Discovered as recently as the late 1960s and, until recently, considered to be confined to southernmost Brazil in the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, the Long-tailed Cinclodes has recently been found much further north in the highlands of Minas Gerais. Principally grayish brown above, the head is marked by a long white supercilum and a striking white throat, while the rest of the underparts are pale buffy brown, and there are two broad cinnamon wing bars. The plumage is typical of the genus, but the unusually long bill and tail stand out immediately. Long-tailed Cinclodes is principally found between 750 and 1700 m, and it is generally uncommon or locally fairly common. Although not certainly known, its closest relative is postulated to be the Buff-winged Cinclodes (Cinclodes fuscus).