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.  In fact, it’s even visible from the parking lot.  Which means, you could be the laziest hiker ever & still see the main event here!  Of course, if you want to continue on to the hike, you’re more than welcome to ~ & I’ll tell you exactly how to get to Horsetail Falls hike here!

Horsetail Falls is quite an easy hike & close to Multnomah Falls, so it will usually be quite busy ~ especially on hot summer days.  Make sure to BRING your cutest bathing suit for great photos!!  My friend & I forgot ours, & got our clothes soaked wading in the water ~ but do that as a last resort!  Bring a suit & enjoy the cool waters after your hike. 

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

Don’t forget your bathing suit!!

Eagle Creek Fire Update

Unfortunately, the devastating Eagle Creek Fire, that occurred in the Columbia River Gorge on September 2nd, 2017, affected the Horsetail Falls hike, & it is currently CLOSED.  As of now, Horsetail Falls is scheduled to re-open in Summer 2018.  For complete info on trail closures, visit the Gorge Friends website HERE.

How to Get 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 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

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

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 fall into the easy to moderate category, making them great for kids & dogs.  If you’re looking for more of a challenge, check out Larch Mountain trail or Devil’s Rest.  There’s 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. 

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 all year long ~ updating it with new hikes, so check back frequently if you’re looking for new hiking adventures to add to your “Bucket List.”  Let me know in the comments below what your favorite Gorge hike is ~ & if it’s not on my list, I’ll add it!

Happy Hiking! 

xoxo Noelia 

Read Next: How to Get to Oneonta Gorge Hike