How to Get to 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 located right off the main highway: I-84.  In fact, it’s even visible from the parking lot.  Which means, you could be the laziest hiker ever, & still see the main event, without breaking a sweat.  Of course, if you want to continue onto the actual hike, you certainly can: & I’ll tell you exactly how to get to the  Horsetail Falls hike here!

How to Get to Horsetail Falls Hike, Girl Who Travels the World

Don’t forget your bathing suit so you can swim out to the waterfall!!

Horsetail Falls is quite an easy hike & close to Multnomah Falls, which is a major Oregon attraction: so it’s usually quite busy ~ especially on hot summer days.  BRING your cutest bathing suit for great photos!!  My friend & I forgot ours, & got our clothes soaked wading in the water ~ so come prepared, so you can enjoy the cool waters after your hike. 

Map of 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 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


Photos of Horsetail Falls Hike

Guide to Hiking to Horsetail Falls in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

Walking out to the falls is REALLY slippery: either bring water shoes, or be really careful.

Guide to Hiking Horsetail Falls in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

My friend Frenchy living it UP at Horsetail Falls. Remember: this gorgeous fall is located right NEXT to the parking lot ~ no hike required!

Guide to Hiking to Horsetail Falls in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

I can tell I’m laughing at my friend in this photo.

How to Get to Horsetail Falls Hike in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

I love this long shot of the falls.

Great Hikes Nearby

Other hikes close to the Horsetail Falls hike include: Angel’s RestLatourell Falls, Triple Falls, & Wahkeena Falls.  LOTS of falls in this area!  All these hikes are in the easy to moderate category, making them great for kids & dogs.  For more of a challenge, check out Larch Mountain trail or Devil’s Rest.

For a more complete list of Gorge hikes, click here.


Where to Stay & Drink

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 vintage Oregon: with a hotel, golf course, spa, several restaurants, a brewery, huge porch, & plenty of Oregon quirk.  Highly recommended for an overnight stay or a drink on your way home from hiking: Edgefield really is a landmark in its own right.

Review of McMenamins Edgefield, Girl Who Travels the World

If you’re in the area: you HAVE to visit Edgefield. It’s not just a bar….it’s not just a hotel: it’s an EXPERIENCE.


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!

How to Get to Horsetail Falls Hike

I hope this post helps you plan some fantastic Oregon adventures!  Because my friends & I love hiking so much, I’ll be adding to this section frequently ~ so check back if you’re looking for new hikes to add to your “Oregon Bucket List.”

Happy Hiking! 

xoxo Noelia 

Read Next: How to Get to Oneonta Gorge Hike


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Guide to Hiking Horsetail Falls in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World