Within the Columbia Gorge, or more correctly attached to it, is another gorge – Oneonta gorge. Most people see the middle portion of it as they take the trail from Horsetail falls up to Ponytail falls and then around to the bridge that crosses the upper reaches of the gorge.
There they can look upstream and see a small waterfall, called middle Oneonta falls, but if they look downstream you will see the wonder of Oneonta gorge itself, but it holds many secrets from this trail. It is down there that the real Oneonta waterfall is hidden.
Oneonta gorge is very deep and extremely narrow gorge and you can get a sense of that from the bridge but to see the real gorge and Oneonta falls you have to head back to the Historic Columbia Gorge Highway and be prepared to wade upstream for about ½ mile. Make sure you have shoes with some grip that can get wet and clothing that you don’t mind getting wet, something to change into when you get back or wait for the summer heat to dry you off and if you were thinking about packing stuff up there, make sure you are at least 5 foot tall and ready to carry stuff above your head. There are steps leading down both sides of the gorge. You will do a lot better starting off from the left set of stairs as you look upstream.
Now if only it were that simple. There are a few other obstacles, like a 20 foot logjam that you have to scramble over, but as you can see that is no deterrent to the many people who want to experience this natural wonder
Then there is the part where you have to wade through water up to your neck. It was about 4 feet 6 inches deep when we went and it is cold water – even in the middle of summer.
Yes, this is Jesse and she is getting close to the deepest part.
But once you are through all of the obstacles, you get to see Oneonta falls which is about 100ft in height and has a great swimming hole at its base. This is deep enough for kids to have a lot of fun with!
Brought to you by Brian Bailey