• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    1 Miles

River
Scenic
Waterfall
Swimming Hole

Oneonta is a unique gorge that leads to beautiful Oneonta Falls. The experience of wading through chilly water to reach the falls only adds to the adventure.

This hike is very short (1 mile roundtrip) but does take some time to do. The trail leads down from the road into a stream bed. You follow the stream bed upstream through a narrow gorge. At the entrance to the gorge there is a large log jam. This requires some balance to climb over; be very careful if it is wet.

I like the path over the log jam on the far left near the gorge wall. Once you're over the log jam, the rest of the hike is just walking in and then wading through the stream. At one point in the stream the water gets quite deep, maybe 5ft depending on time of year. This section isn't very long but the water is cold. It is possible to cling to the rock and shimmy along the right side of the gorge and only have the water go up to about your knees. After the deep section, you arrive at the end of the gorge and the spectacular waterfall.

Pack List

  • Good shoes for hiking through water
  • Clothes you don't mind getting wet in
  • Towel if you wish to swim and dry off
  • Change of clothes for after the hike
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Reviews

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This short hike is a blast! Make sure it's warm when you go because the water is chilly and when I went I had to go through water up to my chin. Also be prepared for a lot of people as this seems to be a super popular adventure.

6 months ago
6 months ago

I did a lot of research on this place before finally going. Even with all the research there were still things that were somewhat unexpected. I arrived at 6:30pm last Monday.. Specifically because my model and I wanted to get there as people were leaving. Many were leaving at that time, but there were still quite a few. I did this hike while 25 weeks pregnant.. Although I was able to do it, it was difficult. People mention going over the log jam, but don't mention that it's not just a quick up and down. You climb up, then have to weave your way around on top of the logs where it can be slippery and there are places to fall through, etc. It was longer than I expected. After getting off of that section, there is one more smaller portion up ahead that you need to get through. After that the hike is easy amd short. I did see people with smaller children and dogs.. It is possible but I wouldn't risk it unless you are very secure and have a good pack or something to put them in. We went on a 90 degree day and the water really wasn't too cold and it was easy to get used to. It reached my upper thighs and I'm 5'5.. There are some deeper parts but you can avoid them. There were quite a few people still at the falls but quickly thinned out around 7:15, when we were able to get some good shots without other people in the background. We headed back out about an hour later and there were only probably 8 other people around. Originally we had wanted to arrive at 7am on a week day and I still think that would have been the better choice for less people and less waiting time. The falls are gorgeous as well as the canyon.. The pictures turned out amazing (find them @krystian.nykole) I will definitely be going back in the future.

7 months ago
7 months ago

This is a pretty quick hike to oneonta falls at the end of the gorge. I'd suggest wearing shoes with a sticky sole as you'll have to climb over logs and other slippery surfaces. Please exercise caution and move at a comfortable pace to avoid falling. Definitely go during the week if you can as other reviews have mentioned that the gorge gets pretty crowded on summer weekends.

7 months ago
7 months ago

Go during off hours and prepare to get soaked

10 months ago
10 months ago

the hike was fairly easy for something that will give you spectacular photographs. although there were many people when we went, it made the experience a little more fun. almost like we all shared the experience together. the water was freezing cold but totally fun. nothing like looking up those mossy canyon walls.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

This fall is actually my profile picture on here. It was an easy hike once getting over the log jam which is somewhat slippery but everyone helps everyone it seemed like to me. The falls was absolutely beautiful and the gorge as well. There was even a spot to the left of the falls that you could jump off of if you wanted to and it wasn't shallow(I went in mid-late July). Overall I would definitely recommend this hike to all ages and all hiking levels!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Visiting some Portland friends, (I'm from TX) she suggests this hike. It's already on my want to list. I loved climbing over the log jam. The water was down and when we got to the deep part it was up to my chest. I'm 5' 2.5". Chilly is not the word I would use for the temperature of the water AND still it was an amazingly beautiful gorge. A lot of people the day we went. I would definitely recommend this hike at least once!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

I thought the best part of this hike was just in overcoming the obstacles of the log jam and wading through the water. I chose to hang on to the rocky wall on the right side of the gorge to prevent myself (and my bag) from getting soaked. I went around 4 pm on a Sunday afternoon and most of the crowd was leaving at that time, which made the hike back out a little more peaceful.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

I want to bring my nice camera to get a good picture, what did you carry yours in to make sure it didn't get wet? Also, about how long in hours did this hike take in total? Any recommendations on parking?

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

I went to this hike around noon and it looked like about 40 people just trying to get over the first log area, so we left and came back the following day around 7am and there was only 6 other people.. I recommend going early cause it is sooooo beautiful and majestic but I can imagine with too many people it'll take away from the breathtaking views of this place. So def make it a point to go, but go early in the morning.. Ps. The water is freezing but doable

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

This is quite the little adventure. So much fun and totally worth the crowd i'm about to talk about. I definitely recommend going on a week day and early. We went on a Saturday and it was crazy crowded!! I had about a window of 15 seconds to take a photo of the waterfall with my big canon 5d before someone would walk right in the middle with their selfie stick. Lots of people bring their small children and dogs which I think is incredibly dangerous. Besides the people - this hike is soooo much fun. You feel like you are in a time warp.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

This is one of the coolest (in both senses of the word) hikes I've ever done. It is very short but the water is so cold I was glad it wasn't any longer. The hike was incredibly busy but people were taking turns taking photos of the waterfall, which was a nice gesture. Bring a dry sack for your electronics, just in case!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Went on a Friday at 7am. Gorge was completely empty both to and from the falls and up until we got back to the parking lot. I'd strongly suggest going early. It's a whole different experience when you're there with just the gorge, falls, and your party there to enjoy it. Plus, it may allow for some good wildlife viewing. During our visit a Great Blue Heron was chilling in the gorge. A fun sight to see.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

This was an amazing nature walk through water. Go during the week because Sunday was equivalent to going to Disneyland during a holiday. It was packed with people!!!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

This hike may be one of the shortest hikes I have ever done, but it is one of the most amazing! It's just different. When you get to the log jam it's like crossing into a hallway of serene beauty! I do recommend VERY highly you avoid going at peak hours for the max experience as walking in the gorge by yourself or when it's more quite is a unreal perspective. Another one of my favorite parts; the trail is water! Bring a raft or get ready to be wet! If you are in the Columbia river/Mt Hood area doing hike easily recommend taking a tiny portion of your day to check this spot out!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Wow! This place is fantastic! I visited for the first time a few days ago and I was amazed by how beautiful it was. The hike into the Gorge was fairly easy once you pass the big tree trunks but after that it's all up to you on how far you want to go depending on how deep and cold the water is.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Love it! An incredible area!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

If you're feeling really adventurous bring a small inflatable raft when the water is high.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Is my absolute favorite hike, it was amazing just to be in the gorge and look up. If I ever make it back to Portland I will def check this spot out again.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

This has been on my list of places to go forever and I was finally able to make it there during a business trip. The hike was short mile & the water is crystal clear and incredibly cold but worth every bit!! Everyone is incredibly friendly and respectable about allowing each person to get a picture at the gorge without tourist in the background.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Came here on a weekend in Mid-August and the place was crowded. Toddlers and dogs among many other people were tumbling over logs and each other to get over the log jam. Beware that if you have small children with you this may not be the hike for you.... However if you do you wish to stumble and test you balancing and climbing skills over the pile of logs, the challenge is well worth it! Portions of the walk to the falls are through the creek/river and it can get about chest deep during the time we went. (However it could often be deeper since we went during the summer in a drought) Also make sure to bring a swimsuit so you can swim under the falls at the very end!

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Really amazing - though as mentioned by others try to avoid peak hours and don't be afraid to do a little scrambling over the log jam.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Beautiful day hike for Northern Oregonians. Avoid peak hours if you don't like crowds!

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Go during the week, as weekends (especially sunny weekends) are packed with people and it takes away from the experience a little bit

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Michael Matti Explorer

Seattle based photographer and hiker. www.michaelmatti.com

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