Horsetail Falls to Triple Falls

The rain is here, so we better embrace it. What better way to embrace it than to go for a Columbia Gorge waterfall hike and follow it up with a pint on the way back to town. At about 5 miles long and only 700 feet of elevation gain it’s possible to finish this hike in about 2 1/2 hours.

Horsetail Falls

Horsetail Falls off of the scenic highway in the Columbia River Gorge

Quick Stats

Distance: 5 miles roundtrip

Time: 2 1/2 hours

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Season: Year round

Dog Friendly: Yes, there are a couple spots for them to wade/drink along the way and the trail is mostly packed dirt, a little rockier near Triple Falls, but nothing an experienced pup can’t handle

Pros: 4 waterfalls, beautiful forest, Oneonta Gorge and proximity to Portland

Cons: I can’t think of any

Permit: None needed

After finding parking at Horsetail Falls, follow the gravel trail .2 miles beyond an informational sign and keep right at the junction. After not too much further you’ll come across Ponytail Falls. The trail passes behind the falls, through a grotto, where moisture drips from the ceiling and a fine, cooling mist spray up from the falls….prepare to get damp.

Ponytail falls on trail to triple falls

Ponytail falls on the trail to Triple Falls

There is a stunning, mossy weeping rock about a mile passed Ponytail falls and from here the trail continues on a bridge across Oneonta Gorge.

triple falls wildflowers

Wildflowers on the trail to Triple Falls in the Columbia River Gorge

Shortly after crossing the bridge there is another junction, turn left and head up the hill about another mile to Triple Falls.

triple falls trail

Typical portion of trail on the hike to Triple Falls

Triple Falls makes a great picnic stop and if you continue above the falls there are a couple of swimming holes great for a dip (if it’s warm and sunny).

triple falls

Triple Falls

Triple falls columbia gorge view

View of the Columbia River Gorge from the Triple Falls trail

Planning Resources



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