Trail Run Project Logo

Horsetail Falls

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (25) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

3.3

Miles

5.4

KM

84%

Runnable

6,785' 2,068 m

High

6,116' 1,864 m

Low

682' 208 m

Up

682' 208 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Waterfall

Overview

At the right time of year, when the runoff from snowmelt is near its peak, this run can be absolutely remarkable. The destination is the waterfall, but the scenery along the creek on the way up is great the whole way.

Runner Notes

The upper part of this trail is quite slippery on wet granite, and the lower section can be quite crowded with families. This might not be the most runnable of trails.

Description

Parking for this trail is located at the easy-to-find Pyramid Creek 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 run.

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 runner. 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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Michael Ahnemann with improvements by Tony T

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 25 votes

#359

Overall
  4.5 from 25 votes
5 Star
52%
4 Star
44%
3 Star
4%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#57

in California

#359

Overall
116 Views Last Month
12,200 Since Aug 9, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
5%
48%
0%
48%
0%

Photos

Stream crossings during extremely high water level period. Waterfall flowed down from Peak 8417 and flooded forest.
Apr 8, 2018 near South L…, CA
Horsetail Falls.
Sep 2, 2016 near South L…, CA
Flooded forest after significant warm rainfall, below the Cascade Viewpoint and above Highway 50
Apr 8, 2018 near South L…, CA
Cascade Viewpoint during flooding period. Looking out towards Lover's Leap and Western Sierra.
Apr 8, 2018 near South L…, CA
Pyramid Creek.
Sep 2, 2016 near South L…, CA
Horsetail Falls July 21, 2018
Jul 22, 2018 near South L…, CA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

none