Horsetooth Peak Overview
The rocky summit juts out of a sea of trees near the terminus of Meeker Ridge (Meeker's SE ridge). It is often overlooked by both general tourist and climbers due to its location. When I visited the summit on April 8, 2004, not a single name was in the summit log since it was placed there 4 months earlier.
Nearly all of the climb is on a good trail through thick trees which allows even the casual hiker to get near the summit. Along the trail there are increadible views of the massive east face of Mount Meeker. The last few hundred feet are a different story. It consist of lots of scrambling followed by about 30 of class 4 or 5 climbing to reach the summit. There appeared to be numerous options with all looking about the same difficulty. Be sure not to climb up anything that you wouldn't want to down climb.
Getting To The TrailheadIf your only objective is Horsetooth Peak, there is only one viable starting point. The closed Meeker Park Lodge is located in where else? Meeker Park. Meeker Park can be reached from the North by traveling south on HWY 7 from Estes Park. Direclty across the highway from the lodge is Boulder County RD 113N. Don't confuse this with 113S which is only a few hundred yards to the south. There is a sign with the road number and also one that reads Deadend Road. Don't worry, this is the right one.
Follow the road for just under a mile as it passes many private cabins. There are no signs leading to the trailhead but the main road is obvious. Please respect the private land in the area. The trailhead has a small NP sign marking the start. The parking area is only large enough for two or three cars. From the trailhead there is an easy to follow trail to the Lookout Mountain/Horsetooth Peak saddle.
Lookout Mountain can also be climbed in conjunction with Horsetooth by following the Lookout's northeast ridge from the saddle.
A more difficult yet adventurous option is to climb Lookout first from the Wild Basin area by bushwhacking over it's summit and down to the Lookout/Horsetooth saddle and then on to the summit. When returning from Horsetooth you can either have a car shuttle at the Meeker Park TH or do a descending traverse across the upper east slopes of Lookout back to the Sandbeach Lake trail in Wild Basin.