Horsetail Falls Trailhead & Trail #438

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Pony Tail Falls is unique as the trail goes behind it.

This short but steep hike passes behind the base of Upper Horsetail Falls (also called Ponytail Falls) and through a basalt half-tunnel before leading to Oneonta Trail #424. Be aware there are steep cliffs at some points. Named for its characteristic form, Horsetail Falls plunges 176 feet. The trailhead area is a great picnic spot to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding area. This is also a trailhead for a section of Gorge Trail #400.

There is a parking area with accessible (ADA) parking spots, however you have to cross the Historic Columbia River Highway to access the viewing area and picnic tables.

For information about accessible recreation opportunities in Pacific Northwest National Forests, visit

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Cleared of logs for 2016 season. The steel bridge has been repaired and there is no longer a one-person load limit.
Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Motor vehicles and bikes are prohibited. Fires not allowed within 200 feet of trail.
Closest Towns: Cascade Locks, OR; Troutdale, OR
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

General Information


Horsetail Falls Trailhead (area is unavailable) is located 2.75 miles east of Multnomah Falls on the Historic Columbia River Highway.

From Portland, OR: Travel east on Interstate 84 to Bridal Veil exit #28.  Follow the off ramp to the intersection with the Historic Highway and turn left (east).  Travel approximatly 6 miles to the parking area on the north side of the highway.

From Hood River, OR: Travel west on Interstate 84 to Ainsworth exit #35.  Travel west on the Historic Highway approximately 1 mile to the parking area on its north side.


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Horsetail Falls Trail 438 junctions with Oneonta Trail 424, and Horge Trail 400. Several loop opportunities are available. Consult a good, up to date map.

Day Hiking

A fun but steep hike which takes you behind Ponytail Falls.

Nature Viewing

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  Area/Length : 
1.3 miles

  Elevation : 
100 - 500