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Horsetail and Ponytail Falls via Oneonta Trail [CLOSED]

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Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Horsetail and Ponytail Falls via Oneonta Trail [CLOSED] is a 5.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Cascade Locks, Oregon that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, bird watching, and fishing and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 5.9 mi Elevation gain 1,827 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Fishing Hiking Nature trips Bird watching Forest River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Muddy Rocky Snow Washed out Closed
Description
Waypoints (2)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

Note: as of October 2020, trails in this area are closed due to fire damage. For updates, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/crgnsa/recreation#conditions. An easy hike in and out with four great waterfalls and beautiful trees along the way. Trail is closed passed Ponytail Falls, see here for current route: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/oregon/horsetail-falls-and-ponytail-falls Please consult the park's website before visiting.

Park at the Horsetail Falls parking area off the Historic Columbia River Highway.

The trailhead is right off of the old Columbia River Highway, just a few miles past Multnomah Falls. The trailhead is Marked Horsetail Falls and has a scenic view for those who just want to drive up with the trailhead to the east of the falls. The trailhead is very clearly marked

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Reviews (229)
Photos (935)
Recordings (172)
Completed (1580)
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Guy James
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 5, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful day easy climb only able to get to the upper falls

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Stephanie Piering
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 30, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike! The switchbacks are not too steep and the upper falls is a jewel! You can't go any farther but it is worth it!

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Vickie Huang
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Hiking

The trail is closed around 0.5 mile up

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Andre Leubinetski
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Hiking
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Jessica Kaisler
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beautiful falls.

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K M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2020
Hiking

Loved this hike. Triple falls was gorgeous. Kid friendly.

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Taylor Hippler
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Hiking

I really love this hike and can’t wait for it to fully open back up. Right now you can only go .5 miles up to ponytail falls, which is still a cool sight with the alcove! I used to do this full hike a lot before the fires, and it can be challenging in some spots, but if you make it up to the top of triple falls, there are some really nice spots to have lunch and dip your feet in the water.

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Brandi Pollick
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HikingRocky

Took my kids on this trail two summers ago and it was pretty decent. The trail has some steep sections that are rocky, but we managed fine. We started early so it wasn’t busy until our descent. When you get to triple falls you can relax and enjoy the water. Lots of space to eat and hangout.

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Libby Magnuson
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Hiking

Trail still closed after the falls. (About half a mile in) ...Falls were beautiful though.

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Cory Alan
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HikingMuddy

Was closed after the falls

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Diana Logue
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HikingWashed out

Trail is closed past Ponytail falls due to damage from the fire. :-( You can only do the half mile up and down from the trailhead. They have a gate set up that won’t let you go further and you can see the trail is washed out by little rocks. The half mile is great for families with kids and dogs! Beautiful falls you can get up close to and rocks you can sit on to view at the top.

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Christopher James
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Hiking

nice hike, bring a picnic basket too the waterfalls. definitely not a hard hike

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Beatrice Gamez-Ruiz
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Hiking

nice small hike to a backside of waterfall.

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Madkalp .
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Short 1 mile hike till upper horsetail falls. Rest of the trail is closed.

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April Mead
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Bit slippery, but still nice short hike up. the trail is only open partway until horsetail and then is closed. nice views with waterfalls too.

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Bryony Melcher
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HikingSnow

Nice short hike up from Horsetail Falls to Ponytail Falls on 3/3/19. There was hard packed snow on the trail along with logs and lots of medium rocks to move over. We had micro-spikes on and moved at normal pace there were lots without the spikes that made me nervous in the cliff section that was slick packed snow. Wish we could have gone past the gate, that’s the only reason I gave a 3. The “upgrade” to the app has caused more problems than it fixed. I went on three hikes this weekend and none recorded correctly.

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kassaundra lynn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 4, 2019
Hiking

Such a beautiful hike. The trail is open until you reach upper horsetail falls. There is a gate blocking the trail on the other side of the waterfall. The trail is pretty icy right now, so be careful when venturing up, and back down.

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Kristen Kridner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 1, 2019
Scenic driving

I haven’t been to the falls yet and seeing this before peak season with visitors in Spring & Summer is the best time to go. Plenty of parking and plenty of beautiful scenery of the waterfall.

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DAWN BULL
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 7, 2019
Hiking

Hiked on Jan 1, 2019: no parking fee, no bathrooms at TH, well-marked trail, parking lot fills quickly on wknds, Trail closed/gated at Ponytail Falls. This was a quick beautiful hike (1.5 miles RT) to Ponytail Falls.

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Jenna Wallace
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 2, 2019
Hiking

Horsetail & Ponytail falls are beautiful this time of year, even though it was super cold. Be aware that this trail is a tad steep, but not too difficult. The trail to Triple Creek is closed still due to the fire, but the trail for Horsetail & Ponytail are open and clear.

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Destiny Cunningham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2018
Hiking

Trail IsClosed At This Time. The Historic Columbia River Highway is Closed Until Further Notice. This Includes Trails Between Bridal Veil Falls and Multnomah, and Trails Between Multnomah and Ainsworth State Park. The Road Is Only Open To State Troopers, Game and WildLife Patrolmen, and Residents That Live On That Road. Anyone Caught Trying To Hike Said Trails Are Fined. This Is All Due To The Bad Fire They Had Last Year And Several Told Me They Aren't Sure When It Should Be Open. One Trooper Told Me It's Looking Like It Will Be June 2019. :( That Means Oneonta George, Oneonta Falls, Horsetail Falls, Ponytail Falls, Larch Mountain Overlook, Fairy Falls, & Wahkeena Falls Are All Closed Until Further Notice. If You Are Looking For Alternatives, You Can Look Into Multnomah Falls & Trails, Latourell Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Vista House. You Can Also Take A Drive To Ramona Falls.

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Jennifer O'Gara
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Beautifully kept trail with the chance for some great vistas of the gorge along the way (a rarity with the tree cover on most trails!) Definitely very steep but the trail is even and mostly packed dirt. Great to get behind horsetail falls! On the western side of the bridge that crosses Oneonta at the top you can scramble down into the Riverbed and come right up to the edge of the falls into the Oneonta Gorge (which, incidentally is the most beautiful hike in the area if you can beat the crowds)

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Josh McGloghlon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 14, 2018
Hiking

Push through every step, the outcome is worth it! It can be a tough hike, but that's the gorge. Push through, and you see some of the most beautiful parts of Oregon.

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VyVy Mai
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Hiking

We only visited the lower part of this trail because we were on our way to Multnomah falls and made a quick pit stop. The waterfall is strong and powerful and if it's windy you'll definitely get some mist on you. It's a very nice area to stop and look at scenery and to hike if you're aiming for this hike. There's a huge pond at the bottom of the waterfall that you can walk down to but don't expect to not get wet!

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Amber Walker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2017
Hiking

The beginning was intense for me. Steep uphill with lots of rocks. Once you get past that part the trail isn't bad at all. Some great views and dog friendly. Mostly shaded so nice on a hot summer day.

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Me Me
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2017
Hiking

Nice trail with great views and awesome waterfalls. Start at Ponytail then hike up some good views. Then down to Horsetail falls, which you can walk underneath (great photos). When you come to the bride over Oneonta Creek, I HIGHLY recommend you hike up the creek to Upper Oneonta Falls. That hike has many, many little falls and swimming holes, and you'll have much more privacy on this hike (as most people either don't know or don't hike this one). Afterwards, hike back down to the bridge and head to Triple Falls. AND AllTrails doesn't seem to have a trail for the Lower Oneonta Gorge, but make sure you don't miss that one. It'll have more people, but you can jump in the COLD water and take a swim in the waterfall at the end. Great photos and tons of fun.

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Megan Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2017
Hiking

Great hike and workout, especially in the summertime. I agree with the 'hard' rating being as a majority of this hike is pretty steep up the mountainside. It's well worth the journey up!

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Ramanjit Sranna
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Hiking

This was an amazing hike so much to see and take in! The waterfalls were beautiful, if I did it again I would start earlier I started really late and felt rushed and wasn't really able to enjoy the scenery as much as I had hoped to. A little precarious when you start off but it gets better for sure.

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Spencer Nord
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2017

What a great hike! I love this hike. the hard part is the very beginning with the steep incline for roughly 3/4's of a mile. Soon after is the first beautiful waterfall. There's a lot to see with it having beautiful views of the Gorge and the falls. There are also spots up the creek of the second waterfall that is beautiful.

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Darrell Wayenberg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 14, 2017

Multiple cool waterfalls wrapped up in one nice hike, culminating in Triple Falls for the grand finale! I look forward to going back earlier in the season when the water is flowing even better.

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