. A northern California hiking video and travel guide - Horsetail Falls : Budget Travel Adventures

A northern California hiking video and travel guide – Horsetail Falls

Jeremy Branham Horsetail Falls hiking CaliforniaNorthern California hiking is something that never interested me when I moved to California 11 years ago.  Since I’ve spent time exploring the area, I now have a passion for hiking.

While I haven’t done as many hikes as I would have liked, this area is home to a number of incredible hikes – Round Top, Mount Tamalpais, Muir Woods, and various trails near Lake Tahoe.

While I love exploring Sacramento, I want to check out many more northern California hiking trails this year.

Surprisingly, there are a number of incredible hikes that I still haven’t done.  Northern California hiking trails range from easy to strenuous with views of lakes, oceans, trees, canyons, fields, and more.

In my northern California hiking guide, I talk about the various trails near Lake Tahoe where people can hike. However, one place I didn’t mention is a short, moderate hike that many people compare to Yosemite.

This past weekend I had the chance to experience one of the best hikes northern California has to offer – Horsetail Falls.

In my 11 years of living here, I can’t believe I had never done this hike.  As the snow melts each winter, water tumbles down this ridge nearly 800 feet below as it zigs and zags to Pyramid Creek.

Unlike most waterfalls, every step you hike up Horsetail Falls showcases a different view as the twists and turns give you a greater appreciation of its beauty and power as the water tumbles and roars past you.

While this hike is short, it’s not without adventure.  You will traverse across slabs of granite, cross over water and streams, and scale over rocks and around bushes to reach Horsetail Falls.

The best time to visit is in early Spring or summer when the Falls are at their peak.  During this time of year, Pyramid Creek is more like a raging river than a bumbling brook.   However, the views at every turn will reward your efforts and give you plenty of opportunities to stop and look at the scenery all around you.

If you love the northern California hiking trails and want to see beautiful waterfalls and valleys that hide in the shadow of Lake Tahoe’s Sierra Nevada mountains, check out this video travel guide to one of the best northern California hiking trails around – Horsetail Falls.

Northern California Hiking – Horsetail Falls

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Filed Under: CaliforniaDestinationsFeaturedHikingnorthern California


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  1. Horsetail Falls looks like a beautiful hike and trail. Great information for those looking to go on a hike in northern California.

    • You would love northern California. There are some great areas to hike here and you would love Lake Tahoe. It’s a huge lake and you could definitely kayak there.

      As for the hike, hopefully people are interested in it. I’ve lived here for years and didn’t know much about it.

  2. Jennifer says:

    What a great part of the state! I haven’t ventured that far away from Lake Tahoe yet, makes me want to go to Horsetail Falls now.

    • Horsetail Falls is 20 minutes from Lake Tahoe so it’s really close. I LOVE Lake Tahoe – one of my favorite spots. I try to go there every year as my getaway spot. I just don’t go to hike but that area is so peaceful for me.

      As for the hike, it’s a beautiful one but not an easy one. However, it’s worth the effort!

      Do you typically do any hiking when you travel?

  3. Steve Whitty says:

    Great video. Never thought about leaving the city and exploring the outdoors when I was in the US.

    • Ironically, I am quite the opposite. When I travel I love the cities. When I am at home, I want to get away from them. I guess that’s why I like the outdoors so much! :)

      With your travels, do you still like the city or do you explore a little outside the city?

      • Steve Whitty says:

        I am more of a city person. Love exploring the city streets and wandering aimlessly in museums and galleries. Off to Madrid at the end of June.

        • When I travel, I do love the cities! However, I try to balance cities with small towns and relaxing getaways. I go non stop from sun up to sun down. I am more tired from my travels than I was when I left! However, I love seeing and learning and cities provide such an opportunity to explore.

          With that said, Madrid wasn’t my favorite city in Spain. I am curious what you think of it when you go there. Will you be visiting other places in Spain?

          • Steve Whitty says:

            At the moment it is just Madrid. I do not have much time off work. However, I am flexible and might take in a site outside of Madrid.

          • If you get the chance, Toledo is about a 45 minute bus ride from Madrid. I liked the area. Yes, it’s a little touristy but it’s an easy escape from Madrid if you want to get outside of the city. You could also do El Escorial as well.

  4. Leah Travels says:

    Nice job, Jeremy. Some of that looks like the Queenstown area of New Zealand. Horsetaill Falls looks like a pretty easy hike with a great reward at the end.

    • Thank you Leah. It was my first attempt at a real video. Very beautiful areas up here in Tahoe. However, it’s not an easy hike. You need to be skillful and I wouldn’t recommend this for young kids. Lots of climbing on rocks so you have to be careful. It’s listed as a moderate hike and even though it’s short, it’s not easy.

  5. Good video, next time im in California, hope to have as good time like you did.

  6. Great job on the video. Horsetail Falls looks enticing and a must see, looks like we’ll be adding that to our to do list for the summer.

  7. Andrea says:

    I didn’t do nearly enough hiking (ok, let’s say any) hiking when I was living in San Francisco. I’d get out for walks here and there around the Bay but it seems I really missed out in the surrounding areas. This waterfall looks spectacular!

  8. darrell says:

    My wife and I were in Tahoe a number of years ago and didn’t even get a chance to see any of these hikes I’ve just seen on your site :-(
    I have added them to my list when we get back to the Tahoe area.
    I haven’t looked through your entire site, but do you have info on the American River. We rafted the North Fork and it was Incredible!
    Thanks for the posts.

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