Rock of Ages and Horsetail Creek loop hike

#5 of 5 trails in Ainsworth State Park

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Rock of Ages and Horsetail Creek Loop Trail is a 9.4 mile loop trail located near Bridal Veil, Oregon and is only recommended for very experienced outdoorsmen. The hike starts at Horsetail Falls trailhead and veers left after 6 switchbacks just before Ponytail Falls.

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Scott Finnie (613)

20 Completed15 Reviews

Victoria is right on so many points about the trail. (1) The start from the Pony falls trail is obscured and partly hidden by a large tree. (2) Its one of the steepest trails on the Gorge so she is right walking sticks are a distraction. (3) It should be noted truly is an unmaintained so should only attempted by experienced hikers and certainly no dogs or children. I have completed the Rock of Age, Horsetail (Trail # 424), and Oneonta Trail (Trail # 424) loop in both directions. The loop is 10.7 miles by my GPS and reaches a max elevation of 3,050 feet. My advice is if you are going to attempt this loop start with Rock of Ages portion first the accent down Rock of Ages could do number on the legs of the best of hikers. Apart from that Rock of Ages Arch and the cliffs faces viewed at this point are worth the detour of the trail. It is one hell of hike however because of the strenuous nature of the trail I give it three stars.

Sang Shin (399)

8 Completed9 Reviews

Sang Shin (399)

8 Completed9 Reviews

Sang Shin (399)

8 Completed9 Reviews

Victoria Zorzoli (101)

1 Completed1 Reviews

Update on Rock of Ages: There are no longer any signs available, at least none that are visible. You need to take a left up a staircase made of roots right after the bend to Pony tail falls. There's a large rock with a scraped arrow pointing up. After that, you're on your own. I highly recommend only experienced hikers without dogs and children take this hike. Walking sticks are a hazard and a distraction, don't take them. I hike twice a week all over PNW and I am very fit and I found this hike strenuous and I even had a panic attack once I reached the top and could not fathom a safe way down. I completed about 7 miles of this hike and possibly took a shortcut down because I could not locate a safer exit that led to what is described above. There are several forks that are unmarked. It was summer time so the dirt and roots were very loose and dry. Many times on Devil's backbone the rocks were crumbling underneath me. The hike is very often vertical climbing foot to hand. The views are incredible and the best of the Columbia river. Just note: you'll be all alone.

Melanie Hernandez (156)

4 Completed5 Reviews

Rocky But Fun!

Sam Kimerling (93)

2 Completed1 Reviews

Nick Noble (160)

12 Completed3 Reviews

This is a challenging hike that rewards your 3,000 ft climb with creek crossings and waterfall views. It doesn't get much better than this in the Gorge. The shorter version to Devil's Backbone is still a tough climb, but can be done as an out and back instead of the full loop. Not family friendly, and remember to bring enough water.

Jon B (467)

52 Completed5 Reviews

very steep. phenomenal views. interesting geology. did i mention very steep?

Tim Todd (14729)

1064 Completed140 Reviews

My favorite trail in this area. It is a difficult and all of it has been said in previous reviews so I won't repeat. Be careful and enjoy the views.