happyly approved

Horsetail Falls to Ponytail Falls

Historic Columbia River Hwy, Cascade Locks, OR 97014, USA

Dawn to dusk


hike, local-highlights

Horsetail Falls to Ponytail Falls is a must do for hikers of all ages! 

The Columbia River Gorge is full of hikes but it can be hard to choose one that is right for your family. Horsetail Falls to Ponytail Falls is a great choice because you get the full PNW hike experience without having to hike miles and miles. The trail is .9 miles out and back but you can continue on if you would like to extend your hike. The hike starts at Horsetail Falls, a rushing waterfall right along the highway, that you can take in at different platforms and even walk down to the water via stairs. The trail itself can get rocky and has drop offs along the way but I would consider this to still be a toddler friendly hike. My toddler held hands when it got too rocky for her or when the edge of the trail was a big drop off. This would be a great trail to bust out your backpack carrier, especially if you have a new walker. 

The Payoff 

Ponytail Falls is a beautiful waterfall but the best part about it is that you can walk behind it! Take a break in the shade or climb down to the water, just be sure to spend a good amount of time taking in the waterfall. 

The Details 

There are no restrooms. There is a parking lot right next to Horsetail Falls and plenty of street parking along the road but be aware that the road is narrow and cars will be passing through. Also keep in mind that during the summer months you will need a permit to drive and park along the “waterfall corridor” on Highway 30. You will have a one hour window to enter the waterfall corridor. You can reserve a permit at Oregon.gov/odot. 

You can make a day out of it and hike Multnomah Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, then head over to Hood River for dinner and water fun!


Good for All Ages Hiking Outdoor Activities
Thoughtfully captured by:
Karrie Escobar
Mom. Realtor. Adventurer. Karrie (Kahdi) is a native Californian who loves the forest, the beach, surfing, hiking, enough to brave all the rain in Portland, Oregon. Finding adventures with her toddler or playing just about any sport with her family and friends is how she likes to spend her free time. While she spent most of her career in education she transitioned to real estate to help busy families build generational wealth and reach their goals through home ownership! She knows the suburbs as well as she knows downtown. From the cutest coffee shops and the most toddler friendly parks to the neighborhood with the best views- Karrie knows the area and wants to share her knowledge and outings with the Happyly family!
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