Horseshoe Basin Hike

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
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.
24.0 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.
963 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The incredible Horseshoe Basin Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park climbs from the Bison Paddock area towards the saddle below Lakeview Ridge. There’s an option to join Lakeview Ridge for a higher elevation route before descending into the basin. This is a great half- to full-day trail for those seeking solitude at the edge of the Rockies.

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Route Description for Horseshoe Basin Hike

To begin your hike to Horseshoe Basin, enter through the access gate near a natural spring. There are clear trail signs that will direct you to your objective from here. Take the trail to the left that leads to Lakeview Ridge, an optional side trail running parallel to the Horseshoe Basin Trail.

You’ll gain all of your elevation here as the trail rises steadily for the first 8.8km. Here, you will reach a high point before descending into the basin roughly 350 m. From the basin, you will be treated with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Our route suggests climbing back up to the saddle of Lakeview Ridge to return the way you came; however, there is an option to follow the Oil Basin Trail that follows the park boundary in the forest with minimal views.

Other amazing walks in Waterton Lakes National Park

Check out our guides to Bertha LakeCameron LakeRed Rock Canyon or Crypt Lake Hike. Or see all our hikes in Waterton Lakes National Park on 10Adventures.

Getting to the Horseshoe Basin Hike Trailhead

To get to Horseshoe Basin, leave the Waterton townsite by travelling eastbound on Highway 5 until you reach a three-way junction. Take a left turn onto Highway 6, following signs for the Bison Paddock. Turn left onto Bison Paddock Road as you near the park boundary. Continue straight until the end, where you can park and begin your hike by passing through the gate.

Horseshoe Basin Hike Elevation Graph

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