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 is part of our 2014 Histories & Mysteries Challenge. Let us lead you to some of the geologic and historic features that make the Gorge unique!

Family Friendly!

Trail Map

Driving Directions

From Portland, drive east on I-84 to the Bridal Veil exit (#28). Drive east on the Historic Highway 5.6 miles to Horsetail Falls. From the east, take Ainsworth exit #35, then head west on the Historic Columbia River Highway for approximately 2 miles.

Hike Information:

  • Type of Hike: loop
  • Length: 2.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 440
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Restroom Facilities: Yes
  • Fees and Regulations: None


  • Beautiful Views
  • Waterfall
  • Wildflowers

Difficulty Levels

Gorge Walk/Easy: Up to 3 miles, less than 700 ft. elevation gain
Moderate: Up to 5 miles, less than 1,200 ft. elevation gain
Strenuous/Difficult: Up to 10 miles, up to 2,500 ft. elevation gain
Rugged: Over 10 miles, steep trail, over 2,500 feet elevation gain


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

Contact Information