Great Oregon Hikes, Horsetail Falls Hike

 Horsetail Falls Hike!

Technically, you don’t even have to hike to get the payoff here!  Horsetail Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Oregon, is right off the main highway, & visible from the road & the parking lot.  Which means, you could be the laziest hiker ever & you’d still see the main event here!  Of course, if you want to continue on to the Horsetail Falls hike, you are more than welcome to do that too ~ & I’ll give you directions here. 

Because Horsetail Falls is quite an easy hike & close to Multnomah Falls, so it will usually be quite busy ~ especially on hot summer days.  Which is why you shouldn’t forget to bring your bathing suit on this hike.  My friends & I went underneath the waterfall in our clothes ~ but I’d do that as a last resort!  Bring a suit & enjoy the cool waters after your hike.  Great Oregon Hikes, Horsetail Falls Hike

Map to Horsetail Falls Hike!

Horsetail Falls

Directions to Horsetail Falls

Directions from Downtown Portland

Distance from Portland: 36 miles

  • Take I-84 East for 33 miles
  • Take Exit 35 onto Historic Columbia River Hwy
  • Turn right onto E. Historic Columbia River Hwy
  • In 0.2 miles, Turn left on E. Historic Columbia River Hwy
  • In 1.3 miles, destination is on your left: Horsetail Falls 

Horsetail Falls Hike Info

  • Starting Point: Horsetail Falls Trailhead
  • Total Hike Distance: 2.6 miles
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 610 feet
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Good for Trail-Running: Yes
  • Crowded: Yes
  • Best Time to Go: Weekdays, year-round
  • All Seasons? Yes, except during winter storms
Horsetail Falls Hike, Great Oregon Hikes

Other Hikes Nearby!

Other hikes close to the Horsetail Falls hike include: Latourell Falls, Wahkeena Falls, Triple Falls, & Angel’s Rest.  All of these hikes fall in the easy to moderate category, which makes them credit for kids & dogs.  If you’re looking for more of a challenge, check out Larch Mountain or Devil’s Rest.  There is NO shortage of great hikes in the Gorge!  For a more complete list of Gorge hikes, click here.

Where to Stay & Drink

Great Oregon Hikes, Angel's Rest Hike, McMenamins

Best place to stop & get a drink? McMenamins Edgefield.

What’s better after a long hike than a cold beer & some good grub?  For all Gorge hikes on the Oregon side, including Horsetail Falls, McMenamins Edgefield, in Troutdale, makes the perfect stopping point on the way back to Portland.   It’s right off I-84, & the sprawling property is classic, vintage Oregon: with a hotel, golf course, spa, several restaurants, a brewery, huge porch, & plenty of Oregon quirk.  Highly recommended for a stay or a drink on your way home from hiking ~ Edgefield really is a landmark in its own right. 

Great Oregon Hikes, John Muir, Angel's Rest Hike

Get Prepared!

What makes the Horsetail Falls hike so special is that you can get right in under that waterfall & take a swim ~ so don’t forget your bathing suit!  Also, if you’re doing the hike, make sure to bring trail shoes with good tread, in case things get slippery.  And finally, if you don’t want to hike, but would rather have a picnic beside the waterfall: bring a chair!

Flirty Floral Print Bikini

Light Windbreaker

Even during the summer in Portland, it’s never a bad idea to bring a light windbreaker.  Oregon weather can be unpredictable, & rain is always a possibility. 

Tie-Dye Print Bikini

Good Trail Running Shoes

The more you wear regular tennis shoes on the trail ~ the more you realize you need good trail running or hiking shoes.  You’ll get better ankle stability & have better traction, & typically are NOT white (like all my ruined Nike’s).

Colorful Rainbow Halter

Small Backpack with Water

For most hikes, you’ll need water, some snacks, sunscreen, a hat, & possibly a swimsuit ~ plus whatever else you deem essential.  Small backpacks are perfect for day hikes ~ & this one includes a 2L hydration pack for you & your pup.

Black Leaves Push-up

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles

 

Easily my favorite guidebook for hikes near Portland ~ it covers the Gorge, Mt. Hood, Portland, & the Oregon Coast.  Rip out pages for the hike you choose, especially on long hikes ~ or take a photo of trail directions & use as a guide.

Great Oregon Hikes, Thoreau Quote, Angel's Rest Hike
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