Horseshoe Mountain - East Slopes

Difficulty:  Class 1 
Upper Elevation: 13,898 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 11,600 feet
Elevation Gain:2,300 feet
Round-trip Length: 8.0 miles
Trailhead: Fourmile Creek
Author: BillMiddlebrook
Route Added: 08/12/2012
Last Updated: 01/24/2015
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From Fairplay, drive just over a mile south on U.S. 285 and turn right onto County Road 18. Drive 10 miles to a large parking area at 11,250'. This is the Leavick site. There is a large mine building on the right before the parking area. The road starts to get rough after this point but passenger cars can slowly drive another 1.5 miles before the road gets harsh. There are a couple of small pull-offs between 11,700' and 11,900' and more parking before a gate near 12,000'. The gate is usually closed. In winter, the road is usually plowed only to 11,100' which is one mile below the Leavick site.


This simple hike follows a 4wd road and subsequent trail all the way to Horseshoe’s summit. While driving up the Fourmile Creek road, locate a 4wd road on the left, near 11,600’ and approx. 0.75 mile past the Leavick site. The 4wd road climbs all the way to 13,200’. Park here (2wd) or drive 0.5 mile up the 4wd road to locate a small parking area on a corner - Photo #1. Walk up the road (Photo #2) and Horseshoe comes into view near 12,000’ - Photo #3. Pass some mine ruins near 12,600’ (Photo #4) and zigzag west to the end of the road at the Horseshoe-Peerless saddle - Photo #5, Photo #6 and Photo #7.

From the 13,200-foot saddle, turn south to see the remaining route up Horseshoe - Photo #8. Walk past some mine prospect holes and locate a trail leading up Horseshoe’s northeast ridge - Photo #9. Hike approx. 800’ of elevation up the ridge (Photo #10 and Photo #11) to reach the summit - Photo #12 and Photo #13. On your descent, you can add 13,348-foot Peerless Mountain by hiking a short distance north from the Horseshoe-Peerless saddle - Photo #14 and Photo #15. It’s less than 200’ of elevation gain, Class 2 and provides good views of 14er Mt. Sherman and surrounding 13ers - Photo #16.


The Fourmile Creek winter closure is approx. 1.75 miles below the turn-off for the 4wd road to Horseshoe.


Photo #1 Photo #2 Photo #3 Photo #4 Photo #5 Photo #6 Photo #7 Photo #8 Photo #9 Photo #10 Photo #11 Photo #12 Photo #13 Photo #14 Photo #15 Photo #16