Horsethief Canyon Trail

EASY 48 reviews
#17 of 84 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.

3.3 miles 547 feet 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!

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

This is an awesome hike. If you are reading this and debating GO NOW before the temps get high and the water goes away. We got there early and only saw a few other people. Some kids in another group were jumping into the water and having a great time. When we departed to head back up to the car, we ran across about 8 other groups coming down. So if you do not want to be crowded, get there early. Also, many groups had dogs off-leash, so just be aware of that if you are bringing your own pooch.

6 days ago

Beautiful hike!

hiking
14 days ago

Loved!

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1/29/17 So green and lots of water after all the rain we've had.

1 month ago

Went on Tuesday January 31st. When we got there we pulled up to the big dirt parking lot and were welcomed by a Golden Eagle!! Wow!!!!! The bird lovers in us jumped for joy! We proceeded down the truck trail and found the marker for the trail. It is easy to miss as it comes up quick. Thanks to info here, I found it easy. Going down the hill was nice. Shade from some trees as the sun was yet high enough. Make a right once you get to the valley floor. Keep going until you run right into the swimming hole. Wow!!!! We spent hours here!!! The water was full to the brim and it was an amazing sight. We jumped off the small cliffs into the water. Lost my beloved sunglasses, ha! A few horseback riders came along but no one else was there! The hike back up the hill sucked. But right as you start giving up you're back to the top. Love this hike!!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, very peaceful. The little creek had plenty of water! Was awesome to see!

1 month ago

1 month ago

I was a nice hike!:) the sight at the end was worth it!

2 months ago

2 months ago

Fun hike but the signage for this trail v Espinoza trail was slightly confusing. The only reason we knew we were on the right track is because of other messages left here (thanks)! We parked in the dirt parking lot. There are two trail areas- for this one follow the brown gated road way. A few minutes down there's a small sign on the right for the trail head. It's easy to miss! Easy going down but strenuous on way back (only about .5 mile up hill).

We had a fairly odd experience because as soon as we got down to the water hole, about two dozen gunshots went off. We screamed to notify the shooters that people and dog are nearby but they kept shooting. We promptly left and called to leave message with the ranger office. You never know who you will meet on a trail! It was a bummer to hike down there only to miss the water.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

wonderful family friendly hike!!

hiking
3 months ago

This hike is gorgeous!! Start in the parking lot and walk down the gated dirt road. The trail starts off to the right once you have walked a little ways down. Missed it the first time and walked about a mile too far on accident. The actual road if you keep walking has stunning views and makes for a great walk. Once we made it back to the trail, the first half is all downhill (uphill the way back!) then flattens out a bit. Ends at a relaxing and scenic watering hole and stream! Hiked this after a rainstorm so there was a lot of water. Went in 58 degree weather and it was perfect.

3 months ago