“A great climb into the Big Holes followed by sweeping views and fast descending.”
— Jake Hawkes
South Fork Horseshoe provides a really stiff test of your climbing fitness. Once at the top, your hard work is rewarded with views and a chance to go downhill.
South Fork Horseshoe Canyon is full of nice climbs with short downhill sections for the first half then it takes a big turn in steepness that will test you. The trail does flow well and has had a lot of attention as far as trail work and reroutes the last couple of years.
The downhill on Mahogany is FUN. It begins with tight switchbacks which are all smooth thanks to rerouting done a few years ago. You'll encounter a few rocks along the way and a few steep turns to keep you honest. There is only one climb on the downhill up along the side of the creek.
Drawback is the car shuttle involved or long road ride back to trailhead.
Need to Know
The trail goes into Mahogany creek at the very end of the trail. This may require getting wet. Plan accordingly.
From the Horseshoe Canyon parking lot, head south on the South Fork of Horseshoe Canyon
Trail. The first part of the trail climbs with some downhill along creekbeds and a few small creek crossings leading towards a steep creek crossing. After this crossing, the trail takes a change of pace sending you up nice switchbacks to the top. This section will let you know if you are a climber or not. Once on top you'll see the Mahogany Creek
trail directly across from you.
This leads you to the reward of the climb. Mahogany Creek
takes you down switchbacks and along the creak bottom. Watch for horses or motorcycles. The end of the trail requires riding in Mahogany creek to reach the parking lot. Now you're back at your car, shuttle or prepare for a long road ride back to the starting point.