The 3,500-foot cumulative elevation gain and 11-mile loop hike over Horseshoe Ridge is always tough. The pitches ascending and descending the Ridge are very steep.
However, the hike has a very pleasant stretch too. Almost four miles of the trail follows the picturesque Souixon (rhymes with Tucson) Creek on a well-maintained, well-graded trail. Waterfalls, ferns and campsites are abundant underneath the old-growth forest.
The challenging aspect to the hike is the seven miles up, across and down the 3,400-foot ridge. For the first time in years though, the Forest Service had removed numerous blowdowns over the trail making it much easier to navigate.
It’s mainly a conditioning hike, but has enough variety to make it interesting too.