If you only have time to do one trail on your visit to this amazing area of the world, I highly recommend this one. Lots of beautiful bang for your buck on this hike of about 6 miles round trip.
Start at the parking lot for Horsetail Falls. At 176 feet tall, these are some impressive falls all on their own. I had a hard time getting a picture of the entire waterfall! The picnic area by the parking lot is lovely, and it would be amazing to bring the kids here on a hot summer day to play and splash around the pool in the spray of the falls.
Ponytail Falls are less than a mile up the trail from here. They were sort of my favorite, only because the trail takes you behind the waterfall. Straight out of a Disney movie! The little girl in me was giddy when I saw this action. If I’m being honest, I may have done a little giggle-squeal-hop when I rounded the corner on the trail to see it the first time.
For the next half a mile or so, the trail meanders along the outer edge of more beautiful Gorge, with some sneak views out over the Columbia, and then turns to follow the upper reaches of Oneonta Creek. Eventually, you cross the creek near the Middle Oneonta Falls. This made for a sunny snack spot as I sat listening to the yells of hikers down below, wading through chilly Oneonta Creek. Hilarious.
After already having travelled 8 to 10 miles on foot so far this day, I was getting a little tired. Plus by now I was hiking in flip-flops since I’d soaked my shoes on the last hike. I considered calling it a day, but figured I’d be mad at myself if I didn’t just keep on heading upwards to Triple Falls.
So glad I did!
The falls were beautiful! 65 of water cutting into more fascinating basalt cliff. But the crossing up above and the pool leading to the falls were a magical pocket in this all-over amazing part of the world.
Not an easy trail for the kids, but would be a super fun day and worth the effort.