Horn Peak Trail

HARD 4 reviews
#77 of 106 trails in

Horn Peak Trail is a 6.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Westcliffe, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.9 miles
2644 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips



wild flowers


5 months ago

Wonderful and strenuous hike just outside of Westcliffe. The peak is 10 miles round trip from the Trailhead including sections of the Rainbow trail that lead to the actual Horn Peak trail. Extremely steep in several sections, including the first mile or so of the Horn Peak trail, as well as the climb just beyond the tree line. As you exit the tree line, continue about 100m and any evidence of the trail will seem to end. Look left directly toward the ridge line and you will see a cairn marking the way. Make your way to the ridge and watch your footing as you hug the south side of the ridge going to the peak. Many sections of scrambling/crawling with no evidence of a trail. Enjoy the reward of beautiful views at the top and as always keep an eye towards the sky and don't get caught above the tree line if severe weather moves in. Elevation gain from the trailhead to peak is 4580'.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

I attempted the hike and but was only able to get as high as the tree line. I hiked this in late September of this year.This was the first time I had attempted a hike like this. I took several rest breaks which cut into my availabe daylight hence requiring forgoing the rest of the climb. The first part of the trail is rather steep and composed of loose rock, dirt, and gravel, making it the most difficult portion of my assent to the treeline. After this part of the trail, the rest of the assent was relatively much less challenging as the trail undergoes a few switchbacks and some varying ups and downs. I am 57 yrs old and overpacked somewhat. I used about 2 gallons of water for the round trip and ate several times along the trail. About 1000 to 1200 calories were consumed. All this to say that this os not an easy decent but not impossible for a person in decent shape. I would not tey it if I had no hiking experience. I saw no significant wildlife but did see several deposits of bear scat on the trail itself. Take precautions.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

This is a challenging hike with a significant elevation gain. The trail is very well maintained and is relatively easy until you reach tree line. The only reason I gave the hike a 4 is because I don't care for trails that were likely old roads or ATV trails. There are 2 long sections like that. They are comprised of small rocks and medium sized rocks, none of which are stable. This wasn't a problem going up but made for a rough descent with danger of slipping. The next part of the trail goes through a forested area and is really beautiful. Above tree line, the hike is especially difficult. Tree line is at about 11,700 feet. From there, it feels like it is straight up. Once you come over that peak, the ridge is a series of scrambles which are easy compared to the ascent from tree line. The views from this peak are spectacular and worth the effort. I would NOT recommend this hike to an amateur hiker. Given the elevation gain and length of the hike, I think this hike was harder than the Class 1 & 2 fourteeners that I have done. It may be worth noting that this hike took me significantly longer to complete than most similar hikes I have done. Keep this in mind when packing food and water.

6 months ago