Awe-Inspiring Horsetail Falls: 5 Reasons to Visit Now!

Horsetail Falls, a stunning natural wonder nestled in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, is a must-visit destination for any state park touring enthusiast. This majestic waterfall, named for its distinctive horseshoe-like shape, cascades down a 176-foot drop, creating a mesmerizing display of power and beauty.

Exploring the Horsetail Falls Trail

The Horsetail Falls Trail, also known as Trail #438, offers hikers a challenging yet rewarding experience. This 4-mile out-and-back trail takes visitors through a lush, forested landscape, providing breathtaking views of the waterfall and the surrounding gorge. The trail is generally considered challenging, with steep sections and uneven terrain, making it a popular destination for experienced hikers.

Unique Features of Horsetail Falls

Horsetail Falls

One of the most distinctive features of Horsetail Falls is its characteristic horseshoe shape, which gives the waterfall its unique appearance. The waterfall is fed by Horsetail Creek, which originates from the nearby Larch Mountain. The average width of the waterfall is approximately 15 feet, adding to its impressive scale.

Accessibility and Amenities

The Horsetail Falls Trailhead is located just 2.75 miles east of the iconic Multnomah Falls, making it easily accessible for visitors. The parking area provides accessible (ADA) parking spots, but hikers will need to cross the Historic Columbia River Highway to reach the viewing area and picnic tables. The trail and waterfall are open year-round, and there is no cost to visit.

Nearby Attractions

Horsetail Falls is part of the “Waterfall Corridor” along the Historic Columbia River Highway, which includes other popular destinations such as Oneonta Trail, Gorge Trail, and Ponytail Falls. Visitors can explore these nearby attractions to create a comprehensive state park touring experience.

Safety Considerations

While Horsetail Falls is a stunning natural wonder, it is important for visitors to exercise caution and follow safety guidelines. In 2018, a tragic incident occurred when a teen fell to their death near the cliff viewpoints on Oneonta Bluff. Hikers are advised to stay on the designated trails, avoid stepping too close to the edge, and be mindful of their surroundings.


Horsetail Falls is a true gem of the Columbia River Gorge, offering state park touring enthusiasts a unique and captivating experience. With its stunning waterfall, challenging hiking trail, and proximity to other natural wonders, Horsetail Falls is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the natural beauty of Oregon. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual nature lover, Horsetail Falls is sure to leave a lasting impression.


  1. Horsetail Falls Trail, California – AllTrails
  2. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area – Horsetail Falls & Trail …
  3. Horsetail Falls – Wikipedia
  4. Horsetail Falls Loop Hike – Hiking in Portland, Oregon and Washington
  5. Horsetail Falls via Deer Creek and Dry Creek Trail, Utah – AllTrails

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