Explore the most popular birding trails near Midland with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Very challenging hike, especially with 6+ inches of snow on the ground. With all the snow, trails aren’t marked that well, just follow everyone else’s footprints and hope they go in the right direction. Great views on top of Horsethief and Pancake. Overall for me was 8 mile round trip.

Amazing hike! Very up hill, lots of stoping points.

Easy to find, good parking and the views driving to this hike were stunning at this time of year. Only wish there was a trail marker closer to the top. The end view is beautiful and yesterday the fog was still on some of the mountains, so we had aspens, pancake rocks, fog, sunshine and beautiful blue skies. I really enjoyed this hike.

1 month ago

A challenging and enjoyable hike! I took a previous hiker's advice and took the Pancake Rocks trail first before the Falls and that would be my recommendation as well. This trail is an incline for the majority of it and I didn't meet a single person on the trail that wasn't huffing, so if you want a physical challenge this is the perfect hike for you. The leaves are a gorgeous fall color on 10/2, but I suspect they won't be that way for long. Lots of pine coverage along the trail so would be a great hike year round. Parking at the trail head is limited and this is a popular trail so plan ahead and happy hiking!

Awesome view of the aspens

This hike was amazing. Difficult, but the view at the end — especially when the aspens are changing — is absolutely worth the effort!! I hiked to Pancake Rocks and not the falls. To be honest, I’m a beginner hiker and I was hoping to see more aspens and pancake rocks throughout the hike, but there really wasn’t much of either until the final payout at the end! I was hoping to turn around half way (because I’m out of shape!) but even though it was beautiful, I didn’t see what I was hoping for until the very end.

Overall, it took about 1:45 hrs to hike up, and 1:20 down. Careful, there’s quite a bit of loose gravel on your way down! Lots of nice friendly people and doggos- especially during aspen season.

About half way through there’s a few switchbacks — this is the hardest part! Just push through it, and when you get passed them, it starts to even out. There’s a few smaller rolling hills from there to the end, but it’s cake compared to the switchbacks!

Nice hike. The switchbacks are killer, especially for someone new to hiking like myself but it’s well worth the view at the end. I just wish there was more to look at along the way. I got there shortly after 7 on Saturday morning and had the trail pretty much to myself. On the way back there must’ve been at least 40 cars parked along the road so go early. Lots of people and dogs. Weekdays are probably better as far as the traffic goes.

2 months ago

I gave this a 4 because it's a great hike with good views, and it hugs a stream/wetland for the last 1.7 miles of the leg out. I only saw two people, a couple, and that was during the last mile of the hike, and they came on the Twin Rocks trail head from near the visitor center. The parking lot was empty when I got there and empty when I left.

When you leave the trail head at the Barksdale picnic area you have to veer left at 0.3 miles the point where the All Trails map says goes to the right (NE). The trail no longer exists and there are no signs for it. If you look at my recording you can see I wander a bit to try and find the trail, and I saw some evidence of one used years ago. I love the backcountry as much as the next person, but the Park Service clearly doesn't want people using it so I stayed on the marked trail. You hit a bridge 2.2. miles into the hike then turn to the east and follow the stream and wetland system. I turned around just before Twin Rocks near the park service boundary.

I can't give it a 5 because the trail as described on the map above by All Trails doesn't exist - this is an out and back trail, and not a loop (my whole trip was 6.1 miles). In fact, most of Shooting Star Trail is actually on Twin Rocks Trail, which starts at the old homestead north of the visitor's center on county road 1 - you'll meet up with this trail 1.4 miles from the trail head and just stay to the right.

The aspens are about 10-14 days from peaking, and I'll be back here for sure. The trail also doesn't seem to get heavy use, which is great. There are signs that say no horseback riding along the trails, but people still take horses there - you can see the hoof marks and horse dung. The trail is well maintained and easy to travel. I would rate this trail easy-moderate. There are sections to get your heart pumping, but plenty of gently rolling parts as well.

This trail starts out with lots of people, then as you turn to go up pancake rocks, almost no one! Tough hike, no doubt. Once you get to the top, absolutely beautiful!!

This is a nice trail. Would rate it more Easy than Moderate. The Falls was pretty, but not the most impressive. It was an enjoyable hike, but would not list it as one of my favorites. One bonus is it definitely is not well known as the Crags. There were only about 3 cars in the lot compared to the packed Crags trailhead. If you are looking for fairly easy, secluded hike this is a good choice.

3 months ago

Trail is downhill for 1 mile and uphill for 1 mile. Stay on the wide path that looks like a narrow road until you get to the steps. Trail is easy to follow from there. Beautiful scenery.

Well marked and great views along the way

Great trail, nice and cool in the trees. A bit sad that the waterfalls were quite dried up. I would do it again.

Excellent trial. I would recommend doing Pancake Rocks first and then hit Horsethief Falls Second. The switch backs and slight incline on Pancake Rock trail were moderately hard (comparing to incline). Beautiful sight. Work the hike!

Me and my wife did this last Thursday. Fun, pretty hike. Bet it’s amazing in the fall. Lots of heavy breathing the first day up coming from Kansas but got us nice and acclimated quick! The falls were nice with a little water flowing, pancake rocks were great to explore around also.

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.

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.

Decent short trail with some fair elevation change. The falls arent very strong given the low snow this year and lack of rain.

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.

No snow on trail. Good views at the end.

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!

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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.

A beautiful hike, especially in the Fall.

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