Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls. Photo Credit: NPS Ann Schonlau – OutThere Colorado.

Things To Do

Dozens of waterfalls tumble from the many rivers that crisscross Rocky Mountain National Park, and Horseshoe Falls, visible from the roadside, is a family favorite. From the Fall River entrance to the park located on US 34 / Fall River Road in Estes Park, go about two miles and then turn right onto Old Fall River Road. The West Alluvial Parking area and Alluvial Fan Trailhead are just over three-quarters of a mile away, on the right. An out-and-back hike to the falls is less than half a mile roundtrip, and interpretive signs describe the Lawn Lake Flood of 1982, which created the waterfall and the alluvial fan of sand and rocks at Horseshoe Park.

Pro Tips

  • Trailhead toilets and a picnic area make this a good place for a break after a long day discovering the many trails of the park.
  • In winter and spring, the trail can be icy and snow packed, so pack some traction such as microspikes for your boots and use a trekking pole for balance. Keep kids close at hand to avoid slips on wet rocks around the falls.
  • Have a camera ready for scenic family shots with the waterfall backdrop, and keep an eye out for elk that wander nearby Horseshoe Park.
  • The Fall River Visitor Center is located nearby and open seasonally, so grab a snack and pick up some souvenirs as reminders of this amazing park.
  •  Recommended season(s): Year-round.

    —Susan Joy Paul


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