Ponytail Falls ©Greg Lief
Ponytail Falls ©Greg Lief

Horsetail Falls Loop

Western Gorge, oregon

This loop takes you past three falls, and can be accessed either by the Horsetail Falls Trailhead (from which Horsetail Falls is easily visible and accessible), or the Oneonta Gorge Trailhead.

From the Horsetail Falls Trailhead, find and follow the Gorge Trail #400 (this section of trail #400 is the Historic Columbia River Highway) to the junction with the Horsetail Falls Trail #438. This will lead you first to Ponytail Falls, which you can walk behind. The trail will next take you upward with switchbacks for ~0.5 miles until you reach a bridge over Oneonta Gorge. Oneonta Falls is visible from the bridge, looking downstream. Continuing on, you will reach the junction with Trail #424. To add an extra waterfall to the trip, turn left and hike ~0.9 miles to Triple Falls. To complete the loop, turn right from Trail #438 onto Trail #424. This will lead you back to Multnomah Falls, and back along the highway to the Horsetail Falls Trailhead.

This hike enters the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness at approximately a few hundred feet south of the junction of trails #438 and #424. Wilderness restrictions apply. Please note dogs must be on a leash in a wilderness area.

Trail Map

Driving Directions

Horsetail Falls Trailhead: From I-84, take Exit #35/Ainsworth. Travel west on the Historic Columbia River Highway for approximately 2 miles to the trailhead on your right/north.

Hike Information:

  • Type of Hike: Loop
  • Length: 2.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 440 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Restroom Facilities: No
  • Fees and Regulations: None

Features:

  • Beautiful Views
  • Waterfall
  • Wildflowers
  • Family Friendly

Difficulty Levels

Easy: Up to 3 miles, less than 700 ft. elevation gain

Moderate: Up to 5 miles, less than 1,500 ft. elevation gain

Strenuous: Up to 10 miles, up to 2,500 ft. elevation gain

Expert: Over 10 miles, steep trail, over 2,500 feet elevation gain

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Contact Information

Credits

Trail maps are courtesy of NWHiker.org. Hike descriptions were collaboratively written with the generous support of Portlandhikers.org.