Horseshoe Lake Trail

HARD 12 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Horseshoe Lake Trail is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Parshall, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, fishing, and backpacking and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.2 miles
1,522 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash









off trail

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO

5 months ago

As noted by others, the real trail is a bit different than the one listed on here, but the real trail is easy to follow and well marked, about 4 miles to the lake from the trailhead. In mid September, the trail had tons of beautiful foliage lining the ground and lush greenery for most of the hike. We also only ran into a handful of people — definitely not a busy trail this time of year. The lake itself is incredible. So clear and serene. Some backcountry camping spots are also available around the lake. I’ll definitely be back soon!

5 months ago

It was a good hike with some beautiful views. The lake itself is gorgeous and serene. Be forewarned that the trail map both on here and on Google Maps does not accurately reflect the path up to the lake; it seems that the trail may have been redone. Definitely more moderate than hard.

9 months ago

I didn’t want to tarnish the reviews since I couldn’t actually do the trail, but heads up- the road is closed just under three miles from the trailhead!!! I didn’t think it would be closed still and couldn’t find any information about whether it was or not.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Been hiking to this lake for over 40 years and up until the past few years absolutely loved it. Prior to the past few years we would seldom see anyone else at the lake but now it's not uncommon to see over 25 people on a weekend - I attribute it to the massive population explosion Colorado's been experiencing and everyone posting their adventure on social media which is then exposing the lake to more people.

The fishing use to be incredible but these days you're only going to catch small to medium size fish if you're lucky. Noticed quite a few fish this past summer that had damaged jaws, if you plan on releasing everything you catch use barbless hooks otherwise don't put it back in the lake and eat it.

We've noticed that a lot of people are not cleaning up their casing when they are done shooting. No one enjoys shooting up there more than me and my family, we average at least 500 rounds every trip, but we always clean up our casings. This past summer my grandkids picked up an entire plastic bag full of expended 9mm and .45cal casing last summer.

One more thing, bury your human waste in the ground and not just cover it with rocks in the boulder field. All the terrain in the areas flows downhill to the lake and if you leave your waste on the surface it has the potential to pollute the lake.

Don't want to sound like a crusty old man but if you visit this special place treat it with respect so others will have the opportunity to enjoy it in the future. Enjoy!

Friday, September 01, 2017

A great trail with amazing views, once you get to the lake at the end it's breathtaking! The water is SO clear and the lake has lots of nice size trout in it.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Great hike. Bring a fly rod if you want to do some fishing at the lake. Gets crowded on the weekends but still a fun hike.

I recommend continuing past the lake up to the top of the ridge above the lake- you get some incredible views!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Our family hiked this trail for an overnight backpacking trip last week. It was definitely a workout, but it was a great trail. We all 5 made it carrying packs ranging from about 10-25 lbs. Even our 10-year-old made it with a pack. We've done quite a few backpacking trips and the camping area by Horseshoe Lake ranks as one of our favorites. It was so secluded and gorgeous.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The hike ends up being 8 plus miles round trip 1788’ elevation gain. It's an awesome hike and there is some great camping around the lake!

Friday, July 17, 2015

I can't help but compare this to the first time I hiked this trail in 1984 as part of the middle park dist. forest service trail crew, many sad changes since those days, very few dead trees back then, always deserted. I was surprised to see so many people camping along 302 on the drive to the trail head and the trail head parking full. (Its a small lot) Still spectacular, especially farther up. In 84 I saw the biggest cutthroat trout in my life in that lake, have not seen anything near the size of those days in the last few years up there.

Very wet on this recent visit, some muddy bogs bigger than I have experienced in the past and a couple downed trees crossing the trail.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Hiked 9/28/2014 - The trail is 8 miles round trip from the parking area of the Kinney Creek Trail. The trail is well maintained with only a few blowdowns at the time I hiked it. However there is potential for a lot more dead trees to fall. There are numerous small stream and spring crossings on the trail, eventually ending at Horseshoe Lake.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Saturday, July 09, 2016