From the Fall River Entrance to Deer Ridge Junction
Horseshoe Park, a large meadow, has the park’s largest concentrations of bighorn sheep and elk.
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This entire area may be the best location in Colorado to observe and photograph wildlife!
Bighorn are most easily seen at low elevations in late spring and early summer, when they descend from the Mummy Range to Sheep Lakes in Horseshoe Park. Here, they graze and eat soil to obtain minerals not found in their high mountain habitat. Their visits generally occur between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
In the late spring and throughout summer, rangers control traffic as sheep attempt to move to and from the meadow.
West Horseshoe Parking
During autumn, elk congregate in West Horseshoe Park across the road from this parking area/overlook/TH. Watch for elk along the edges of clearings early in the morning or in the evening. Bugling is more often heard at dawn and dusk.
To prevent disturbance and harassment of elk during the fall mating period, closures in Horseshoe Park, Moraine Park, Upper Beaver Meadows, and the Kawuneeche Valley area are in place from September 1 through October 30. These closures are for travel on foot or horse off established roadways or designated trails from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.
It’s a short walk up the Alluvial Fan trail to a bridge that provides a great photo op of Horseshoe Falls. Cross the bridge and go further up the trail and closer to the falls. Social trails will provide different vantage points.
On July 15, 1982, a 95-foot long section of the Lawn Lake dam failed. Over 300 million gallons of water surged down the Roaring River forming waterwalls up to 30-foot high. In Horseshoe Park, trees, sand, and boulders quarried from the riverbed settled, forming an alluvial fan (debris moved by water). This Alluvial Fan now covers 42 acres, contains boulders weighing up to 452 tons, and is 44 feet deep in places.