A waterfall can either be seen or it can be experienced. Many falls, such as Latourell Falls, start off being seen and unless you walk down to the base, you never get to experience the wind that comes off the falls, the spray – it is as if you connect to part of the falls. Another falls that you only really get to see, is Horsetail Falls. Located at the end of waterfall alley, this 176’ fall seems almost tiny compared to its neighbor – Multnomah Falls, and does not have the amazing amphitheater of Latourell. It is definitely not the most exciting waterfall in the gorge.
However, if you hike the short trail up the cliff face (250’ elevation gain) for about ½ mile, you will find a small gem of a waterfall. Most people call it Ponytail falls, although I believe its official name is Upper Horsetail Falls. It is not that tall, perhaps 60 or 70 feet but the excitement will rise as soon as you enter the valley and see the falls, because you quickly recognize what makes this waterfall so special – you get to walk behind it!
There is a huge cavern behind the waterfall. There are many interesting rock formations in this cavern plus you get to look through the falls out towards the Gorge.
After you have passed behind the falls, you can either head back, or continue up to Oneonta Gorge, which is an amazingly narrow Gorge and if you are up for a longer hike, up to Triple Falls. I will cover those in separate blogs.
You can find other waterfalls in the area from this blog.
Brought to you by Brian Bailey
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