It was at an art gallery in Las Vegas, when we first saw the fascinating picture of Oneonta Gorge. The picture reminded us of some place you only see in the movies; it was mystical and spellbinding.
A few years later, my husband and I were planning a trip to Montana to see Glacier National park. We decided to fly into Portland, Oregon. As we were planning the itinerary, we decided to do some site seeing around Portland. And, that’s when Oneonta Gorge picture came up in our search and there it was, the hidden gem of Oregon.
Oneonta Gorge hike is not just a regular hike, it is an extremely unique experience. It is a 1.5 mile round trip hike. What makes this hike unique from the others is that there is no trail, the river itself is the trail. It is located next door to busy Multnomah Falls. You can park in the designed area near the bridge, and you can start walking down to the creek on the east side of the bridge. Remember, it is slippery and you will get wet; therefore, wear proper shoes and clothing.
I would recommend going in late summer when the water is not too deep nor too cold. During summers, it can get crowded; however, even when it is full of people, it is fun to share the adventure with others. But, before you get wet, be prepared to navigate through logs and climb through rocks. But, don’t worry, thousands do it every year, and they all survive. Just don’t fall and twist your ankle.
When we went in late summer, the water was freezing cold. It felt like glacier waters; however, once you take a dip in it, you will feel very refreshed. After all, it is the challenge of the hike that makes it more fun. As you walk along the river bed, you will cross some portions where the water is neck high depending on your height.
So, after you have scrambled through a log jam and passed neck deep waters, and reach the dead end, you will definitely say to yourself that it was all worth it when you see the magical 100-foot falls surging and plunging down the mossy slope.
After taking enough photos until there was no memory left in our camera and we were shaking with cold, we ventured back the same way we came, but this time, we returned back feeling like brave conquerors.
Tips & Advice:
It is open year round and there is no fee
Parking is free
Water can be freezing cold; therefore, best time to go would be in summer months
Crowded on the weekends. Weekdays or early morning would probably be best
I wouldn’t recommend bringing your pets unless you are strong enough to carry them as you climb the logs and balance yourself.
You can bring children, but remember the water at its lowest is probably about 3 feet deep.
The water can get stomach/chest deep at times depending on your height, so make sure to bring only what is necessary and waterproof.
Wear proper clothing and shoes as you will get wet and the trail can be slippery especially as you scramble through the log jam.