Horseshoe Bend

Round Trip Distance: 2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5696 - 5760 feet
Cellphone: 1-5 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Glenwood Canyon/No Name
Fee: none
Attractions: Bighorn sheep, paved trail

The Horseshoe Bend trail is located at the west end of Glenwood Canyon near Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The trail begins near the Yampah Spa and Hot Springs Pool and follows the Glenwood Canyon trail as far as the No Name area. The Horseshoe Bend trail connects the Glenwood Canyon trail with the town of Glenwood Springs and it is commonly combined with the Glenwood Canyon trail to form one long continuous route all the way through the canyon. Bighorn sheep that can frequently be seen on the slopes above the Horseshoe Bend trail make this a popular destination.

The trailhead is at the end of East 6th Street just past the Yampah Spa. The closest parking is along East 6th and just north of the Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge in a public lot. Additional parking can be found a little further away at Two Rivers Park where the bike path can be followed under Interstate 70 to North River Street, which runs between the Hot Springs Pool and the Colorado River to East 6th. Another alternative would be to drive down to the No Name exit on I70 and begin at the other end of the trail.

Since one of the main reasons people hike or bike this section of the trail is to catch a glimpse of the bighorn sheep there is a kiosk at the trailhead with information about the local herd.

From the trailhead a wide path parallels the interstate as it heads east into Glenwood Canyon.

Just under a mile from the trailhead the trail crosses the interstate to Horseshoe Bend.

From there the trail follows the old highway that served as the road through the canyon before the interstate was built.

On this day the herd of bighorn sheep was scattered along the hillside above the trail. Normally the bighorn will attract the attention of passers-by when they move noisily through the rocks.

Between the trail and the Colorado River there is a nice day use area with picnic tables. The only access to the picnic area is along this trail by foot or bicycle.

On most any day during the warmer months numerous rafters, kayakers and fishermen can be seen on the river.

For the Horseshoe Bend section of the Glenwood Canyon trail the turnaround point would be at the No Name trailhead. There are a few parking spots along the road at this point. About a half mile away at he No Name Rest Area there are many more parking spots as well as public restrooms.

As you travel the trail you may be able to hear the screams of people on one of the rides high up the mountain at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Bighorn sheep can be spotted on both sides of Horseshoe Bend as well as on the side of the mountain above the interstate on both sides of the tunnels. On the day after we took the pictures for this post the bighorn were on the west side of the tunnel above the trail before it crosses the interstate. At times they will move much higher up the mountain side or into one of the side draws where they are either hard to spot or completely out of site. As it is with viewing wildlife anywhere the key is to come back often to increase your odds. If you would like to see them for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.