Horsetooth Peak

      by Gordon S. Novak Jr.

Horsetooth Peak is a minor summit on the flanks of Mt. Meeker. As its name suggests, Horsetooth is a cliff of some 200 feet on the east side; the back side is less steep. There are good views of Mt. Meeker and the Tahosa valley from the summit.

The trail leaves from a road across from the Meeker Park Lodge, about Mile 12 on Highway 7 south of Estes Park, about a mile north of the Wild Basin entrance to the Park. Go to the end of the road to find the trailhead. An old mine shaft is seen across the creek near the start. The trail climbs onto a ridge, then follows the ridge west and around behind Horsetooth. Once behind Horsetooth, the trail is easily lost, but climbing uphill takes you toward the summit. (On the return, it is fairly easy to find the trail again, and in any case, walking downhill will take you back to the highway.)

Some minor class 3 scrambling is required to reach the top. There is a nice view of "Little Meeker", an apparent small summit on the southeast flank of Meeker, as well as a commanding view of the Tahosa valley. Round-trip time about 4 hours, 1 liter water.

Rocky Mountain National Park: The High Peaks