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Horsetail Falls

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Horsetail Falls is a beautiful waterfall surrounded by mountains in Alpine, Utah.

It’s about four miles round trip and quite steep, so I haven’t attempted to bring my kids along. I have seen other families taking on the challenge though.  This post is about the traditional trail.  If you want to go up the north side (my preferred) or an alternate route, check out these posts. This trail begins in Alpine and is very scenic right from the beginning. The wildflowers were stunning along the bottom part of the trail!

The middle section of the trail has beautiful pines. I saw a squirrel and heard the birds singing.

Near the very end of the hike you come to a wooden sign. Head left and then about 20 feet after look to your left. There is a trail that keeps going to Lake Hardy, so the turn off could easily be missed. There is a bungee rope attached because it is steep. After that, follow the trail through the trees to get to the falls. These photos was taken on another time I hiked it and shows me coming back up after seeing the falls.

There was a tiny bit of snow at the top, but the path was mostly dry. periodically throughout the hike there are opportunities for lovely city views.

The waterfall was going strong, but will get even more robust in the next month or two. Everything with get greener and the wildflowers will bloom at higher elevations.

This is a great workout with over 1600 feet in elevation gain and mostly shaded. It is steep, but the waterfall and views are very rewarding!

The above photos were taken the first days of May, but the ones below were taken at the beginning of July, after it was much greener.

It isn’t common for me to see lizards in Northern Utah, but we saw this little guy on the Horsetail Falls trail.

This hike is amazing during the fall. These were all taken in mid-October.

This is also such a beautiful one with a dusting of snow. Sometimes people even hike up with sleds and do some extreme sledding back down.

Here are more photos from Horsetail Falls!

Stats: Distance – 4 miles roundtrip
Approximate hiking time – 2 to 4 hours
Elevation gain – 1,617 feet
Difficulty – Moderate
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks.
Bathrooms – None
Seasons to hike – April – November
Permits needed – None
Pets allowed – Yes

Other nearby trails are Horsetail Falls Northside Route, Alpine Poppies, Three Falls Trail, Grove Creek Canyon, Ghost Falls, and Sensei Trail.


We have so much beauty in Utah to explore! I love hiking and photography and can help you find your next favorite hike! All photos were taken by me!