Columbia Gorge – Oneonta Gorge



OCTOBER 7, 2012

Info:  From the Oregon Hike Book by Sean Patrick Hill. The Columbia Gorge, as impressive as it is, isn’t the only gorge around here. Take the Oneonta Gorge, for instance, a narrow slot sliced into sheer volcanic rock extending back more than a mile into the cliffs. On a summer day, with the right clothes and footwear, it’s possible to wade back into the gorge to a secret waterfall. The more common way to see this gorge is to climb up and around it, passing numberous falls and crossing a crazily high bridge on your way to a triple waterfall falling on Oneonta Creek.

Directions: From Portland, drive I-84 east to Exit 35 for Ainsworth Park and follow the Columbia Highway to the right 1.5 miles to the Horsetail Falls Trailhead parking area.

Jenn’s View: This is an interesting hike. More of climbing logs and wading to shoulder height water and a little bit of rock climbing. THIS WAS FUN AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! As long as you are not afraid of getting wet and cold and climbing.

OKAY OKAY, I know it has been FOREVER since I have written on this blog. I’m catching up. I still have a couple hikes that were done early 2013. It’s June 2, 2013 and I’m working on a 2012 entry?!?!?! What’s up with that?!?! Sheez, for geez-sakes Jenn – get to the point! Well, one reason I had a delay in hikes or entry is this:

Foot Surgery

I had foot surgery on January 23, 2013 and recovery is gonna be at least 6 months. I can do some things (most things) now but every now and then my foot reminds me of my surgery. I will be getting the other foot done the end of this year —  I know I know – just get on with the hike, we are tired reading about your foot.

Okay, I drove from Scott’s house in Terrebonne to the Columbia Gorge to meet Jodi for this special hike. I kept promising her that I would go hiking with her in the Gorge so be it… we did it. I forgot I had both my dogs, Shadowlynn and Muffy so hoping for something easy because of Muffy. Hmmm, I was in for a surprise.

Now this place gets photographed quite often. It’s absolutely beautiful with the right camera and lighting condition. Too bad, I didn’t have a camera but just my camera phone. I really need to invest in a camera :(.

Here is a one of the photographs of the place when the water level is insane. This photo credit belongs to Peter Lik.  I saw his gallery in Miami and fell in love with his work.

Photo by Peter Lik

Photo by Peter Lik

The first obstacle is to face the very steep stairs. With a dog that pulls, I had to be extra careful not to fall.

Steep stairs!

Steep stairs!

Just a few steps you will see interesting little coves and then low and behold you come to your next obstacle. Getting older, I tend to be a bit more cautious on what I climb and what I do. I seem to lose my balance easier than when I was younger.
So, I had to lift Shadowlynn up on these logs along with Jodi’s dog Maxie. Of course, my dog is hesitant and resists the assistance on these logs but I can’t leave her behind, so up so she goes. Maxie seems to do better and notice she absolutely LOVES water. Shadowlynn’s Lab part of her never kicks in but her Bordie Collie side does and HATES the water. She’s shaking and shivering like I’m going to sentence her to death but she did well and made it over ALL while I am holding Muffy in one arm!
Oneonta Gorge  Oneonta Gorge  Oneonta Gorge
Okay, We made it over all that mumbo jumbo logs, dogs and all! Now is the wet spots… We had to cross the creek, wade in the creek, and try to avoid the creek from getting into should height waters by climbing the rocks. Mind you, it’s October! The water is sooooooo cold. My feet are already numb from going through the water. I should have worn sandals. I had to figure out what to do with Muffy most of the time because she has never swam in the water and man, she has no undercoat so nothing is going to keep her warm. But we did it and we made it!
160  141  Oneonta Gorge
Oneonta Gorge
Oneonta Gorge
Holding Muffy while crossing the creek!
Oneonta Gorge
If I’m not holding her, she’s in my backpack!
In order to get to the waterfall, you have to decide whether or not to go THRU the water or try to go around. The bravest goes through but the ones who are smart, climbs the wall with a dog in their backpack! LOL
Oneonta Gorge
Once you cross the water, you have reached the end and to the small waterfall. I bet it’s bigger during the Fall/Spring time but I bet you would have to take a canoe in or something.
Oneonta Gorge Oneonta Gorge Oneonta Gorge
Now it wouldn’t be my blog without a picture of me. Muffy became camera shy….
Jennifer Piol

Jennifer Piol

My bestie and me finally hitting the Gorge!

Oneonta Gorge

Jodi Williams (Gibbons) and Jennifer Piol

I highly recommend this hike but prepared to be cold and wet…. Have fun and don’t forget to check out our Facebook page…

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