Narrow Oneonta Canyon, located within the Pacific Northwest’s mighty Columbia River Gorge, contains four massive waterfalls. Due to the wet climate, the Oneonta Gorge walls are covered in ferns, mosses, and lichens—many of which grow only in this specific area. There are few trails, but you can walk along the river at the bottom of the gorge.
Walk upstream from the river’s outlet along the Columbia River Highway to see Lower Oneonta Falls, Upper Oneonta Falls, and Triple Falls. You can also hike down Horsetail Falls Trail to the bridge crossing over Oneonta Creek, which provides views of Middle Oneonta Falls.
Columbia River Gorge tours sometimes include a visit to Oneonta Gorge along with Multnomah Falls, Bonneville Dam, and Beacon Rock. Some combination tours combine a Columbia River Gorge visit with a hop-on hop-off tour of Portland.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Oneonta Gorge is a must-see for nature lovers.
- There is no trail through the lower gorge, so hiking here usually involves walking in cold water that can be anything from ankle deep to chest high, depending on the season.
- If you plan on hiking, wear closed-toe hiking shoes and clothes you don’t mind getting wet.
How to Get There
Oneonta Gorge is located roughly 35 miles (56 kilometers) outside of Portland, Oregon, just off Interstate 84. Public transportation to the site is limited, but you can take a taxi, rental car, or guided tour.
When to Get There
Since there is no trail and you will likely get wet while hiking along the riverbed, it’s a good idea to visit during Oregon’s warm summer months. To void crowds, opt for an early morning or weekday visit.
Must-See Spots near the Oneonta Gorge
Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is full of waterfalls to explore, including Latourell Falls, Wahkeena Falls, Punch Bowl Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. There are numerous hiking trails throughout the area, making Columbia Gorge a popular scenic getaway from downtown Portland.