Dead Horse Trail

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This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
8.5 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
208 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Dead Horse Trail is a primitive trail atop the Black Canyon. The primitive path progresses away from the canyon’s edge and travels through lush Colorado vegetation. Be prepared to do some bushwhacking as parts of the path are overgrown. This lightly trafficked path will ultimately lead you to a hidden gem overlooking the Black Canyon and East Portal.

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Route Description for Dead Horse Trail

The Dead Horse Trail is a great day hike in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Compared to the other trails in the Black Canyon, this hike requires adventurers to hike into the viewpoint. Lush with juniper, mountain mahogany and serviceberry scrubs, you may want to wear pants to avoid any scratches. Additionally, the favorable landscape and unpopularity of this trail contribute to the fact that there are many bears in this area. Be bear aware as you travel this isolated trail and turn around if you confront one.

From the Kneeling Camel Viewpoint Parking Lot, track northeast on the Dead Horse Trail. Continue along the path as it guides you east, past a creek. Notice the old ranger station as you travel the primitive abandoned road. Follow the route to the Deadhorse Gulch Lookout. Enjoy the scenery before heading south down to another, more rewarding overlook. From here you should be able to see the East Portal and the Black Canyon below the Crystal Dam.

Revel in the sights before retracing your steps all the way back to the parking lot.

Getting to the Dead Horse Trail Trailhead

The Dead Horse Trailhead is located off the Kneeling Camel Viewpoint Parking Lot.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground


  • When to do


  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Dead Horse Trail Elevation Graph

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