Hiking The Oneonta Gorge

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Added by Lindsey Banks

Short hike with some fun obstacles to maneuverA great way to cool off on a hot dayUnique waterfall hikeVery close to other great hikes and waterfalls in the area

There is actually no trail for this hike. The river is the trail, and you walk the river the entire way until you reach the beautiful Lower Oneonta Falls at the end. The whole hike is only 0.6 miles long out and back, but there are some tricky parts that require some bravery and skills to maneuver, making it a little more strenuous.

To get into the gorge, you'll start off at the east end of the Columbia River Highway and will see a large sign for the Oneonta Gorge. Parking is very limited so it pays to get there early.

The entrance to the gorge is a staircase on the side of the bridge. Once you walk down the staircase you will walk through a little bit of brush and then enter the riverbed.

The riverbed is pretty shallow at this point so we were able to walk right through it without getting too wet.

The gorge itself is beautiful, with bright green moss and plant-life hanging off the cliff walls. It's a narrow canyon, only 20 feet wide.

The first big challenge of the gorge hike is a huge log jam in the middle of the riverbed. You must first cross over a large rock and then the log jam to continue on.

After clearing the log jam the water is a lot higher and it came up to our waists. The water level will vary depending on the time of the year and the snow melt. I would recommend that you are prepared for any depth of water.

The water is pretty clear and I could even see some fish swimming around.

Once you get through the deeper water area, you will quickly come to the beautiful Lower Oneonta Falls. It's a 100-foot waterfall that spills into a clear pool. You can swim under the falls if you choose to brave the cold water again, or just enjoy the view from higher ground.

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Photography
Swimming
Hiking
Dog Friendly
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Cliff Jumping

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