood from the surrounding area.

Carving names into something that's not alive, nor an artifact, is not akin to harming live trees. One could make the same argument about whomever built the teepee in the first place. Shouldn't that person have been equally aghast about that?

I'm glad she didn't scold the mom in front of her little boys. We all have personal opinions and are usually better off keeping them to ourselves. Rating the trail as a 4 due solely to a personal reaction to someone else's behavior is no reflection on the quality of the trail. It is lovely and serene!

While not evident at first glance, the trail continues beyond the series of falls for a while. Absolutely beautiful!

9/15/18: CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Trail closed due to erosion. No repairs are in progress. The gate blocking the road is closed and they placed tons of barbed wire as a deterrent as well.

Really enjoyed this as a loop w/ my 6 month old puppy. Do the loop counter clockwise- that way you hit the steep stuff going uphill and downhill is a gentle slope if you have a dog and don’t want the trail to be too hard on their joints going downhill

This trail is indeed closed for repair.

I do love this trail and am sad that it is closed due to erosion. It was my daily go to hike for a quick way to get out of doors. As for the folks that are condemning this trail because of the No Dogs Allowed policy, that is something you can blame on irresponsible dog owners. The town folk are not dog haters and there were plenty of warnings prior to the move to forbid dogs on this trail stating that people need to clean up after their furry friends or they would not be allowed. I've seen this time and time again on numerous trails where people don't pick up after their dogs and in this case, it is not only an unsightly and smelly problem, but it is bad for this environment particularly given that these reservoirs feed the town of Palmer Lake their water. Would you want someone's dog pooping near your water supply and the owners just leaving it there? Seriously, if everyone would take responsibility for packing out whatever they take in, things would be so much more pleasant for all.

You need a 4x4 , wrangler, SUV or truck to get to this trailhead. I am sure this is a 5-Star hike but we had to turn around since we were driving a hybrid rental car. The trail description does not mention this very important fact (about getting to the trailhead on a very rutted, narrow and rocky road). Travel safe!

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