What They Are about
The Oneonta Gorge is a scenic gorge located in the Columbia River Gorge area of the American state of Oregon. The U.S. Forest Service has designated it as a botanical area because of the unique aquatic and woodland plants that grow there. Exposed walls of 25-million-year-old basalt are home to a wide variety of ferns, mosses, hepatics and lichens, many of which grow only in the Columbia River Gorge. Oneonta Gorge has been described as "one of the true dramatic chasms in the state.
There are four major waterfalls on the Oneonta Creek as it runs through the gorge. 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.
*Motor vehicles are prohibited.
*Fires not allowed within 200 feet of trail.
*Mountain bikes are only allowed from Larch Mountain Trailhead to junction with Trail #444.
*Wilderness restrictions apply once you enter Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness area.