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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RT Distance 1 Miles
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

So Much Fun!!

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.

Photographers point of view

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.

Great hike in the Columbia River Gorge

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.


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