Hiking to Horsetooth Falls

April 25, 2010 at 5:38 pm

With me being pregnant (yes, I can officially announce it now at 13 weeks), our weekends have slowed down dramatically. If I can make it outside at all, we’re looking for short, fun hikes and the trip up to Horsetooth Falls fit the bill. As Mark and I pulled up to the (very nice, new, expanded) parking area, clouds were gathering overhead, and a few rain drops spattered on our windsheild.

The hike winds along the middle of Horsetooth mountain, and follows a creek up to the falls. As we were walking, I stopped to photograph a dozen different types of lovely early spring wildflowers that were blooming along the trail.

Horsetooth Mountain Wildflowers

We actually came to a little bridge over the creek and a nice view of a fairly tall cataract in the creek. Mark and I were not expecting much from the falls, so we assumed this must be it. Mark snacked and read his book, while I scrambled around wet, slimy rocks taking photos of this nice little water fall.

Cataracts on the creek flowing down the mountain

Springtime mountain waterfalls

After a few minutes, we noticed that several other groups had hiked right past us and these “falls”, so we decided to see if there was something more interesting further down the trail. Indeed, there was!

Horsetooth Falls

When we arrived at the falls, they were much more lovely and dramatic than I had expected. Water rushed over a pink granite cliff line, and plunged into a pool 30ft below. I have heard these falls aren’t much more than a trickle through the summer and fall, but this spring, after all of our rain and snow, the falls were running thick and beautifully.

Horsetooth falls

Kate and Mark at the falls

We admired (read: photographed) the actual falls for another 10 minutes. As we did, a cold wind picked up and the temperature started dropping. We debated continuing on this trail for another mile and looping back through a different trail system, but decided the smart thing to do was to head back to the car before the rain started really coming down.

Interesting clouds blowing by

We made it home dry, happy, and refreshed. And I can recommend Horsetooth Falls as a nice family hike, especially in a wet spring.