Horsethief Canyon Trail

EASY 77 reviews
#16 of 86 trails in

Horsethief Canyon Trail is a 3.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Alpine, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
547 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

This is a great, short hike down to a small swimming hole surrounded by rocks. There is some shade on the trail, but not much. When we were there (early June 2012) the water at the deepest came up to my neck. When you look on google maps Satellite view, the pool is dried out so it doesn't look like there is water year round. The hike started from a parking lot, down a dirt road and then you make a right onto the trail that takes you down about 400 ft to the water. Be sure to bring water for the hike out, as there is little shade and it's all up. However, as soon as you feel like you've had enough, you're already at the top and it's a flat walk back to the car. Pack a picnic and plan to hang out! The water feels great and there are plenty of rocks to sun yourself on. Enjoy!

26 seconds ago

6 days ago

9 days ago

Nice easy hike with a beautiful reward at the end.

9 days ago

Nice easy hike with a beautiful reward at the end.

9 days ago

Nice easy hike with a beautiful reward at the end.

hiking
12 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

13 days ago

A fantastic hike and the end is so relaxing. Great day!

16 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

The water hole at the end is a beautiful oasis!!! Cant wait to go back.

19 days ago

nature trips
24 days ago

Beautiful hike! Easy enough for beginners and smaller children. We brought our two year old in a carrier with minimal difficulty. The end of the trail is a gorgeous little waterfall and a lazy river. Kids brought an inner tube and had fun for hours!

hiking
25 days ago

Horsethief Canyon >> Esparanza trail. Beautiful hike and great trail! Signage is minimal, but sufficient. Read the map at the car park. Two concerns: Border patrol agents clash with border crashers in this area & the 547ish foot elevation change is a drop. About 85% is within the first 3/4 mile making it a short, challenging hike out, rough and dry in the heat. May consider stashing water along the climb next time. Or a rock.

Thanks to the recent record-breaking wet season (2016/17), the creek was flowing and the watering hole was quite full. I had the entire place to myself for hours. Brilliant. Animals kept themselves scarce save birds, dragonflies, waterskeeters, frogs & lizards. The water was fantastic, clean and cool.

(A third concern, biting flies on the steep part of the trail ;-)~

hiking
25 days ago

First thing we hear when we get out of the car is a rattlesnake. Had to be cautious the whole hike but overall fun little hike to reach some cool water

28 days ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

This is NOT an easy hike.

1 month ago

1 month ago