Horsetail Falls Trail
Horsetail Falls Trail
4.5
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Duration: 1-2 hours
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4.5
19 reviews
Excellent
12
Very good
2
Average
4
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1
Terrible
0

Kimberly R
2 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
This was a great moderate hike. We never saw another person. The conditions were dry the day of our hike but can see how slippery this could be. We started the other tail eralier but turnnrd around due to slippery muddy conditions.

Most of the trail was in pretty good condition. It was difficult to know if we were starting the trail at the trailhead, there is only the one sign on the road. This starts on a gravel road. Once you gain any real elevation the trail is completely overgrown. Plan to walk through raspberries that are waist to chest hight with almost no visibility. The berries were not ripe this late in August (21st). You will be walking on single planks about 4 inches wide or rocks. The lower elevations the planks are two wide with excellent visibility.

We didn't get the falls view we were expecting possible due to a trail reroute for restoration (?) or just overgrowth. Many sand bags are placed near the trail so potential for some trail upgrades at the upper elevation.

We did see two bears on our decent. We estimated them to be about 18-19 months old. They were very curious about us and did not show any sign of fear or aggression. My biggest concern was wondering where momma bear was. They were walking on the double planks maybe 5 minutes into the "trail" section of the hike. We were very grateful for the enounter especially where it was and not on the upper trail due to the lack of visubility. Given the amount of bear scatt everywhere in Whittier the sighting was not a suprise. We saw more scatt in town than on this trail.
Written 22 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anna Lynn
Rancho Cucamonga, CA80 contributions
Aug 2020 • Couples
Hike took about 2 hours, but we were stopping to pick berries and take pictures along the way. We'd definitely consider this hike to be on the easy side, especially with all of the boardwalks guiding the entire way. Saw large slugs and a bunch of interesting fungi. Also saw a black bear feasting on some berries just off of the trail. Make sure to have your bear spray and make your presence known. Gorgeous view at the top. Yes the waterfall is in the distance but the scenic views more than make up for it. Perfect hike if you only have a few hours to take in the sights!
Written 28 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steve E
Anchorage, AK22 contributions
July 2020
A beautiful hike to gorgeous views over Whittier and Passage Canal. As an avid Alaska hiker, I wouldn't call this an "easy hike" as I've seen on other reviews (you are climbing up most of the way), but I would say it is generally enjoyable for anyone in decent hiking condition. The first portion of the hike is much easier than after it turns uphill (and you are left to do a little bit of route-finding).

In late July, we got to experience berry picking (both salmonberries and blueberries) and some up-close bear viewing (with a contented black bear munching on trail side blueberries).

The planks make for a pretty easy time through through what could be wet conditions. As a previous comment stated, there is basically no signage on the trail. And it doesn't really need any ... there is one trail and you can't really get lost. Pretty much Alaska hiking.
Written 24 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ann Stone
13 contributions
Sept 2019
The trail is well maintained and the falls are stunning. I nearly wore out my camera taking photographs.
Written 3 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steve S
2 contributions
June 2019 • Family
At the time of our hike, Horsetail Falls was (and could easily still be) a badly marked trail, from the beginning all the way through (is there even an endpoint?). We didn’t really even know if we were near or on the trail at any point beyond the initial sign (along the road) pointing up a hill. The trail itself is fairly well-maintained, but again, I was guessing most of the way until I saw a waterfall that looked approximately like a horsetail. Early on the trail is gravel, then it goes to rocks, and then somewhat narrow wooden planks (all planks were in good to excellent shape).

The falls become visible after what feels like ~1 mile of, mostly uphill, hiking. Some of the terrain getting there is steep and not all of the rocks are entirely solid so watch your footing, especially with older folks. Given that there is zero signage throughout, you never really know if you have reached the best viewing point on the hike and when to turn around. Before we turned around, I hiked for about another quarter mile only to find that the view didn’t change at all.

The falls are beautiful, and I’d give this hike a higher rating if there was any signage giving me a clue I was on the right path, how far to the falls, best picture spots along the way, etc.

Different sites had this listed as an easy hike, so I took a 70 yr-old and 80 yr-old on it. They made it to the falls, but not the best choice of hikes for them. The one got nauseated along the way and the other almost fell on a loose rock. I would call this a “solid” moderate hike. Worth the view but go into it with your eyes wide open - i.e. there is no signage, and it does not qualify as an “easy” hike.
Written 9 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Doug
Brooklyn, NY41 contributions
Aug 2019
The trail to the falls is very manageable and a great hike, but the real payoff is if you continue past the falls after the trail breaks down and continue to the top (~3mi total on the way out). The views offer both sides of the bay. Spectacular. The second half is challenging and not for inexperienced hikers.
Written 4 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

V J
Houston, TX33 contributions
July 2019 • Family
This trail is all planked. Is great in the initial section that has planks 2 or 3 wide. Not so good when it gets to be single plank wide, and especially when the same is covered by bushes.

You cannot tell if planks are at the same level or if there is a step, could be dangerous.

Too many bugs and between fighting the bugs and keeping your eyes on the planks, hard to get a good view of the area.

Falls are distant and so is the stream, attached picture of falls and glacier view.
Written 10 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mobile638786
19 contributions
Nov 2017 • Couples
bring your camera, tuck in your carkeys some place safe...
lol, my boyfriend had dropped our keys on the hike, we almost lost them, we were lucky they hadnt gone into the falls, we had a good laugh later about that though, most definitely take as many pics as possible but also watch your step, it will be slick in some spots; look up often as there are so many eagles and other things to see
Written 27 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sangita G
Foster City, California, United States2 contributions
July 2018 • Family
We went on this hike with an 8 year old and a teenager. Easy trail with slight elevation at certain points. Overall a great one that ends with outstanding view. Lots of ptarmigan spotted on the way!
Written 18 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Judy e
Round Rock, TX28 contributions
June 2018 • Family
Be sure and stop for some photos at Horsetail Falls. Love just listening to the rushing water. Not far out of town on the main road to Anchorage.
Written 2 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Horsetail Falls Trail: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about Horsetail Falls Trail