Horsetail Falls and Ponytail Falls
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon
Access to Horsetail Falls and the trail that leads to Ponytail Falls (aka Upper Horsetail Falls) can be found along the Historic Columbia River Highway in Oregon, just 2.75 miles from Multnomah Falls. Horsetail Falls displays its beauty just a few feet from the highway—so when you park your car you will immediately see the 176 foot cascade, which is a perfect example of a horsetail formation, plunging over a cliff on the northwest side of Larch Mountain. There are steps that lead down to the plunge pool where you can get some great views of the falls, but for even better views check out the seldom hiked trail just to the left of the falls. The hike to the spectacular 80 foot tall Ponytail Falls is just a little less than half a mile (0.4 miles one way) and the elevation gain is small. Therefore, for most fit hikers it is a pretty easy undertaking with a big payoff in scenery. The trail switchbacks up the hill away from Horsetail Falls until it levels out and then turns back to the creek. The trail then follows the creek upstream to where you can see Ponytail Falls spraying out of a narrow opening in the basalt cliff—behind the falls is a recess cave where the trail actually passes behind the flowing water. On a hot summer day the cave is a perfect place to sit and cool off while enjoying the scenery.