Horsethief to the Crags Trail

MODERATE 15 reviews
#63 of 155 trails in

Horsethief to the Crags Trail is a 9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cripple Creek, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

9.0 miles
1916 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly





nature trips





wild flowers


Hidden Beauty Along "Ring the Peak" Trail This is a beautiful section of the "Ring the Peak" trail system. The distance from Horsethief Falls trailhead to Putney Gulch trailhead is 4 miles. You can begin at either end; both are easily accessible to cars. The Putney Gulch location is also used for camping, and there are several good camping spots along the trail if you want to do more than a four hour (eight mile) day hike. If you want to spend more time, there are several opportunities to explore off the main trail. But this is not the only spot that might capture your heart. You'll find beaver ponds, fields of flowers, mountain meadows, flowing streams, shady aspen groves and velvet floored fir forests. While you can hike out and back in a stress-free half day, you may want to plan for more time, so you can stop and enjoy the spots that capture your heart.

6 months ago

wonderful hike. loved it

8 months ago

Beautiful area. Lots of different types of mushrooms, guessing due to all the rain we got this year. Camping spots near the falls and in the open meadow. Recommend going to the meadow which is also a creek.

8 months ago

We did this trail last week and it was great. First portion of the trail is uphill so be prepared. The waterfall and creek were great areas for the kids to explore.

8 months ago

Great trail! Family and dog friendly, but younger children should be in a pack. Be aware that the trail starts at a high elevation and gains elevation quickly at the start. A lot of foot traffic on this trail too.

8 months ago

This trail was absolutely beautiful. My husband and I picked this for our first time backpacking in Colorado. The altitude gain was a bit much for us low-landers from Portland, Oregon, who hadn't taken time to acclimate first, but with a few rests we did just fine. We got started a little late in the day, but found a great camping spot near Maja falls, and finished out the rest of the hike the following day.

9 months ago

beautiful trail. got rained out after a few hours but could still see the potential. trail markers and GPS details were spot on. lots of wildflowers right now and the creeks were running nicely. definitely going back.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

We were so excited for this trail! But we only got up two switchbacks before we had to turn around due to ice. March is not the time for this trail sadly. We'll catch this one next time we're back in Colorado Springs!

Monday, September 12, 2016

First hike in CO, couple of flat-landers. Terrific scenery and a few obvious sites for back country camping. The last mile or so is on a dirt road, leading to the crags trailhead (parking lot and restrooms). From there, you can continue on to the crags, up raspberry Mt. After some uphill, moderately trafficked trail, there is a fork in the path to Devils playground/pikes peak.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Hiked from the Putney trailhead to horsethief falls. Enjoyable hike. Will go back in the fall for the gold aspens. Only one on the trail

Monday, December 08, 2014

I'd rate this on the easy side of moderate. Very easy trail to follow, with the exception of the trail to the top of the falls. The falls is totally frozen over right now, so it looks awesome. Dog friendly with a water crossing once early on and when you get to the falls.

4 months ago

7 months ago

recorded Horsethief 2017.08.19

8 months ago

Friday, August 12, 2016