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Hiking Oregon (State Hiking Guides Series)
by Lizann Dunegan (Falcon Guides)
© Lizann Dunegan/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Beautiful hike, even on a drizzly day!! A little snow on the trail above Triple Falls, and a stream to cross within sight of the bridge turnaround point above Triple Falls. Still somewhat busy on the trail in spite of the season and weather. I took a friend visiting from out of town and she was duly impressed with the beauty of the area!
We started at Multnomah falls to Larch Mountain. We took a left and headed up up up to Franklin Ridge. With our map left on the dining room table we thought we might be lost and too far east until we finally came to the Oneonta trailhead market. (what a relief!) we hiked down with amazing views. Large Boulders, Huge trees and views to die for all the way down. We finally reached a few trailheads but stayed on Oneonta. After a few miles of all downhill hiking, we reached triple falls and horsetail falls trail head. Triple falls was beautiful but it was busy with people (Sunny Saturday afternoon) We reached Trail #400 and headed back to Multnomah falls. You hike up, down and on level ground. You reach the Scenic Columbia River Gorge Hwy at one point them jump back on trail. A few views are incredible. Mostly dirt trail and rock. Overall it was a beautiful hike, and the 12 mile loop was a great workout.
A wonderful hike and, on this winter day, many icy parts of the trail, dictating use of a hiking staff or ski pole. So much to enjoy: Horsetail, Ponytail, Oneonta and Triple falls; Oneonta Gorge and Oneonta Creek, and a well-maintained trail. Although the hiking guidebooks call the trail Triple Falls, going to the bridge 5 minutes beyond is well worth while ... and continuing on past the bridge is a trail that matches and exceeds many others. Immediately across the bridge upstream from Triple Falls is a wonderfully flat backpacker site.
This trail gets off to a great start with a view of Horsetail Falls right near the parking area (which gets very crowded, so arrive early on busy days). The trail itself is about one-third switchback, so it requires moderate physical condition for its entire length. The vistas are beautiful, as with many Gorge trails, and the several waterfalls add to the scenic beauty. The trail is well-maintained, as are the bridges, and there are several natural rest areas along the way if you get tired. The trail's highlight is definitely the walk behind the Ponytail Falls in a natural cleft in the cliffside: extremely picturesque. The trail's only downside is that it's very popular and therefore crowded; solitude is not to be found.
An easy hike past several gorgeous waterfalls. Starting from Horsetail falls directly on the historic highway, this trail offers a spectacular sampler of what the gorge has to offer. After a short series of switchbacks, you reach Upper Horsetail falls which is actually a plunge falls. The trail goes under the falls and has a view out into the gorge from under the waterfall, nice. Proceeding onward the sounds of I-84 diminish as you head inland. Since I was there on a weekday, I had the trail wholly to myself. During a short switchback down to the first bridge, a nice angle of Oneonta Gorge can be seen off to the north. Heading onward and upward the trail climbs gently past several hard to see waterfalls before smacking directly into Triple Falls which I found particularly pleasing. After the falls, cross another bridge and head upward for another mile along the creek to the last bridge at 3.2 miles. Descending I ran into a few groups of people and once I heard the highway again I knew I wasn't far from the car. Overall a great hike, but is probably not so great during the tourist season.
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