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Horsetail Falls

 4.5 (12)
Trail Mapped Wrong?

Length

3.3 Miles 5.4 Kilometers


Elevation

682' 208 m

Ascent

-682' -208 m

Descent

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

6,785' 2,068 m

High

6,116' 1,864 m

Low

Conditions


All Clear 36 days ago
Mostly Dry, Some Mud - Although a beautiful hike, trail needs some attention. Very hard to follow and not well marked. History

Getting forecast...

A lovely but challenging route to a stunning waterfall that is most impressive in the spring.

Michael Ahnemann

Overview [Suggest Changes]

At the right time of year, when the runoff from snowmelt is near its peak, this hike can be absolutely remarkable. The destination is the waterfall, but the scenery along the creek on the way up is great the whole way.
Features: River/Creek — Waterfall [Add/Remove]
Family Friendly: While the full journey might be a bit long for younger kids, older children will love getting up close to a beautiful waterfall.
Dogs: Leashed

Description [Suggest Changes]

Parking for this trail is located at the easy-to-find Horsetail Falls Trailhead. The trailhead can be busy, but there are running water and flush toilets here. A nice way to tackle this route is to start with the well-marked Pyramid Creek Loop Trail, and you'll head towards the creek. Families can stick to this loop and enjoy a mini version of Horsetail Falls along the way, without having to worry about anything too strenuous if you have youngsters who can make the full hike.

For the full journey up to the falls, take the Pyramid Creek Trail that branches off towards the Wilderness Boundary. On this section, you'll scramble a bit over granite, and you might feel like you've lost your way at times, but essentially, you'll be headed straight up towards the falls, with the creek on your right. When you get to the falls, it's possible to continue beyond the end of the marked trail, but don't attempt this unless you're a skilled backcountry hiker. It's slippery and potentially quite dangerous towards the top of the falls.

Play around for a bit, then continue back the way you came. You can take either route back down when you get to the junction with the Pyramid Creek Loop Trail, as both branches will return you to the trailhead.

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Jun 12, 2018
Laurie Berberich
Very challenging if you veer off the trail and go up the boulders
May 26, 2018
Marc Daniel
With Paul and Luma
Apr 27, 2018
Jon Hill
Apr 8, 2018
Dylan Taylor
Fun route-finding during winter/spring mix. Trail was flooded and waterfalls roaring, remarkably unique experience. Would recommend in summer as well. 3.7mi — 3h 00m
Feb 19, 2018
Kathryn Prendergast
3.5mi
Nov 18, 2017
Jaspreet Dhillon
Aug 30, 2017
Cliff Wendel
Great hike with nice views. 3mi
Jul 18, 2017
Xiuhoon Giang
Our feet hurt a lot by the end

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 12 votes

#478

Overall
  4.5 from 12 votes
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Rankings

#80

in California

#478

Overall
664 Views Last Month
2,828 Since Aug 9, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

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