Length: 10 miles round trip
Elevation gain : 3,000 feet
Not dog friendly
We did this hike last summer, although we never found the trail to the Rock of ages, it was a beautiful, strenuous, long hike. We started out on Horse Tail Falls trail head in Oregon. The directions to the hidden trail was very difficult to follow. At one point we were sure we had found it. We climbed hand over foot using tree roots as a ladder. We did this for about 2 miles before we hit a wall which wasn’t possible to climb up unless we had appropriate climbing gear, which we did not. We were forced to go back down the same way we came, which was harder than going up. At some points we had to slide down feet first belly down grabbing anything we could to slow ourselves down, at times being close to cliff edges. The adrenaline rush was amazing though. We finally got back on the main trail where we tried another potential trail. This was also a very steep climb and not the right trail. We finally decided to turn around because it was obvious that this wasn’t the trail and it was getting late. We were covered in dirt, bleeding from multiple cuts, sore, and hungry. Although we never found the trail I would recommend attempting to. It was so much fun and we will be back to try again this summer.
Listed below are the directions which we tried to follow. Good luck!
“The hike begins at Horsetail Falls Trailhead. Start up Horsetail Falls Trail #438, which gains about 300 feet in five switchbacks. Soon the trail levels out with some great viewpoints then veers south (left) sharply as it wraps around a corner and heads into the gorge at the top of Horsetail Falls. Just after this bend, and before hitting Ponytail Falls, watch for a large tree on your left that looks to have been hurdled by a thousand root-clinging children. This is the Rock of Ages Trail Junction and the start of the primitive Rock of Ages trail. About 50 feet uptrail watch for a cryptic “Trail Not Maintained” sign.” (Oregonhikers.org)