Horsetail Falls Trail

MODERATE 298 reviews
#2 of 76 trails in

Horsetail Falls Trail is a 3.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Twin Bridges, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
675 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

muddy

rocky

A short hike gets you up close with this spectacular Tahoe waterfall. Late spring and early summer may be the best times to experience Horsetail Falls, but a hike up the Pyramid Creek trail to this spectacular waterfall is still a worthwhile experience at any time of the year. If you can find a parking spot at the busy US50 trailhead that is.

hiking
12 minutes ago

Just took my girls 3 and 8 years old on the loop trail. I wore my 3 year on my back. It's was too difficult for her. My 8 year old did great! This was my first time at horsetail. Absolutely beautiful!!! The amount of water coming down the mountain is amazing. The sound of the water was thunderous and the scenery was breath taking. My only complaint was the lack of trail markers. I did have to really think about where I was at and which trail to take, I could see how novice hikers could get confused in a few places. With the numerous people hiking here it wouldn't take much work to throw out a few markers, especially at critical places. 3 rocks stacked or a mark on a tree. I get it was a difficult winter and rock markers were probably washed out. I placed a few rock markers on my way up and back for myself. I hope they help others. If a few of us seasoned hikers could help out by placing some markers more people could enjoy this hike, instead of complaining about it. Just a thought.....

hiking
3 hours ago

hiking
22 hours ago

@Chris Wolfgram, I read your post. Don't know if you'll see this, however, the reason why the trail is not marked all that well is because of the bad winter that we had. All the trail markings got flooded/destroyed. I've been hiking this spot for a long time, I know the exact way up and down each time that I go. I had never fallen, and I don't even consider myself a pro! As long as you got the proper shoes and watching on how you step/climb, you'll be fine. I would consider a yes to go again, Chris Wolfgram! The place is too beautiful, and once you make it to the top of the fall, you'll be in heaven and it's the best spot for photography. Cheers!

hiking
22 hours ago

First off what an absolutely beautiful place, and after a record snow year the river was absolutely raging ! So being a landscape and nature photographer what a dream this place could be .Therefore it is absolutely a crying shame that I would have to rate such an amazing place as only a 2-star : (
Please let me explain....
To say that these Trails were not clearly marked would be an understatement ! Most of it is not marked at all ! I talked to many people throughout the day who were stumbling around trying to find their way obviously as lost as I was ! Many times I would hike over Boulders Fallen trees etc, for however many hundreds of feet on what look like a trail (because of so many other lost people before me ) only to hit a dead end and have to track all the way back out, and then try again.
Also there were at least three streams that had to be crossed Rock hopping and trying to step on a few rotten trees and limbs. No I'm not afraid to get my feet wet but the last thing I want to do is fill up my hiking shoes at the start of a strenuous rough terrain hike.
I was out of my car for 8 hours and in that time I probably did 3 hours of purposeful hiking like I knew where I was going, 3 more hours stop and doing photography, and there were certainly plenty of beautiful scenes to shoot, and then at least two hours backtracking and doing loopty loops trying to find my way both up towards the falls and then again back down to my car : (
Anyway it's just a shame that i have to rate such a beautiful place with so much potential, heck, which could be one of my new favorite hikes, as a 2 star : (

I mean all it would really take would be some proper trail marking, a few better creek crossings, and maybe a few stepping stones in areas with particularly large boulders that need to be climbed.

As it is I'm absolutely sure that a few unlucky souls have had to spend very cold nights out there unprepared with proper clothes and worse yet I wouldn't be surprised if a few people have died because they chose the wrong path.

So there were a few things that I wish I would have had photographed but did not. Now I'm sitting around wondering if I will ever go back there ?

PS, before doing this hike I read the reviews here and had to chuckle with the guy who said he was a pro and fell four times. Well I'm not a pro but I did manage to stay out of my feet in spite of receiving a few pretty nasty scrapes and scratches.

I do believe I could hike from the parking lot to the top of the crest at the Lakes above in less than 2 hours with proper trail marking, and a few dry creek crossings and step up stones.

hiking
1 day ago

Gorgeous with many swimming spots along the way

hiking
2 days ago

3 days ago

Absolutely beautiful!

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

The falls are amazing but the real treasure of the hike is the network of streams, islands and pools at the top of the falls.

hiking
4 days ago

Horsetail fall trail not moderate. Trail is difficult to follow. Walking on boulders, stream beds, climbing up steep granite slabs. Twice I had to descend boulders 5-6 feet to continue on trail. I fell/slipped 4 times and I am experienced. I got 3/4 way up and saw people climbing slabs that were clearly unsafe. Falls are beautiful. This isn't first time all trails misses the mark on hike difficulty. Hiker beware.

5 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

11 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

The backdrop of a tall gushing falls alone makes this a 5. A few very photogenic spots. Beware that the trail is not well marked but partly because there are multiple ways to get to the falls so just head in that direction. As you get closer to the falls it gets more rugged with a few stream crossings that can get wet and muddy. Worth all the downsides for such an amazing hike.

hiking
13 days ago

There's a big chance of getting off the trail as most of it has been taken over by nature. Lots of water running on the trail so you would think that it's not the right path. It's what makes it exciting though. Aptly named desolation wilderness. Would be nice to go back this summer when it's not that freezing anymore and the kids can play on the streams.

hiking
13 days ago

Great trail! Need to cross at least three water areas on the wood and logs. Getting more slippery while getting close to the water fall. Great view!!

13 days ago

Just the best my 5yr son old hated it last year, this year another story.
Beautiful, keeps you in your toes and kinda aware but lulled-out by it beauty. Water rushing by everywhere with intermittent sparks of sun to shade. Love this hike. Great one.

hiking
14 days ago

The lake at the top is amazing!!

15 days ago