Horseshoe Lake Trail

EASY 92 reviews
#2 of 19 trails in

Horseshoe Lake Trail is a 2.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Denali National Park, Alaska that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September.

2.1 miles
393 feet

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


no dogs

1 month ago

Love this trail. Easy enough for the little ones. Well groomed trail, with many educational opportunities as well. We loved learning about the beavers and seeing their hard work. If you’re lucky there will be moose out eating in the lake.

2 months ago

Highly recommend this loop trail for a gentle introduction to the park. I can only imagine how busy it is in the summer, but we had it all to ourselves. Saw beaver noses and enjoyed the views and getting to walk along the Nenana River. Also 4 willow ptarmigans.

3 months ago

A bit difficult incline for seniors. A lot of steps to climb but well worth the view. There is a bench at the top of the steps on your way out so you can stop and rest. We did not do the loop, we hiked back out the way we came in.

4 months ago

Wonderful easy walk around a significant beaver habitat. Great with children.

4 months ago

Really nice trail. We saw our first wild Moose at the lake. It was so close. We sat there for a bit while the Moose was having its lunch.

4 months ago

Fun little trail good for almost anyone.

The trail head is at the railroad tracks on the Park Road. That throws some people off when the bus drops them off there but don't be discouraged. Walk along the tracks for about 75 yards and you come to the real start to the trail. It's just across the track. From there a short uphill takes you to the gradual decline into the lake area and then the stunning lake. Look for moose in the lake but be careful to keep your distance and don't get between mom and baby.

The path takes you along the banks of the Nenana River too where you can build your own cairn and eventually loops back around the lake. Trains come through at the top of the canyon often but they don't scare the beavers at all.

Wonderful and easy. Have fun.

4 months ago

Easy hike after long day in park. Beautiful views!!! Really enjoyed watching the beaver working on his dam.

4 months ago

Omg talk about spectacular! This hike was amazing! Pretty easy trail with an intense incline at the beginning (and end if you do the loop) & the views are amazing! We passed several moose... a female standing in the water grazing paying no attention to us. It’s pretty surreal to realize how small you are when surrounded by the sheer size of the mountains. I would do this hike frequently if I lived in the area.

5 months ago

Easy hike. Great way to see the wildlife without venturing too far into the park. Moose, birds, and beaver.

5 months ago

Easy trail. We saw beavers and mooses. The lake is beautiful!

5 months ago

Easy hike with great views. Will likely see beavers and moose even though it’s a busy trail usually.

10 months ago


11 months ago

Great little year round hike. Did it in Jan, -20s temps. The lake is frozen in the winter and you can walk on parts of it. Most stunning is the opening along the Nenana River—bright water against the snow covered banks and mountain views.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Beautiful hike!! SO worth the drive:)

Sunday, September 03, 2017

It's an easy hike. Fun for kids. Lots of beaver dams and squirrels along the trail. Lake is unbelievably clear. Suggest doing it if you have the time on your trip to Alaska!

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Extremely easy loop, not much to it. The lake is gorgeous and the occasional beaver may peek it's way out from its dam.

I recommend combining this hike with a few of the others in the area; like the roadside or maybe even MT Healy.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Easy trail with very nice views of the Nenana.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Beautiful views. Worth doing

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

great warm up hike. beautiful setting. watched a muskrat having breakfast and a collared pika.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Saw one mama moose and her two twin babies. Very easy and I took my time overall an hour long. The shuttle buses are on time :)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Nice little hike. Saw moose and her two baby calves.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Great little trail if you are short on time like us. Saw 5 beavers and heard a bull moose call.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

A moderate trail. Some good sized up hills on the way back. Pretty view of some lakes. Pretty crowded place.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Loved this hike! It actually has one very steep section to it. You can hike all the way around the lake. Gorgeous scenery and vistas.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Very beautiful and easy trail.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

great spot to observe beavers

Monday, September 05, 2016

Ok trail. VERY Accessible. Has boardwalks too to keep out of the marshy pond. Trail track listed here is misleading you can hike entire way around the lake. lots of beavers our working on their dams and there is actually a train crossing during the first 1/4 mile of the trail. Time if around 1630 to see the AKRR cut through.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Breathtaking picturesque views of the pond with the mountain backdrop. Go slow and take it all in... Nice boardwalk section, river section and tons of geologically interesting things to see if you take the full loop... Go see the beaver dam then take the rest of the trail.. Don't just turn around and go back up.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Lovely views and great opportunities to see wildlife-including beaver, a variety of ducks and moose.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

short but great little hike, beaver ponds and moose sightings.

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