Horsethief Falls Trail

MODERATE 158 reviews
#16 of 188 trails in

Horsethief Falls Trail is a 2.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Divide, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2.5 miles
551 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly


horseback riding

mountain biking


trail running


bird watching









Directions from Colorado Springs: From Colorado Springs, take Highway 24, through Woodland Park, toDivide. Turn south on Highway 67 and drive 8 miles until you see a closed tunnel.Parking is available on the other side of the closed tunnel.

4 hours ago

Great hike! Fairly easy, so perfect for a family with little ones. Parking can be a little tricky if one goes around a popular hiking time as the parking lot for the hike is just a shoulder off the road with maybe 10-15 spots. I went during the winter, and did the whole trail to the falls without needing snowshoes. The beginning of the hike is a little icy, but after about a quarter mile you hit pure snow that is fairly packed and fine for good hiking shoes or snow boots. Worth going up to see the falls frozen, a very pretty sight.

1 month ago

Frozen fall but still very cool

4 months ago

Did this trail with the family while carrying the young ones in packs. Wife had a difficult go up the first 1/4-1/2 mile but once it leveled out it was very pretty and would love to finish the pancake rocks portion sometime! Trail was clean, well marked and in good shape. I think moderate is a good classification

5 months ago

Response to post below concerned about little boys carving names in teepee on Horse Thief Falls trail: I was there yesterday, saw the teepee and several marks made by past hikers. The teepee is not sacred, looks like it was made by someone with some time on their hands, using dead wood from the surrounding area.

Carving names into something that's not alive, nor an artifact, is not akin to harming live trees. One could make the same argument about whomever built the teepee in the first place. Shouldn't that person have been equally aghast about that?

I'm glad she didn't scold the mom in front of her little boys. We all have personal opinions and are usually better off keeping them to ourselves. Rating the trail as a 4 due solely to a personal reaction to someone else's behavior is no reflection on the quality of the trail. It is lovely and serene!

While not evident at first glance, the trail continues beyond the series of falls for a while. Absolutely beautiful!

5 months ago

Very cool trail.. it gets your heart rate up for sure. It’s well marked, easy to follow. We continued to pancake rocks and enjoyed the amazing views there. My 9 year old did it with no problems.

5 months ago

Hike 5: Horsethief Falls
Date: 10 Jul 18
Distance: 5 miles (out & back)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Notes: Located between Divide and Cripple Creek on Hwy 67. Rated as moderate on Alltrails but definitely on the easier side of moderate with the exception of the first section which is a bit steep. Being close to 10,000 feet elevation and carrying a 30lb toddler in a backpack definitely contributed to the difficulty though. Shouldn't take more than two hours for most we definitely took our time and explored. The falls were underwhelming but it can be expected since Colorado is so very dry right now. Great hike overall!
Check out the video I made on youtube:

6 months ago

Fab trail. Lots of water features and views. My dogs loved it too!

6 months ago

It was a quick, easy hike. Like previous reviews say, it’s a little steep at first but after the first quarter mile or so it levels out. My 6 pound chihuahua hiked to the end with no problems. Highly recommended for out of towners.

I did see something on the trail that really upset me... I’ll post the pictures in the pictures of this trail. Towards the end of the trail, right before you get to the falls, there’s a giant tee-pee that someone put together. While walking up to the tee-pee, I see two boys standing at it, their Mom appears to be taking pictures while one of the boys is carving his name into the tee pee, and the other his initials! With the mom standing there, taking pictures of them doing it! I couldn’t help but say “Wow, really?” The Mom looked at me, and I highly considered saying something, but didn’t want to make a scene in front of her young boys.

If you feel the need to carve your name into a tree, or anything that was put out in NATURE for people to enjoy, then you are a JERK! Of course, the little boy doesn’t know better, so it’s his Mom that’s the jerk for allowing and encouraging something like this. NO ONE WANTS TO SEE YOUR NAME CARVED INTO TREES, or ANYTHING ELSE that’s on a nature trail!!

Now the beautiful tee-pee at that’s the end of the trail will forever have IAN and MC carved into it! The other boy’s initials, that are under Ian’s, aren’t as big and noticeable, but still there. This will probably encourage others who are just as ignorant to carve their names in it as well, and before you know it that beautiful tee pee is going to have names carved all over it and be ruined :(

HAVE RESPECT, and teach your kids respect, or STAY HOME! You can let your kids carve whatever they want into the trees or anything else on YOUR property!!

End rant. I really hope the Mom reads this. This was also the only reason I gave the trail 4 stars.

7 months ago

Very nice trail, very easy, beautiful. A little steep at first but then real easy. I would do this trail again.

7 months ago

We came hiking here with two five year olds and two out of towners not fully adjusted to elevation. Hike was a lot in the first bit of the trail but we made it up in a little more than an hour with down in close to 45 mins. Very doable for all types of hikers.

7 months ago

Just had an impromptu hike while driving to Cripple Creek. Was easy and fun for 5 year old and 6.5 year old boys.

7 months ago

Should be listed as an Easy trail. my 6 year old had no problem with it. Great for the family.

8 months ago

Super easy trail if you’re a regular hiker and used to elevation (around 9k feet). My only complaint is apparently a lot of people bring their dogs up here and don’t clean up after them.

8 months ago

Amazing trail! Totally underestimated the beginning though it kicks butt. Fortunately the steep incline really one lasted about three quarters of the first mile after that it mellows out some. It does have lots of small loose gravel so bring something with traction and watch out on the way down. The waterfall itself was gorgeous and you can get up next to it if you’re willing to climb up some. Only took us about an hour and a half to hike there and back by we spent probably an hour around the waterfall taking pictures and exploring.

8 months ago

We hiked this while visiting in Colorado for the weekend. The initial hike up is intense but doable. For someone not acclimated to the altitude it was a bit tough but by pacing myself it was fine. The trail does level out close to a mile for a short distance, then continues up to the falls.

The trails are well marked and easy to identify the turn offs for the alternate trails to Pancake Rock and Horsethief Park. The trail had individuals and groups hiking with dogs and small children but was not crowded.

The entire trail up and back is close to 3 miles and took about an hour and a half. We took one large bottle of water each and that was good for our hike.

Will definitely do this hike again.

8 months ago

My wife and I just moved to Teller County and this was our first hike in the area and of the season.

We went on Saturday 5/26 (Memorial Day weekend) the parking lot and road were full but the trail did not seem crowded at all. Lots of families with kids - love seeing them starting young!!

As described, the initial ascent provides some challenge with the elevation gain but overall a low/moderate level of difficulty trail. It’s a great beginner trail or to get back into hiking shape!! The waterfall was still frozen but still worth the trek.

We only brought a 32 ounce bottle of water each which was plenty. We both wore trail running shoes and had no issues with terrain.

8 months ago

Pretty steep in the beginning but do-able. Short trail with a pretty waterfall at the end. Nice and relaxing. If you go early, you will hardly see any people

9 months ago

Very steep and difficult right off the bat.Trail was very muddy in some parts and still quite a bit of snow. The view from the top is amazing! Unfortunately, no actual falls as they were buried under snow. We could hear the rushing water, but never actually saw any. A wonderful woman directed us over to an amazing lookout after a steep but short rock ascent-made the whole hike worth it and I so appreciate her.

9 months ago

I love this Trail gone on it many times. I only wish people would keep their dogs on the leash and pick up after them as there is dog poop all over the trail. love to take my dogs on the Trail but never have them off leash. met some people on the hike who had their dog off-leash they didn't even notice that their dog had turned around and went the other way until I said something. then the lady got mad because I said she needs to keep her dog on the leash. otherwise beautiful the winter it's covered in ice and the views are well worth the hike up. nice place to have a picnic

11 months ago

Beautiful short hike....falls are the perfect place for a picnic..

Monday, January 01, 2018

Loved this trail. Beautiful falls at the top. Nice if you just have an hour or two.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

light snow and ice, falls and creek completely iced over. just below freezing at the falls, 45 at the trailhead.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Please respect the trail rules and keep dogs on leash. We passed 3 people today with dogs off leash and I️t was extremely frustrating. Our dog panics when others are off leash and she is confined to a leash. She actually got tangled and fell off the side of the mountain after someone didn’t have their pet on a leash. She flipped and slid 30 feet down while tangled. Of course the people who had their dog off leash didn’t even stop to help. Your endangering other people and animals in these snowy and slick conditions.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Nice, tree-covered trail that isn’t too difficult for being around 10,000 ft. Falls are partially frozen around this time of year but still beautiful!

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Absolutely wonderful! Fresh snow fall made the views extra special!

Monday, November 06, 2017


Monday, October 23, 2017

Easy, tree covered hike to the falls.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Beautiful hike. Went in the early spring and the falls were frozen over, but loved seeing them that way!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Easy, relaxing hike. Saw four young mountain goats near the entrance to the trail. Beautiful forest the whole way.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Our first hike up at this sort of altitude (just under 10,000ft I think) and it was a great intro. The first few hundred metres were tough but there were some good views throughout and the falls at the end was nice. Got there early and there was plenty of parking but it was very busy by the time we left.

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