Little Horseshoe Park Trail
ElevationAscent: 200' 61 m
Descent: -108' -33 m
High: 8,715' 2,656 m
Low: 8,522' 2,597 m
GradeAvg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 7% (4°)
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“Amble along Horseshoe Park's western edge to glimpse elk and sheep in this scenic meadow.”— Megan W
From the Lawn Lake trailhead, take the short path leading northeast from the parking area and immediately turn right (southeast) to join the Little Horseshoe Park Trail. You can also start the Little Horseshoe Park Trail from the first switchback of the Lawn Lake Trail.
The Little Horseshoe Park Trail soon crosses highway 34 (Fall River Road) and turns southwest, away from Sheep Lakes. Now in Horseshoe Park proper, it is easy to appreciate the wonderful views of peaks and valleys in all directions. Cross the serpentine Fall River and follow the western edge of the meadow. This U-shaped valley was scraped out and formed by a 500-foot thick glacier.
The trail begins a gentle ascent and enters a forest near the West Horseshoe Park parking area. At the high point of the trail, cross two branches of Hidden Valley Creek and then pop out onto a dirt road. To complete the trail, run on the dirt road for only a very short distance, before picking up the trail again on the left (north) side of the road. Continue in a southeasterly direction and enter a large clearing. Skirt the northern edge of this clearing until the trail ends at an intersection with the Aspenglen Campground Loop Trail.
Historical note: from 1917 to 1960, a lodge, restaurant, gas station, an observation tower, and a ski run were situated at Deer Junction. The ski run started on Deer Mountain and ended in Little Horseshoe Park. Once the park service bought the property in 1960, all these structures were removed.
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Land Manager: National Park Service - Rocky Mountain National Park