Pancake Rocks and Horsethief Falls Trail

MODERATE 196 reviews
#12 of 168 trails in

Pancake Rocks and Horsethief Falls Trail is a 6.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Midland, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1837 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Hiking on the back side of Pikes Peak This is a popular place in the summer - easily 20 cars in the parking area around the trailhead. The trail is covered most of the time, and the pine, spruce and aspen trees create a shimmering mosaic of light and sound. Then occasionally the forest opens to reveal stunning views of near and distant mountains covered by an ocean of blue sky. The two terminal points of the hike (the falls and the rocks) are also worth the effort it takes to reach them.

The hike was intense. We were there a little under 3.5 hours between hiking, exploring and a lunch stop. The hike is definitely better then the end views. There were some steep incline areas and some nice flat areas. It was peaceful and challenging at the same time.

hiking
1 day ago

Went on 5/15/18. Very little traffic. Moderately difficult hike, because of the incline. Was a tiny bit difficult to find the falls though, after the sign the trail wasn't marked. Probably harder than usual because the falls were still mostly frozen. Easy to find the pancake rocks point. Was slightly disappointed there weren't pancakes waiting there for me ;p took a nice little relaxing nap at the end with no interruptions from other people before coming down.

hiking
8 days ago

Great hike, challenging once you make the turn to go up to Pancake. Worth the hike. When we came back down quite a few folks going up. Definitely dog friendly. The extra half mile over the the falls was worth it. Although there wasn’t much water flowing.

10 days ago

No snow on trail. Good views at the end.

hiking
22 days ago

This was a very scenic and accessible trail with lots of nice, well-used campsites. Be sure to make time to relax on the rocks!

hiking
23 days ago

Hiked 5/23/18- No snow on the trail except for two patches on the way to Horsethief Falls, which is still mostly frozen at this point. It is still worth the short trek to (its all level) see it in my opinion. The trail to Pancake Rocks starts off a bit steeper than expected. It rises through a series of switchbacks that take up up a mountain side. This was definitely more difficult than i expected. However, after these switchbacks you come up over a hill and the trail is all level with some downhill for the rest of the way. Granted this means some uphill on the way back but its not too bad. The trail ends at the rocks and there is plenty of opportunity for exploring them. I thought this was a fun hike with a good destination that has some good views too.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a great hike! The views aren't as majestic as other locales, but the trail was a fun outing.

Finding the trail head is easy and is directly on highway 67, but parking is limited.

The hike to the rocks is a fairly significant incline with some switchbacks. The forest is thick and once you are on the trail you feel completely alone. Some on the trail felt the elevation gain was more difficult than advertised, but if you are in reasonable shape it should be more than doable.

The rock formations at the top are interesting but I would say this hike is about the trail not the destination. The waterfall was pretty anticlimactic. It is beginning to melt but still frozen.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked the trail yesterday. My girlfriend and I (both from Oklahoma) both wore tennis shoes and brought just a small day pack. There were a couple of slick spots, not really a problem at all until we went downhill. Still not bad though, make for funny videos actually! Falls were still frozen and probably will be for a while longer. Pack food and water. Trail was very easy to navigate. It's mostly covered by the trees, make sure to go off trail near the top and look out when you get the chance, there are some large boulders, everywhere, that overlook distant mountains and the valleys. Very beautiful and enjoyable hike!

1 month ago

this is beautiful Scenic hike! however I wish other people would keep their dog on the leash as the trail rules say you need to. passed lots of hikers today not a single one of them had their dog on a leash. so frustrating that no one seems to be able to follow Trail rules.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome hike. The way up is almost as enjoyable as the view at the top. Slick in many places. We started by 9 and didn’t see too many people. We also did Horsethief and checked out the frozen waterfall. A great day.

3 months ago

Always beautiful...hiked with a friend....after working overnight...relatively easy hike with stunning views at the top....

4 months ago

Easy to follow the entire way. Absolutely stunning views by the pancake rocks. Some of the nicest hikers and dog-friendly folk I've yet encountered. What a great surprise it was like a fall day in February.

4 months ago

A beautiful hike, especially in the Fall.

5 months ago

Loved it!!!

hiking
5 months ago

This is an easy trail to find (trailhead is next to a short train tunnel on the side of the road). It is a relatively steep trail but very well marked and relatively well traveled. We typically carry up a lunch with us and sit on the rocks overlooking the valley. It has been an annual hike for us for the last 12 years on vacation and will continue to be so.

6 months ago

Trail today was snow packed. Spikes are recommended:) the trail was beautiful today.

7 months ago

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.

hiking
7 months ago

Tree covered hike up to Pancake Rocks.. elevation gain is consistent so beware if you're not acclimated to the altitude or the continuous upward hike. Views are incredible! (Beware of birds who will "stalk" you for food.)

8 months ago

Loved this hike! Great views and a lot to see. Keep going if you feel like it’s about time to turn around before you get to pancake rock. Gets to a point where you don’t think you’re going the right way but you are! Met some other people while on the trail who felt the same. Happy hiking!

8 months ago

Loved this hike ! Lots to see in terms of views , waterfalls , etc all in one . Trail is shaded for most of the time . Beautiful hike ! Parking was easy and its dog friendly !

8 months ago

Gorgeous view at the top!

8 months ago

Fun hike! Half of the Aspens are bare - so hurry while you can!!! I give it one more week!

8 months ago

Amazing hike for the fall time, beautiful views. Listen to your body, you're up over 10,000 ft, no reason to push it. Parts really suck because of the elevation climb, but the scenery makes it so worth it. It took us 5 hours to do all of it and to explore for a good hour. Cant wait to go back.

hiking
8 months ago

Despite every second that I felt like I was dying the hike and the views were well worth it.

8 months ago

Great but challenging hike!

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked 9/21/17
Brutal elevation gain from the start. Great views west and south with plenty of fall colors to see as well. Might as well include the falls on your trip, not as heavy as ive seen it in the past but the water was delicious.

hiking
9 months ago

great trail with beautiful views. it is rather hard because it just goes up and up but the views are worth it.

9 months ago

Beautiful...great view.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice hike! Hiked Pancake Rocks Trail first and took Horsethief Falls Trail on way back. Its a short distance from the split of the two trails to the falls. The Trails are on the west side of Pikes Peak and are part of the Ring The Peak trail system. From the Parking lot to completion of both trails back to parking lot, is approximately 7 miles. Have a great Hike!

9 months ago

Difficult hike to pancake rocks- uphill switchbacks for about a mile and a half, flat and then uphill again. The view is well worth the hike! There is also a half mile option to go see the waterfall (horsethief falls) - rushing and quite relaxing. I recommend doing the pancake rocks hike and then coming back down and relaxing by the waterfall to cool off. Careful of elevation! Shaded for the most part.

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