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Incredible Horsetail Falls in Oregon

Walk behind these falls that truly resemble the tail of a horse in the Columbia River Gorge area of Oregon.

Ponytail Falls Upper Horsetail Falls Oregon Waterfall Columbia River Gorge

About The Hike

The hike to Horsetail Falls or Upper Horsetail Falls and Ponytail Falls as they are sometimes referred to can be as simple as a 1-mile out & back.

A more scenic route will start at the Oneonta Trailhead and use the Gorge Trail #400 to the Horsetail Falls Trail #438 which would be about a 3-mile out & back.

The Gorge Trail as of September 2021 is only open to the point of Lower Oneonta Falls and is closed due to a landslide occurring after the Eagle Creek Fire in 2017 making the Oneonta Gorge inaccessible at the moment.

Where the trail is closed, you'll see a bridge crossing the gorge which is what you can take to get to Upper Horsetail Falls instead.

Horsetail Falls Trail #438 Oregon

This section of the hike will have some good wildflowers and regrowth following the 2017 forest fire.

Horsetail Falls Trail #438 Oregon

Regardless of which path you choose, they'll both end up at Upper Horsetail Falls and give you a 360-degree view as the path travels behind the falls and under the basalt columns.

Horsetail Falls and Ponytail Falls

Distance: .9 Miles

Type: Out & Back

Ascent: 331 feet

Getting There and Important Information

The Horsetail Falls are located along the Historic Columbia River Highway in Oregon and have a designated parking area with signs.

Horsetail Falls can be viewed directly from the parking area while Upper Horsetail Falls will require a quick walk to reach.

Both routes are suitable for hikers of most ages with moderate elevation gain and well built trails.

No camping nor overnight parking is allowed.

Ponytail Falls Upper Horsetail Falls Oregon Waterfall Columbia River Gorge

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Photography exclusively by Dan Oliver unless otherwise stated and cited. Embedded maps are provided by Embed Google Map ( and map images shown are provided as stated and cited.


This website is provided for entertainment purposes only, and is not meant to serve as an instructional guide, or present itself as an authority for any of the locations written about. The locations mentioned, written, and photographed herein are nothing more than my personal adventure archive. If you are interested in visiting any locations you should not depend on the information in this website to plan any excursions. You should research a wide variety of informational sources, websites, hiking guide books and maps found elsewhere. Many locations are dangerous and potentially illegal to access which can lead to fines, injury or death even when prepared. I do not encourage anyone to trespass or put themselves or others in way of harm. This website, and therefore its’ owner/author, cannot assume any responsibility for anything you may incur while hiking or exploring any of these locations or anywhere on planet earth. Thank you for viewing!


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