Horsetail, Ponytail & Triple Falls
Western Gorge, Oregon
Horsetail, Ponytail, and Triple Falls (photographer: Micheal Drewry)
alert Trail Alert, Jul 24, 2020: This waterfall trail is accessed from a stretch of the Historic Columbia River Highway that is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find the most current closure news at ReadySetGorge.com.
Hike Details
Type:
Out and back
Distance:
4.4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:
680 feet
Difficulty:
Moderate
Trail Features
Family Friendly:
No
Restrooms:
Yes
Trailhead Pass:
No
Trail Details
WaterfallWaterfall
This is a quintessential western Gorge hike - 3 sparkling waterfalls (one in which you get to walk behind!), several outstanding Gorge views, and one unique Oneonta Gorge slot canyon all packed in 2.2 miles (one way)!
 
Begin the hike next to 176-ft Horsetail Falls and climb along a mossy slope of ferns. At .2 miles, turn right onto the Gorge Trail taking you to 80-ft Ponytail Falls in which you get to walk behind! Linger here to enjoy the dancing of the falls' spray.
 
Beyond the falls in .4 miles you'll come to several trails to the right. They lead to several outstanding viewpoints at the cliffs edge, high above the river. Be careful to not get to close to the edge.
 
Continue on the main trail another .4 miles, crossing over a metal footbridge above 60-ft Oneonta Falls. Quickly you'll arrive at a junction with the Oneonta Trail. Turn left here to Triple Falls, .9 miles up the trail, making for a perfect lunch spot.
 
Turn around and head back the way you came to complete this out-and-back 4.4 mile hike.
 
This hike enters the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness at approximately a few hundred feet south of the trail junctions of #438 and #424. Wilderness restrictions apply.
 
- Hike descriptions were collaboratively written with the generous support of oregonhikers.org.

Driving Directions

Horsetail Falls Trailhead:  From I-84, take Exit #35/Ainsworth. Travel west on the Historic Columbia River Highway for approximately 2 miles to the trailhead on your right/north.