Horsetooth Falls Hike
The Horsetooth Falls Hike is a crowd favorite in the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, and we completely understand why. This short, but sweet hike is suitable for hikers of all skill levels and culminates at a picturesque cascading waterfall. Everyone loves a good waterfall, right?
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Route Description for Horsetooth Falls Hike
Hike through plains abundant with wildflowers, through a pine forest and to a cascading waterfall. The Horsetooth Falls Hike is undoubtedly scenic as you traverse through alpine terrains set against the backdrop of snow-capped peaks. Bring your whole family as you hike up to the Horsetooth Falls. This hike is easy, but exercise caution as you near the waterfall. The terrain becomes increasingly steep and rockier in the rearmost section of the trail. Located in the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, a visitor’s pass is required. Passes typically cost around $6USD and can be purchased at the kiosk on-site. In the summer months the trailhead parking lot fills up fast, try to arrive early to beat the crowd and secure a spot. Note there are washroom facilities at the trailhead.
Travel through lush open meadows, through a forested river valley and summit granite boulders at the waterfalls. This well maintained and well-marked adventure through Colorado’s wilderness is one of our favorites. As you walk along the dirt path keep an eye out for wildlife, moose and deer are often spotted in the area. What better way to get out into nature than to hike to a waterfall? Consider the seasons, as the waterfall often dries up in the summer months. We recommend going in the spring when the Horsetooth waterfall is at its peak. If you summit the waterfall and are still itching for more adventure, take one of the many marked trails further to lengthen your excursion.
Embark on your adventure to the Horsetooth Falls from the parking lot. Take the Horsetooth Rock Trail east. The initial section of the path will guide you through a grassy meadow. In the summer months enjoy the vibrant wildflowers that dot the meadow landscape around you. Continue along the path as it curves back and forth through the plains. You will eventually encounter an intersection, stay right and you will be diverted onto the Horsetooth Falls Trail.
This segment of the trail will guide you north and the path will become increasingly forested. See the Horsetooth Falls in the north and enjoy the sights of the towering pine trees and the vistas of the Colorado ranges around you. Follow the route and you will intersect with a few creeks before the trail meets another junction. This is the final intersection before the falls. Veer left and hike up the rocky terrain to Horsetooth Falls.
Explore the waterfalls and dip your tired feet into the shallow pool. Enjoy the relaxing ambiance of the cascading waterfall and the impressive views of the rocky cliffs towering above before beginning your descent. On your way down see sights of Fort Collins in the east and the Rocky Mountain Range in the west. To get back to your car, simply retrace your steps all the way back to the parking lot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Horsetooth Falls have water?
Yes, Horsetooth Falls has water, but it often dries up near the end of summer. Visit in the spring to get the full effect of the beautiful cascading falls
Are dogs allowed on the Horsetooth Trail?
Yes, dogs are allowed on the Horsetooth Trail if they remain on-leash.
Insider Hints for Horsetooth Falls Hike
- If you would like a change of scenery on your way down from the falls, loop back on the South Ridge Trail.
- Bring your mountain bike on your next excursion up to Horsetooth Falls, or your horse!
- Hike up to Horsetooth Rock if you’ve still got some gas left in the tank!
- Try and visit the Horsetooth Falls in the spring, when the waterfall is at its peak.
Getting to the Horsetooth Falls Hike Trailhead
Located in the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, the Horsetooth Falls Trailhead is off of Country Road 38E past the tollbooth.
Horsetooth Falls Hike Elevation Graph
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Horsetooth Falls Hike Reviews
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