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Oneonta Gorge and Waterfall

Posted by on Aug 16, 2012 in Nature | Comments Off on Oneonta Gorge and Waterfall

Oneonta gorge is a slot canyon with an impressive waterfall at the end. The Oneonta Gorge is in the Columbia River Gorge in the American state of Oregon. 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.

This hike is more of a swim. The beauty is the sheer cliff walls seen looming over you the entire way in. The strem spans from canyon wall to canyon wall, and while only ankle deep in most places, it does get up to your waist even in dry seasons so be prepared to get wet.