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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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 (416)

51 Completed4 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.

Matt Kinney (2241)

63 Completed42 Reviews

Rock of Ages is by far one of the most difficult hikes out there. We took some detours that had us literally sidestepping over a sheer cliff face. It is definitely worth it to take the side trail to the top of ponytail falls. I am pictured above in the arch and I have to say besides Devil’s backbone, this is one of the best views of the gorge imaginable. This is a no kids hike that has some potentially dangerous moments, but if you keep your wits and sense of direction, you will be rewarded and want to go again. I am going again at the end of the week. Be careful and remember to pack out what you bring in…

Blake Romey (248)

10 Completed7 Reviews

Phenomenal hike. Difficult to get up. Some of the trails are more like deer trails than hiking trails, but once you get to the top the view is well worth the hike. If you continue up the trail goes almost endlessly to the top of the ridge. I recommend a nice day, it can get a little cold with the wind.

Shawn Severud (181)

1 Completed1 Reviews

I also agree with the last two reviewers. This is a very strenuous hike, so if you were with kids, you most likely didn't get to the actual trail. This trail breaks off up and to the left before you get to the waterfall. Rock of ages is beautiful (and windy) and the view from devil's backbone is incredible. Not for novice hikers.

Ashid Mapanzigan (159)

23 Completed3 Reviews

I agree with the previous review. Most of those posting below have confused this trail with the Horsetail and Triple Falls trail. I recently went with a couple friends to the Rock of Ages, which is perched directly up the side of the east canyon wall above Ponytail Falls, and it was a blast. Definitely not for amatuers, however, as the unmaintained trail is more of a near-vertical climb up a stone staircase.