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Horseshoe Lake Trail is a 9.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Parshall, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 9.3 mi Elevation gain 1,627 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Camping

Fishing

Hiking

Nature trips

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Off trail

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Please note that it has been reported the road is closed to get to the trail head until June 15th each year.

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

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (36)
Photos (35)
Recordings (23)
Completed (49)
Max Murphy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 29 2020
HikingMuddyOff trailSnow

Will be great in about a month, tough hike with how many trees are down and how much snow is left still. Lost the trail multiple times, would not recommend backpacking quite yet.

S E.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 24 2020
CampingBugsGreat!MuddyOff trailRockySnow

I was hungover af for my first night backpacking it up this trail. Despite a shattered window and a broken bumper due to an impromptu off-roading experience before we even started hiking we killed ittt. I know you don't care about that part so moving on to the part you might care a little about - Yes, it was rough going up with a backpack, esp bc of the many fallen trees along the way. However, on the plus side, it was extremely remote and we had the area all to ourselves. Wildflowers everywhere. The doggo was loving it. It was a completely different trail coming back down and we knocked it out in less than 3 hours after saying our goodbyes to the beautiful Horseshoe Lake. Don't be a little bitch! Just do it.

Alan Waring
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 19 2020
HikingBlowdownMuddySnow

My friend and I attempted to backpack up to the lake on 6-16, Many sections of the trail are still under snow, and we lost the trail several times. The upper trail section is completely buried. We luckily found the only dry area to camp below the lake, and hiked to it the next day. Lots of blown down trees made it tough and slow going with a pack. Gorgeous lake, and camp spots at the lake are dry I would Wait several more weeks before attempting again.

Ben Vinci
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun May 03 2020
Hiking

Road is closed to get to the trail head until June 15 each year.

Daisy Christensen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Sep 14 2019
Hiking

GPS recorded our hike at close to 9 miles round trip. Fun and beautiful hike, just much longer than app states.

View Daisy 's Recording
Jolene Rosa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Sep 03 2019
Hiking

This trail is gorgeous and the lake is heaven, but much longer than stated. Others we talked to had GPS tracking it at almost 4.5 each way. Bring extra food and water. Took us over 2 hrs to the lake with light packs last week. My husband went back on 8/29 with a heavy pack and camping gear for 4 days, which took him over 3 hours to haul up to the lake. We are fairly strong hikers that usually move pretty quickly. The hike is worth it, just plan accordingly.

Molly Ren
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Aug 27 2019
Hiking

Will try again next time. The dog in with started acting like a princess and refused to even go a mile. Super fun

View Molly's Recording
Ashley Martin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 23 2019
HikingBugsMuddy

Trail is now clear of snow. We backpacked in last night, July 21, and hiked out today July 22. Easy to find the lake. And trail is well maintained.

Becca Bailey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 02 2019
HikingMuddySnow

This trail is beautiful and well market. There was a lot of snow and running water as soon as I got into the Byers Wilderness. I had to turn around about half a mile from the lake because there was so much snow I couldn’t see where the trail went and I was falling into the snow up to my hips. It was still a great hike though! I am so thankful there is still so much snow in the high country coming into July!

Andrew Ware
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Sep 17 2018

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!

Kimberly Marris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Sep 03 2018
Hiking

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.

Cassie Borshoff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue May 01 2018

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.

Dele B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Dec 25 2017
Backpacking

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!

Chris Bird
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Sep 01 2017
Camping

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.

Andrew Hathaway
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Aug 21 2017
Hiking

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!

Kim Harms
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 19 2017
Backpacking

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.

Norman Dillon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Sep 29 2016
Backpacking

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!

Mike T.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 17 2015
Hiking

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.

Craig Lowary
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Oct 01 2014
Hiking

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.

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