“home to the emerald canyon”
This is a truly unique hike, unlike any other. Wade through a river, which varies in depth depending on the time of year...the river is the trail! Oneonta Gorge is one of those hidden treasures that you just have to see to believe. Tucked away within the stunning Columbia River Gorge (which is a natural wonder all on its own), this magical creek might be one of America's most beautiful hikes. It was a miner '49er named Carleton Eugene Watkins, originally on the West Coast for the California gold rush, who first photographed the area, and he was the one who gave the gorge its name-- he called it "Oneonta" after his hometown of Oneonta, New York. Just fair warning-- if you do plan on hiking through the enchanting gorge, be prepared to get wet; at times the stream itself is the actual trail, taking you past enormus basalt walls covered in emerald green moss and bubbling, sparkling waterfalls. The lower gorge is a protected habitat for the rares lichens and ferns and wildlife, hence the need to walk upstream through the creek. There are four major waterfalls along the gorge (Upper Oneonta Falls, Middle Oneonta Falls, Lower Oneonta Falls and the triple falls), so the hike, which at times can be through chest-deep water, is totally worth it. If you'd rather not get wet while exploring Oneonta, don't sweat-- there are also trails and observation decks and bridges on dry land through other parts of the verdant gorge, so people of all hiking skill levels can experience it for themselves. - Roadtrippers The Oneonta Gorge is in the Columbia River Gorge in the state of Oregon. The U.S. Forest Service has designated it as a botanical area because of the unique aquatic and woodland plants that grow there. The basalt walls are home to a wide variety of ferns, mosses, hepatics and lichens, many of which grow only in the Columbia River Gorge. Oneonta Creek runs through the gorge. There are four major waterfalls on the creek. Middle Oneonta Falls can be seen clearly from a footpath and is very often mistaken for the upper or lower falls. The lower gorge has been preserved as a natural habitat, so there is no boardwalk or footpath through it as such. Thus, Lower Oneonta Falls can only be seen by walking upstream from the creek's outlet at the Historic Columbia River Highway. To get to a vantage point where the entire lower falls is visible can require wading through water that in some places can be chest-deep, depending on the season and the relative amount of snow-melt. The upper falls are about 1 mile upstream from the middle falls and require scrambling up the creek or climbing down a canyon wall to view. The fourth falls which is "Triple falls" can be seen from a vantage point on the upper trails in the canyon. The Oneonta Gorge was first photographed by Carleton Emmons Watkins, a native of Oneonta, New York, who had traveled west during the time of California Gold Rush of 1849. Watkins named the Oneonta Falls after his hometown.
Oneonta is one of my favorite hikes. That being said the Eagle Creek Fire has damaged this hike. My heart hurts for the land and this hike is closed for the foreseeable future. There will be falling rocks and other issues that make this hike currently unsafe. Please respect the land and give it time to heal so we can all enjoy this hike when it reopens in the years to come.
Oneonta Gorge Trail like most trails on the western to middle part of Oregon side in the Columbia Gorge are closed due the devastating fire last summer. Please give the trails time to heal and don't attempt to hike here.
I'm dying to go here! Apparently the gorge is not accessible by trail. Rather you must walk up the creek bed, over a large and perhaps unstable log jam, through the gorge, and up to your waist (or even torso depending on your height and the time of year) in water until you finally see your prize.
Currently closed until spring
This very short hike was great fun! Flip flops won't cut it and make sure you have good water protection for your phones and cameras since we had to walk through at least 4ft deep water in addition to the Jaeger log jam. We were there around 9am and parking was nearly full. It's a mini-adventure.
Hiking up the Oneonta Gorge was a fun adventure!! I read that it was an easy hike; that isn't true. The hike requires climbing over a log jam and wading through cold water. Proper shoes are a must and only bring with you what is necessary. The hike itself is fun, but the reward is seeing the falls at the end.
Go as early as you can, because it gets a bit crowded.
Definitely one of my favorite places, gorgeous all the way till the main event. Fun, not too long, cold water, and a beautiful ending.
The water is really cold and the log jam takes some skill to get over, but the amazing views are well worth it! This place is a must see!
It's a popular place. There's a lot of people wanting to take the plunge into freezing natural waters. It's an obstacle course to get there, rocks, logs, knee high and chest high water. But it is a beautiful trail and sight.
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- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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Not Wheelchair Accessible
No Public Restrooms
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