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Horsetail Falls Trail is a 4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Twin Bridges, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length4 miElevation gain1391 ftRoute typeOut & back
dog friendlyHikingForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeMuddyRockyScrambleSnowFee
Description
Waypoints (7)
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Tips

NOTE: parking fee of 8 dollars. If you plan on hiking to the fall you also need to apply for a day permit when you purchase your parking ticket, it’s free but you need this to enter the desolation wilderness. The parking lot is closed in the winter, but there is usually street parking nearby. Offline map recommended. Users have reported that the trail is not marked well. Only the first mile is easily accessible as there is very steep exposed terrain after the falls. The Horsetail falls hike is a short hike with great views that gets you up close with this spectacular South Lake Tahoe waterfall. The hike starts at Twin Bridges Trailhead off of Highway 50 just past Strawberry. There is a $5.00 fee to park in the parking area at Twin Bridges. From the trailhead, you will follow Pyramid Creek Trail into Desolation Wilderness so a wilderness permit from the ranger station is required. The hike starts out moderate but quickly picks up elevation as you enter Desolation Wilderness and the Wilderness Boundary Trail. The last half mile of the hike can be difficult, as there is granite rock and boulders that require rock climbing and the trail is not well marked and hard to follow. Once you reach the first rapids/falls area there is a sign. The trail picks back up directly to the left of the sign. If in doubt after this point, stay closer to the water. Once at the falls, you have the option to continue on, however proceed with caution as there are slippery rocks Late spring and early summer may be the best times to experience Horsetail Falls, as the water flow is heaviest. However a hike up the Pyramid Creek trail to this spectacular waterfall is still a worthwhile experience at any time of the year.

Trailspotting - Horsetail Falls & Pyramid Creek http://www.trailspotting.com/2009/06/horsetail-falls-pyramid-creek.html

Tips: - Peak volume will be in late spring as soon as the snow melts. - Parking is limited and a fee is required. - Parking area is closed in off-season months.

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Reviews (1562)
Photos (1852)
Recordings (1231)
Completed (3241)
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Nick Piazza
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Hiking

Parking is closed but there is parking on the side of the road about a 7 minute walk before the gate on the left. (Parking is on the right hand side of the shoulder)

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Karla Torres
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 29, 2020
Hiking

Great hike, rocky! First 2 miles are easy but after it becomes more like rock climbing! We didn't make all the way up to the lake because of that! Loved it though, breathtaking view and mindful feel

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Eva Parker
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Hiking

Fun and pretty! Wear shoes with grip, especially if there is snow.

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Sanjana Ismail
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HikingClosed
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Kelly Poston
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Hiking

Nice, the trail is very rocky all the way up. As others have said at the top, it is like rock climbing. We chose to view from the enormous granite slab that we didn't want to try to scale up or slide down.

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Traci Hamon
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Hiking

Beautiful! Scramble to the top bring lots of water and snacks.

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Dan Goga
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Hiking

Advance trails

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Pov Poe
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Hiking
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GREGG GORRIN
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Hiking

Lovely views, a bit steep on the short cut back.

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Makana Meyer
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HikingOff trail

Amazing hike. Keep going all the way up to go swim in one of the pools by the top of the falls. Would recommend keeping all trails open as it’s easy to lose the path!

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Carol Froelick
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Hiking

Hard!

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Karl Tolai
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HikingFee

Needs more signs

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Tyler VanZandt
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Hiking

What trail? Basically scaling through woods and up the mountain

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Briana Schiff
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Hiking

So pretty! The first 3/4 are pretty easy and there are tons of places to stop and picnic. The last half mile or so feels impossible without really good shoes and a good amount of water.

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Charlotte Galli
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Hiking
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Devi Dimalibot
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HikingGreat!Rocky

Beautiful trail. Nice little falls right few steps from the trail head. I rate this as between easy and moderate. Way beautiful than Lake Margaret. Creek from the falls is clear. My doggies enjoyed the hike. CON: there is a portion of the trail that leads to creek/mud with small logs - no sign. Who would have thought that it is the right trail towards the falls and lake? Unless you've been there before. Would be nice if they put a sign like they did on some trees to direct you the right trail/path.

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Chuck Jefferson
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Hiking
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Jeff Disney
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HikingGreat!

Decent tail up to base of main falls. Then it’s a rock climb. Would not recommend that portion if alone. Use AllTrails as you can easily find yourself wandering a bit.

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Karina Camacho
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HikingFeeGreat!

Great hike! Walk along the stream/creek. Little cute spots to hang out but the water. Definitely hard toward the top, climbing rocks. Water was extremely cold!! Parking is $8, card accepted.

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Anthony Halkyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2020
Hiking

Great day hike, bring you bathing suit

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ranee woods
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Hiking
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Tracy Kreiss
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Hiking

This is a difficult hike with steep rock hopping and scrambling, but Avalanche Lake and Ropi Lake were so beautiful and with the effort. Good idea to bring trekking poles.

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Veronica Lynch
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HikingGreat!
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Keith Donovan
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Hiking

SITE CLOSED FOR SEASON-Trail head lot closed.

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Marco Sgalbazzini
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail. Great waterfall and pools you can swim in. The last part of the hike is a very steep boulder scramble but worth it

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Andrea Garcia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Hike was great! Hiked all the way to the waterfall. There was another point where you could go higher on the mountain but was a little too steep for me. My brother and fiancé went up though and was able to get up there. Waterfall was beautiful and worth the hike. Some say the trail markers were hard to find - going up, no, but going down, kind of.

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SUMIT MITTAL
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Hiking
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