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Horseshoe Lake Trail

A family-friendly hike around Horseshoe Lake with opportunity to view wildlife, specifically moose and beaver.

Hiking Easy

3.5 km
149 m
149 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
455 m
High Point
539 m
Horseshoe Lake Trail Map

Horseshoe Lake is a classic day hike in Denali National Park known for its abundance of wildlife and spectacular wildflowers in the spring and early summer. The hike begins by going slightly downhill to a commanding overview of the lake, complete with a bench so that you can relax and enjoy the view.


According to this source, this trail includes "a panoramic view of the Nenana River, the development called "Glitter Gulch" right outside the park," and of course - plenty of views of the Alaskan Range. Near the halfway point, a spur trail leads to an overlook of a beaver dam, and the aforementioned bench above the lake offers excellent views to observe wildlife, specifically moose and beaver, in the lake.

Round-trip, the trail is just over two miles, though it could take upwards of two hours when you factor in some time to stop along the way. The route follows a lollipop shape, beginning and ending at the same trailhead near the railroad tracks before the visitor center. Water and restrooms are available at the visitor center, but not immediately at the trailhead.

Sources: https://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/horseshoe-lake-trail.htm https://www.alaska.org/detail/horseshoe-lake-trail



Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between May and September


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area