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Oneonta Gorge, Cascade Locks

#1 of 9 in Nature in Cascade Locks
Geologic Formation · Hiking Trail
Oneonta Gorge features four major waterfalls dropping over the edges of 25-million-year-old basalt walls covered in lush, endemic woodland and aquatic plants. This dramatic chasm offers ample hiking and bird-watching opportunities. Be prepared to scramble over slippery rocks, wade in chest-deep cold water, and negotiate wobbly logjams. The plunge pool at the bottom of the Lower Oneonta Falls is a popular summer swimming destination. With our world travel planner, Cascade Locks attractions like Oneonta Gorge can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
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Oneonta Gorge reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
506 reviews
  • This is a short hike, but absolutely amazing. The hike is through the water, so bring proper attire. There is a large log jam, which means a long line to get started, but you can go around the jam...  more »
  • Great place....but its closed because it has been destroyed by the carelessness of someone who did not care about it .
  • The Oneonta Gorge is a scenic gorge located along the Columbia River. Because of the unique vegetation that grows there, this gorge has been designated as a botanical area by The U.S. Forest Service. It follows then that these plants are to be looked at but not touched, and that hikers should respect the growth and stay on the trail. Many of the varieties that grow here can grow only here in the Gorge. 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 drop of the Middle Falls is 24-feet and that’s the one we saw. The Lower Gorge has been preserved as a natural habitat, so hikers don't usually go there. Thus, Lower Oneonta Falls can only be seen by walking upstream from the creek's outlet at the Historic Columbia River Highway. If one really wants to see the entire Lower Falls, it is visible, but this can require wading through cold, chest-deep, water at certain times of the year. That's not for me. 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. There is also a great old railroad tunnel that is now part of the pedestrian path.

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