Ponytail Falls Hike
From Portland Hikers Field Guide
- Start point: Horsetail Falls Trailhead
- End Point: Ponytail Falls
- Trail Log : Trail Log
- Hike Type: Out and Back
- Distance: 0.8 miles round trip
- Elevation gain: 360 feet
- Difficulty: Easy
- Seasons: Year-round except during winter storms
- Family Friendly: Yes
- Backpackable: No
- Crowded: Yes
This is the easiest waterfall hike in the gorge. You get a stunning waterfall at the trailhead and a second one less than half a mile up the trail.
The trail begins in one of the most scenic trailheads anywhere, at Horsetail Falls. Plan on a bit of time before or after you hike to view and photograph the falls. Horsetail Falls Trail #438 begins climbing some easily graded switchbacks with beautiful rock walls. You'll pass your first trail junction here, as Gorge Trail #400 heads east. After 5 switchbacks the trail levels out, and heads west for a bit high above the Gorge below. After 4/10 of a mile, the trail suddenly turns into the small valley containing Ponytail Falls. In literally a few steps, you leave the modern freeway noise and enter a different world. The trail passes behind Ponytail Falls in a cavernous area eroded beneath a lava flow. Bigleaf maples and vine maples make this a beautiful hike in the autumn, specifically late October through early November.
- Maps: Hike Finder
Fees, Regulations, etc.
- Nothing required
- Search Trip Reports for Ponytail Falls Hike
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Guidebooks that cover this hike
- Day Hike! Columbia Gorge, by Seabury Blair, Jr.
- Afoot and Afield Portland/Vancouver, by Douglas Lorain
- 35 Hiking Trails, Columbia River Gorge, by Don & Roberta Lowe
- Columbia River Gorge, 42 Scenic Hikes, by Don & Roberta Lowe
- Hiking the Columbia River Gorge - 1st and 2nd Editions, by Russ Schneider
- 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon - 3rd Edition, by William L Sullivan
- Stevefromdodge (creator)