The Oneonta Gorge is a gem of the Columbia River Gorge area and home to four scenic waterfalls. Lower Oneonta Falls, Middle Oneonta Falls, Upper Oneonta Falls, and Triple Falls make Oneonta Gorge hike one of a kind. The U.S. Forest Service considers Oneonta Gorge a botanical area thanks to unique aquatic and woodland vegetation. Twenty-five million-year-old basalt formations boast some mosses, ferns, and lichens that grow only here. Therefore lower gorge has been set as a restricted area to be preserved as a natural habitat, and Lower Oneonta Falls can only be seen if you walk a hiking trail upstream from the creek's outlet.
Oneonta Gorge Trail is a 4.9-mile long and is rated as moderate. It features elevation gain of 1,633 ft (498 m) and is best used from June through October. This season is the best time to visit the Oneonta Gorge as the weather conditions are most favorable. If you want to hike upstream, in late summer and early fall the water levels are low enough to make the path walkable. Hikers have to be prepared to walk over logs, climb through rocks and get into cold water. In the end, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views.
In 2017-2018 hiking seasons, Oneonta Gorge Trail was closed due to flash floods and the Eagle Creek Fire. So check Forest Service website before planning your trip.
Oneonta Gorge is quite close to Portland, some 40-minute drive from the city. The trailhead is located off the Historic Columbia River Highway in Oneonta.