Tag Archives: Horsetail Falls

Ponytail Falls (Autumn 2018)

Directions: Take I-84 East to the Ainsworth State Park (exit 35) and follow the Old Highway left towards Horsetail Falls.

This hike is partially open, you can hike from Horsetail Falls up to Ponytail Falls. There is a large fence blocking the trail just past Ponytail Falls.


As you start out on the trail just to the left of Horsetail Falls you will immediately notice fire damage. There are large rocks that have fallen, a lot of trees have been removed and limbs are across the trail. It’s definitely passable but use caution for falling debris especially if it’s been rainy and windy recently.



The trail switchbacks taking you above Horsetail Falls. There are definitely “new” views with all the tree removal but for the most part it’s pretty straight forward. Once you’re at the top you’ll round a corner and see Ponytail Falls. The trail heads downhill slightly and continues on behind the waterfall. This is where the trail ends for now at a fence. Head back out the way you came in.


Please respect the trail closures they are put in place for everyones safety. We saw a couple people go up and around the fence and you risk your safety, the peoples safety that would have to help you if something happens, and being ticketed.


Distance: .8 miles (easy)

Elevation: 400 feet (easy)

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: None

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes

Warnings: This hike goes through a burn area, read all the posted warning signs before heading out.


Horsetail Falls (Autumn 2018)

Directions: Take I-84 East to the Ainsworth State Park (exit 35) and follow the Old Highway left towards Horsetail Falls.

Horsetail Falls is another area that recently opened up after the Eagle Creek closures.

This isn’t a hike but we thought people might be interested to see how the waterfall is doing.

There is definite visible fire damage to the trees and undergrowth around the waterfall and it’s a lot more open. Many trees have been removed and things look less green. Overall though it doesn’t look too terrible.



Ponytail Falls Loop (Spring)

To start this hike you will need to park at Horsetail Falls.

Directions: Take I-84 East to the Ainsworth State Park (exit 35) and follow the Old Highway left towards Horsetail Falls.


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From the Horsetail Falls parking area take a right and walk along the Old Highway for about 1/2 mile until you reach the Oneonta trailhead (you’ll be passing through the Oneonta Gorge Tunnel along the way). Head uphill along the Oneonta trail that starts out fairly steep and switches back. The trail eventually flattens out as you pass a few viewpoints.


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Soon you’ll come to a trail junction. Go left on Horsetail Falls Trail #438 that switches back downhill and takes you to a bridge over Middle Oneonta Falls. Please be aware that there is a sign on the bridge (and at the trailhead) stating that there can only be one person crossing at a time. After crossing the bridge the trail gradually heads back uphill with a few switchbacks and then levels out again.


A short while later you will come to another sign marking a viewpoint. We highly recommend taking the few extra steps to check it out. you get great views of the Columbia River Gorge! It’s also a great spot to stop for a snack or lunch. After the viewpoint continue along the trail for a short distance and you’ll soon start hearing Poinytail Falls. The trail rounds a corner and drops you down and behind the falls.




Once you’re done taking in Ponytail Falls continue along the trail as it heads back downhill in long switchbacks to the parking area of Horsetail Falls.

Distance: 3.5 miles

Elevation: 620 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: Most ages- It is steep in areas and there are places that you could fall if you aren’t careful.

Bathrooms: No

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes

Overall: Great Gorge hike- we love waterfalls you can walk behind 🙂