Oneonta Gorge

Cascade Locks, Oregon

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This little adventure is indeed one of a kind. The Oneonta Gorge is a slot canyon barely 0.6 mile long in the Columbia River Gorge. Designated a botanical area by the USDA Forest Service, the steep basalt walls of the canyon are home to numerous rare plants and an incredibly scenic waterfall. At just over a mile round- trip, this hike doesn’t set any distance records, but burning lungs and thigh muscles aren’t why people visit this falls. The moment you descend the staircase leading to Oneonta Creek, you’re welcomed with an air temperature that can be as much as 20 degrees cooler than where you parked. There may be no better place in the Columbia River Gorge on a hot summer day! The cool canyon is narrow, with 100-foot walls of rock on either side. First things first, however; you have to get up, over, or around a large logjam that changes with each season. Exercise caution here and gauge your hiking party’s abilities. Though children frequently make this journey under the watchful eye of parents, this is very much a personal judgment call. Once the jam has been negotiated, the actual journey begins. Don’t bother looking for a trail here—Oneonta Creek is the trail.
Best Outdoor Adventures Near Portland, Oregon

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Outdoor Adventures Near Portland, Oregon

by Adam Sawyer (Falcon Guides)

This little adventure is indeed one of a kind. The Oneonta Gorge is a slot canyon barely 0.6 mile long in the Columbia River Gorge. Designated a botanical area by the USDA Forest Service, the steep basalt walls of the canyon are home to numerous rare plants and an incredibly scenic waterfall. At just over a mile round- trip, this hike doesn’t set any distance records, but burning lungs and thigh muscles aren’t why people visit this falls.

The moment you descend the staircase leading to Oneonta Creek, you’re welcomed with an air temperature that can be as much as 20 degrees cooler than where you parked. There may be no better place in the Columbia River Gorge on a hot summer day! The cool canyon is narrow, with 100-foot walls of rock on either side. First things first, however; you have to get up, over, or around a large logjam that changes with each season.

Exercise caution here and gauge your hiking party’s abilities. Though children frequently make this journey under the watchful eye of parents, this is very much a personal judgment call. Once the jam has been negotiated, the actual journey begins. Don’t bother looking for a trail here—Oneonta Creek is the trail.

© 2016 Adam Sawyer/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Cascade Locks
Distance: 1.2
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Duration: 1-2 hours
Season: Best: summer
Features: Waterfalls
Local Contacts: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, (541) 308-1700; www.fs.usda.gov/crgnsa
Local Maps: Oregon Road & Recreation Atlas: Page 37 F7
Driving Directions: Directions to Oneonta Gorge

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Apr 2018