I had planned to hike to Lake Blanche this morning, but the rain all night here, meant snow all night there. We decided to do something at a lower elevation. We hiked Horsetail Falls, but with quite a bit of exploring. If you’d like to see a post of a typical Horsetail Trail experience, click here. If you want the north side route, click here.
We took a side trail near the beginning (heading right about one minute into the trail) and hiked up a beautiful river bed.
Getting back onto the trail was up a steep hill and quite the task with the mud. Partway up I realized I should have put on my micro-spikes, but we made it up with a slippery scramble.
Overall our adventure added quite a bit to the hike, so we hiked over 6 1/2 miles. Everything was wet and it rained a bit on us. The wildflowers were so beautiful!
Up higher everything was dusted with beautiful snow!
Near the very end of the hike you come to a wooden sign. Head left and then about 20 feet after look to your left. There is a trail that keeps going to Lake Hardy, so the turn off could easily be missed. There is a bungee rope attached because it is steep. After that, follow the trail through the trees to get to the falls. This photo was taken coming back up after seeing the falls.
It is always such a lovely hike, but it felt so different with the snow and our trailblazing adventure. The view of the city from the falls is stunning.
This hike is also stunning in the fall!
Stats: Distance – 4 miles roundtrip (the traditional route)
Approximate hiking time – 2 to 4 hours
Elevation gain – 1617 feet
Difficulty – Moderate
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks with a few log crossings (wear micro-spikes when it’s icy)
Bathrooms – None
Seasons to hike – May – October
Permits needed – None
Pets allowed – Yes