Location: Horsetail Falls is located near Twin Bridges, CA on the way to Lake Tahoe, CA.
Distance: ~3 miles
Rating: Easy to Moderate
Permits: None required
We chose to do this hike as a “practice run” for using our overnight packs for our Mt. Whitney trip that was coming up later that summer. We started the hike early in the morning to make sure we were able to snag a parking spot in the very small lot that is located right next to the trailhead. Street parking is also an option when the lot is full.
Overnight bags are not necessary for this hike. I recommend using a small day-pack with water, snacks and sunscreen. Hiking shoes are also a better option over regular tennis shoes. If you are looking to swim at the base of the falls, following the creek upstream is your best option. If you want to hike up to the side of the falls (this is what we did), there are a couple of signs that will point you in the right direction up the mountain.
The hike up towards the falls is fairly steep and the entire hike is just over 3 miles. Once you get to the falls, you have the option of heading back or continuing your hike up to the top of the falls (this is recommended for very experienced hikers). Horsetail Falls is gorgeous and we were fortunate enough to have amazing weather throughout the entire day.
The trail is dog-friendly and open from June to September.