Horsetail Falls Trail

MODERATE 451 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 moderate. 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

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

bird watching

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.

5 days ago

A strenuous hike in places, especially the last 1/8 mi. or so. Beautiful view of falls. Watch for fork and stay left. Rope is tied to limbs on left side of trail shortly after taking fork and was in good condition earlier this season. I like to continue on falls trails (not descending on rope) another 25 + minutes and cross on logs suspended over Dry Cr. and return to trail head using trail on North side of creek.

hiking
7 days ago

The beginning of the trail is a little drab, but once you actually get into the canyon it’s really pretty. The snow is packed and easily accessible with spikes - icy in some areas from all the sledding on the trail. A bit annoying dodging all the sledders coming down while you’re trying to climb some of the steeper parts. Nice quick hike - takes about 45-60 min up at a moderate pace, 20 min down if jogging.

hiking
24 days ago

Hiked this morning with poles and Yaktrax, both were helpful. I think the difficulty level is neither moderate or hard, but somewhere in between. Saw only a few people. It was beautiful and the waterfall is worth the hike. If we had more time it would have been fun to pack lunch and eat at the waterfall.

1 month ago

Lots of snow fell this week, so we spike hiked up the trail 1.5 miles. then sledded down. ideal conditions. highly recommend!!!

1 month ago

I loved this hike. I went on a backpacking trip with some of my friends up here and about 10 minutes before getting to the waterfall there’s a little fire pit and a bunch of trees where you can set up a little camp and hang up hammocks. The view is beautiful and yes it was kinda hard carrying a bunch of your gear up the trail (because it’s just straight up) but it was so worth it. There’s little ponds that you can either look at or you can swim in (only if you like freezing cold water) but either than that it’s a great trail. It takes about 1-2 hours (depending on your pace) hiking up but walking back down feels like 10 minutes.

hiking
2 months ago

It was a gorgeous hike. Covered in packed snow for the majority of the way, so it got a little slick in some parts. I had a toddler on my back so that definitely made it tougher in the slick parts, if I were to do it in the snow again I wouldn’t take the kid. I ended up above the falls but I think there was probably some good views I missed out on below. The way to the falls wasn’t marked so that’s why it’s only 4 stars not 5 but I’m going to try again when there isn’t snow and see if it’s better.

hiking
3 months ago

This is rated "HARD" but find it to be intermediate; it shares the same trail for the Dry Creek Trail which is rated Intermediate. Went Mid-November 2018 and it took about 2.5 hours with stops for pictures and taking in the views. Trail was a mix of compacted dirt and some loose rocks so wear shoes with ankle support. Trail was clear of snow and there was only one icy spot about 1/4 mile up past the trailcamp meadow. I was easily able to walk through the brush and avoid it. The dead horse is still on the left of the trail just past the post for the 046 trail (on the right). The horse did not smell and was half buried, however my pup's nose had no trouble finding it. Only docking because the signs for the falls didn't exist.

3 months ago

We went in November and the trail was rocky for a good portion of the trail and icy in a couple of spots but mostly dry. The falls leaves were mostly fallen. There was little to no signage to point us toward Horsetail Falls but we veered right at the first two forks and then went down a path to the Lower falls. Spectacular views and wonderful to see at dusk. It took us 2.5 hrs to go up and back.

3 months ago

This is a beautiful trail (minus all the horse poop). The signage to the waterfall could be improved! It’s a steep climb but take your time, you will be be rewarded with nature beauty

3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

awesome hike! packed my 9month old and a bag with food and my tenkara fly rod. my wife had a little rough time but did great. The water shed has fish! wild brown trout. they loved the shop vac nymph.

hiking
4 months ago

Love this hike. It’s awesome. The water slide at the end is cool too. Not sure why it’s rated hard though. This is moderate. Don’t be intimidated. It’s pretty trafficked though for sure. One of the best endings though.

hiking
4 months ago

About 2 miles up when you approach the sign that points to the waterfall take a sharp left down onto the smaller trail. We thought it was telling us to go straight so we missed the turn off. Took a little over 2 hours round trip

hiking
5 months ago

One of my favorite hikes in Utah County. I've probably hiked it 20 times. The Horsetail Falls are spectacular but you need to be very careful on the rock. It's incredibly slippery.

hiking
5 months ago

This is labeled an out and back, but more accurate is an up then down. 2 miles straight up with maybe 2 or 3 very short flat sections.

Coming down is no picnic with old knees.

5 months ago

i love this trail but im currently in the hospital because of my last hike there with a broken femur and pelvis to not get into too much detail. the rock is extremely slippery. do no get close to edge if not secure, do not walk on wet rock if not secure. this is one of the most amazing hikes in my life but i almost died because i underestimated some slippery rock

5 months ago

Great hike we did in 2016. Can be strenuous for those not in shape. Kids ages were from 8 to 13. Go on the early summer when the waterfall is at its best!

5 months ago

Saturday hike was amazing. A lot of hikers on the trail. Some of trail had water from recent rain Falls were beautiful!

6 months ago

Beautiful hike. Hardly saw anyone else on trail. A bit confusing when you get closer to the waterfall but we were able to find a nice shady spot near the water.

6 months ago

Great hike. Many trails, easy to get off on a different path

6 months ago

LOVED this hike. Took about 2.5 hours round trip and it was so worth it.

hiking
6 months ago

This is an awesome trail for a quick hike.

Anyone giving this a bad review probably just has a bad attitude.

The falls are beautiful, and there are some great views.

Sunday afternoon was a great time to do this. I only ran into a few people.

6 months ago

did this hike today. very steep in places very beautiful wooded hike with the sound of the river always near and the falls at the end was amazing. well worth the hike.

hiking
6 months ago

Fun hike! We went mid-day and we're grateful to have some occasional shade. I would recommend doing this hike in the morning when it is not as hot. The waterfall is definitely worth it when you get there!

6 months ago

Incredible views! Stunning evening hike, beautiful all around, with the perfect amount of challenge!

hiking
7 months 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.

7 months 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.

7 months 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!

7 months ago

Greats hike and views!

7 months 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.

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