Horsethief Canyon Trail is a quick, family friendly out and back waterfall hike just outside of Alpine, Ca. The trail starts with a quick descent into the canyon before stopping at the Pine Valley Creek crossing. During the wet months, from late fall through spring, the creek flows with crystal clear waters coming down from the Laguna Mountains.
The areas around the creek offer a number of cool shady spots perfect for an afternoon picnic. Add some miles and extra adventure to your hike by crossing the creek and continuing on the Espinosa Trail. Don’t mind doing a little rock scrambling and bushwhacking? Head up pine creek from the crossing for as far as you can make it where, when the water is flowing, you will find more waterfalls, and even a swimming hole.
Horsethief Canyon Trail trail info.
- Distance: 3.2 – 4.1 miles (round trip)
- Hiking time: 2 hours
- Type: Out and back
- Elevation gain: 500’
- Difficulty: 5/10
- Usage: Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, Dogs allowed, Good for kids
- When to go: Spring, Fall, Winter
- Permits Required: Adventure pass, Backcountry camping
- Agency: Cleveland National Forest
More trails near Horsethief Canyon Trail
Additional links & resources
- Hiking Horsethief Canyon in Pine Creek Wilderness – OutdoorSoCal.com
- Following Horsethief Canyon’s trickling stream into the Pine Creek Wilderness, south of Descanso – SanDiegoReader.com
Photos of Horsethief Canyon Trail
- John Muir Trail Day 13 – Mt. Whitey Summit from Crabtree Meadows Past Guitar Lake - January 10, 2017
- John Muir Trail Day 12 – Vidette Meadows Over Forester Pass to Crabtree Meadows. - January 9, 2017
- John Muir Trail Day 11 – Lake Marjorie over Pinchot Pass and Glen Pass to Vidette Meadows. - January 8, 2017