Horsetail Falls Trail

HARD 447 reviews

Horsetail Falls Trail is a 3.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Alpine, Utah that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,617 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

Horsetail Falls is a short but steep hike that climbs up a wooded canyon to a spectacular cascading waterfall. The hike is located in northern Utah in the city of Alpine just above the rodeo grounds. The trailhead can be accessed the end of Grove Drive, where you will find a small parking area. Starting at the Dry Creek trailhead, It's a 2-mile hike (4 miles round-trip) with a decent amount of elevation gain through Dry Creek Canyon. There is a steep incline entire hike and you will have three stream crossings on the way up the hike. In the early portion of the hike, you will be able to see Lone Peak to the left and Pfeifferhorn straight ahead. The "meadow" is about 2/3 of the way to the Dry Creek Trail sign. Once at the Dry Creek Trail and you will see the small trail on the left with the black rope tied to a tree. It's a steep decline so using the rope is advised. follow the animal trail for about 5 minutes and you will hear the waterfall. Once at the waterfall, there are gorgeous views of the valley below. This trail is best experienced during spring and fall. Parking can fill up quickly, especially on Saturday mornings, so make sure to arrive at the trailhead early.

hiking
5 days ago

Pretty steep, but not bad if you hike a lot. Took the turnoff with the black rope, to see the bottom of the falls. Rock climbed, next to the falls, up to the upper falls.

Was an enjoyable few hours with my brother and his 10 year old daughter. She was a champ and handled the hike very well. She also rock climbed up the falls with us.

Packed on the weekends, so if you can do it on a weekday you'll be glad you did.

Scenery is beautiful and it's not a real long hike.

6 days ago

A ton of loose rock on the trail knocks off a star for me - other than that this hike was great. The waterfall is unbelievably cool and it's one of the harder 4-mile hikes around.

6 days ago

If you love Rocky terrain and lots or horse doodoo this is the trail for you. It's a great workout with very little to see when you get to the falls (if you can find it) not much shade and only a couple of trees to sit under. I wouldn't recommend this trail to anyone!

12 days ago

Greats hike and views!

13 days ago

Great trail. As the small trail to the falls can be hard to find. One hint. Around the 1.85 mile point their is a fork in the trail. Stay to the left and look for the trail break off about 20 yards up the trail.

hiking
15 days ago

We went with family and it was awesome! The falls and the granite rock were beautiful! It is mostly up hill all the way to the falls. Don’t miss the turn off down to the falls like we did. :) We hiked a bunch more than we needed to.

hiking
17 days ago

Loved this hike. We went to the upper and lower falls. Both are easy to miss and not marked. We had someone show us after we missed the turn to both. The waterfall and pools were beautiful and the shade was appreciated. It was steep and hard on the way up but not terribly long. I also agree about the unleashed dogs. PLEASE leash your dog. Not all hikers like to share the trail with pets.

18 days ago

One of my favorite hikes ever. Lately though there are so many dogs off leash it’s become scary to hike on the trail. Dog owners, THIS IS A LEASHED TRAIL! Your “nice” dog running and barking at me is frightening. Please leash your dogs!

hiking
24 days ago

my dogs favorite hike ❤️

hiking
24 days ago

Love this hike. No mountain bikers to ruin the experience.

24 days ago

went this week with kids ages 11-15. took some fellow hikers advice to go up along the river which was gorgeous and shaded and then cut back on the main trail through the meadow. It was a bit tricky finding the meadow amdain trail but definitley worth going along the river as long as you can!

The turn off for the actual waterfall os marked with a black rope around a tree that we would of missed if others hadnt of told us. and it is not an easy path once you get off the main trail to see thw actual falls but totally worth it!! gorgeous and breathtaking. I would say ages 10 and up if your trecking to the actual falls. If you dont go that far up cut over to the river as it is beautiful and shaded.

24 days ago

Beautiful hike to absolutely beautiful falls! Not too steep, but would be easy to miss black rope turnoff if you didn't know it was there

hiking
27 days ago

I do this trail a few times a year. Nice and shaded areas but pretty steep.

hiking
28 days ago

Hike up in about an hour. The turn off to the falls is easy to miss. Look for the ledge with the black rope.

On the return I kept heading up the mountain where there are two logs to cross the stream. From there don't go up the hill, but take an immediate left, and return on the Lake Hardy trail. The trail is poorly marked, so you'll definitely need a GPS and map.

hiking
29 days ago

Moderate, pretty steep but not too bad. Pretty waterfall at the top

hiking
1 month ago

We did this as an evening hike. it was great! Luckily it was cloudy, the weather was perfect. I'm glad I didn't take my kids, the trail was steep and rocky. We hiked down to the falls, using the path with the black rope. We also hiked up above which also had great views.

1 month ago

first time hitting this hike and I was pleasantly surprised. Had just the right amount of incline for a really good workout but not kill you. Beautiful pine trees along the way and a gorgeous waterfall the top made it well worth the hike.

1 month ago

Beautiful waterfall at the top! Worth the hike!

1 month ago

What a workout. All of it is up hill and full of rocks but what a view when you arrive! Took a couple breaks along the way to rest and catch my breath but it was worth it. We missed the left turn to the waterfall and had to back track, so be careful. Look for the black rope.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike. Steep and loose dirt makes slipping a hazard. Walking sticks are helpful especially coming back down. Well worth the effort. Took 2 middle aged ladies 3 hours to get there since we were talking the entire way! One hour to come back down the canyon. The rope seemed challenging but some fellow hikers were encouraging and we made it. Down was slippery, back up was a piece of cake. The rope is past the bridge over the stream to the left side. You won’t know it’s there unless you’re looking for it. What a spectacular view of the canyon and Utah Valley below.

hiking
1 month ago

The falls were amazing! So pretty. Be careful to not miss the cut off trail to the falls. We kept hiking up a very steep trail before we realized we needed to turn around. You will see a sign and take a hard left after it onto a trail with a black rope tied to a tree. Will definitely come here again.

rock climbing
1 month ago

Awesome trail with a payoff at the end. We climbed down to the falls and scrambled back up. Steep pretty much the whole way and I think our GPS gave us some extra mileage, but it did seem to be longer than 3.9 miles total. Worth every step!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful shorter distance hike. On a Wednesday morning we only saw a couple of other hikers on the trail. Everything is so green right now, and we saw a variety of bird species. Great for a beautiful morning workout.

1 month ago

I took my daughter on this trail last night. The views from the top are gorgeous and the waterfall is beautiful. It had quite a few shady parts but still hot for starting mid-day in the summer. It is pretty steep and rocky the whole way up, but definitely worth the views at the end.

1 month ago

Beautiful hike! it was very green and gorgeous when I went up yesterday (June 2, 2018) the trail can be steeper at times, but always planes out, so it doesn't tire one out too quickly, which is very nice. :)
Also has many beautiful vistas all throughout the hike of towering pine trees, and the valley below, and gorges, to streams and of course, the massive waterfall which looks like it has a horse tail!
I highly reccomend this hike :)

1 month ago

Amazing hike! One of my favorites in all of Utah. Not really that hard though, should be rated a moderate.

hiking
1 month ago

Used this trail today to summit Box Elder Peak. Hang a right just before the falls at a signed intersection to keep ascending on 2043, then keep on trucking for a good while until you get to a spot where you can see down into the Granite Flat Campground. From here, you swing south on 2188 and basically just go up and up and up until you're at the top of Box Elder Peak!

Saw oodles of wildflowers on this first day of June; oodles more are on the way in the next few weeks I'm sure. There's still snow up high, though nothing terrible as long as you're not the kind of person who likes to test their luck on avoidable cornices. I liked having my waterproof boots and gaiters, but I like fancy/luxurious things like that.

Probably something like 5,500ft of vertical gain all told?

hiking
1 month ago

Rigorous hike with views of the falls, surrounding peaks, and valley worth every step.

hiking
1 month ago

I’ve done this hike many times. 4.4 up and down and it takes me under 2 hours. It is steep and doesn’t let up. The falls at the top are amazing and I like to find a rock to hang out on. It’s pretty shady most of the way which is nice. People miss the falls a lot because the cairn which signals the hard left turn to the falls keeps getting destroyed.

hiking
1 month ago

great view halfway up

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