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Rock of Ages and Horsetail Creek Loop Trail [CLOSED]

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Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Rock of Ages and Horsetail Creek Loop Trail [CLOSED] is a 8.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Bridal Veil, Oregon that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from March until October.

Length 8.9 mi Elevation gain 3,572 ft Route type Loop

Hiking

Forest

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Blowdown

Scramble

Closed

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)

Note: As of June 2019, the trail is closed due to unstable conditions

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (60)
Photos (692)
Recordings (20)
Completed (211)
Matthew Klein
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HikingClosedMuddyOff trailOver grownRockyScramble

Very difficult going up and more so on the descent. Still worth the views!

Jack J.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 22, 2019
Hiking

CLOSED due to 2017 Eagle Creek fire (as of June 21 2019). It's an amazing trail, but it needs time before it's safe for hikers again.

Josh McGloghlon
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Hiking

Don't lose your keys at the Rock of the Ages, it's a LONG way back up! Though, doing it twice in one day was exciting! Worth the work, but don't get lost, or hurt.

Teresa M.
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Hiking
Timothy Annable
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Hiking
Brooke Johnson
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Hiking

Basically I got in about 3 or so miles, and the trail disappeared. I risked trying to find the remaining trail, and almost got lost so I turned around. Sucks because this could have been a good hike. I advise bringing a map and gps. All this app does is record your location, it won't upload once you lost service. Happy Hiking !

Daniel Barona
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Hiking

Nice place!

Brad Snyder
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Only went up to the arch but it was a difficult climb. A mile straight of hands and feet. Way down was worse

Jeffrey Farah
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2017

great trail. note, must be done clockwise. first time I tried it, I freaked out a little along a knife edge by devil's backbone and came back down past rock of ages. bad call. the scramble going up is 10x worse coming down. this trail has literally a little bit of everything: scramble, early on views, old growth forest, switchbacks down a mountain side, River crossings, and water falls. the only thing it's short on is views. also, it is a bit longer than advertised- I clocked 10.6 miles on my gps. also, entrance to the rock of ages trail is a bit tricky- easily missed. there's also a branch that goes to the right above the falls. once you get to rock of ages, there are a few branch trails here and there but they always rejoin.

Sang S.
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Hiking
Julia Sick
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Hiking

A little tricky to follow all the turns for this loop, but worth it. The first three miles are very steep and intense (almost rock scrambling at points and very thin trail along a high ridge) but incredible views right off the bat. It was dry when we went but would probably be much sketchier if wet or muddy. After peaking on the ridge you wander through forest, crossing streams, until it picks back up with a more popular trail that leads to crowded but spectacular waterfalls and then looping back. Only saw a handful of other people on the trail until the last two miles or so.

Jose Ponce
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we are by no means professional or active hikers as we only do it a few times a month. but this hike was really scenic in terms of waterfalls. Had no idea where we were going, but we just followed the main trail. passed the three falls and kept going maybe just under a mile until the path disappeared due to a tree (or maybe it was a rock) that took down the path. It wasnt nearly as bad as I expected (like Dog Mountain) but very scenic.

Haley Horrocks
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If you do the 10 mile loop hike you NEED a map! If you do the out and back to the arch and devils backbone, be aware that it is extremely steep and difficult to get back down

Megan Evans
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Hiking

the climb is no joke but so worth it! no snow, many wildflowers, and low traffic

Samantha Hastings
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4/15 this is officially my favorite gorge hike. Its a scramble to the rock of ages where you get an awesome view through the rock structure. Then another scramble takes you to devils backbone whoch is very "Munra like" with a absolutely beautiful and unique view. The rest of the hike continues up through an old growth forest. There was a lot of snow on the ground so have good hiking/waterproof shoes. I loved it because it gives you the view/summit views you crave from the gorge while also giving you gorgeous old growth forest and plenty of beautiful creeks and waterfalls

Nolan Mayfield
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Hiking

Lots of scrambling and elevation gain, incredible view from Rock of Ages arch and from Devils Backbone at about mile 2. I'd recommend turning around after Devils backbone as the rest of the hike is long with only decent views. I did this in December and although the multiple creek crossings weren't bad there was over a foot of snow and your feet get soaked. It's definitely worth it, but come prepared!

Yeraldin Guerra
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Very intense hike!!

Pierre Dubois
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Hiking

Hiked this twice now once in feb in two feet of snow and yesterday bad ass hike Rock of Ages takes 15 min to get to then you hike up to the Devils Backbone and up into the forest pretty steep for the first 3 miles then its flat and goes back down hill you get to see Horsetail Falls Tripple Falls twords the end of the hike good workout not for begginers at all you can bring dog's and kids to the Rock of Ages but i wouldnt bring them any farther this is not that hike for the family unless your all in shape

Michael Palandri
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Hiking

While I read the majority of the reviews before heading out I cannot claim that I realized what I was getting myself into. Steep hike with some amazing sites. All in all it is a great hike for an unmaintained trail.

David Hays
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Hiking

I guess I enjoyed this hike, which makes me a masochist. There is no way this is 8 miles. Yeah, I wondered around quite a bit, but my track looks just like this and was 14.4 brutal miles according to my iPhone 6. I don't know how anyone is supposed to find the up trail. You have to know where it is. It's about 100 yards or so short of the falls. Look for a big tree on the left. If you say "that can't possibly be the trail" then you've found it. So I did it counterclockwise, which I really REALLY do not recommend.

Evan Walley
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I really enjoyed this hike. I started at the horsetail falls trail head and turned up the rock of ages trail right before ponytail falls. I only went as far up as the arch, which was really cool and had some amazing views of the gorge. The hike up was steep and challenging but well worth it imho. I came back down to the horsetail falls trail and continued on, passing a few waterfalls along the way. About halfway there's a trail that goes to triple falls. I would recommend checking this fall out it's unique for sure! It's about 2 extra miles total though, so depending on how you feel. The rest of the hike down is a piece of cake! If you enjoy just being in the forest even better. All in all I ended up hiking just under 6 miles total. Bring lots of water and some snacks like others have stated. Enjoy!

Daniel Bagnyuk
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Hiking

Do NOT do the hike backwards, unless you're ready for a serious workout! if you do the trail backwards it's up hill the whole way for about 8 miles, then you have 2 miles of straight crazy down hill! 3000 feet in less than 2 miles.

Shelby Byerly
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Hiking

Do not go on this hike if you are bad at picking up trails, there are no signs and there are multiple forks that are confusing from rock of ages until you get back on the maintained trail. I took my golden retriever/lab on this trail and she did great, if your dog is fit and experienced at hiking they'll be fine, I only had to help her over a few large logs. If you're looking for solitude and a solid workout this is a great hike.

Pierre Dubois
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If you home the whole loop you'll get to see Rock of Ages , Climb Devil's Backbone and Horsetail loop it's not for beginners or the faint but if your like me sure footed and like climbing around this one's for you

Vincent Calabrese
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11 miles and a total of 3700 feet of climb. features 3 waterfalls and I can't rave enough about the beauty of this hike. start at horsetail falls and follow the trail until you just about turn the corner to see ponytail falls to find the trail head. there is a faint arrow marked on a rock to show you the way. first 2 miles is a scramble but ask well worth the effort. you get 2 killer gorge views once you reach the rock of ages about 1.3 miles up the trail. continue on up the devils backbone to another great gorge view facing west along a rock ridge. after you enjoy a nice break continue with your climb up. you then have already experienced all the view points and now get to enjoy a long waltz through old growth forest streak crossings, massive, trees, gorgeous wildflowers, and the sense of adventure going through an unmaintained trail. other than the first 3 miles of the hike this trail was pretty easy. I saw eagles, a huge pheasant, and a woodpecker as well

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