ONEONTA GORGE | COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE, OREGON

Visiting Oneonta Gorge was one of my favorite parts of the Columbia River Gorge area. Oneonta Gorge is a smaller gorge that has massive rock walls on each side of Oneonta Creek and leads straight to the Lower Oneonta Falls.

The high walls of Oneonta Gorge set a dramatic scene and makes it seem as though you’re the lead in a movie about a gallant quest and you’re not sure what’s at the end or how long you’ll be trekking under this towering canopy. It also reminds me of the trench in Finding Nemo that Marlin and Dory were supposed to “swim through, not over.”

I remember seeing photos of Oneonta Gorge and thinking that I had to go. I’m so glad we were able to.

Oneonta Gorge is very easy to get to, as it is right off the Historic Columbia River Highway. You’ll find the parking right where gps tells you to go, and then after a short walk down the road you’ll see the opening. Can’t miss it. But be prepared to get wet, and know that the water is COLD! While most of the Oneonta Creek is ankle deep or less, it does get very high in some places – sometimes as high as your chest. Wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet, and wear bugspray. The hike isn’t long – only 1 mile out and back – with the falls at the dead end of the gorge.

Somehow, Mark was able to navigate himself across the rocks right above the high water so he wouldn’t get our camera equipment wet and could take photos of the falls right after the deep part. I have no idea how I was able to trust him not to with the equipment, but I’m glad I did!

Oneonta Gorge has so many fun obstacles, including cold water, fallen trees, log traffic jams, rocks, and more. I can’t stress enough how beautiful and fun this place was. I’d go over and over if I could.

Stay tuned for photos of the Upper Oneonta Falls, and a great view of the Oneonta Gorge from the top of the Lower Oneonta Falls!

[All photos were taken in August 2014.]

HORSETAIL FALLS | COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE, OREGON

Horsetail Falls is a great waterfall to visit that’s right off the Historic Columbia River Highway. And when I say right off the highway, I mean you just park your car and step outside of it and you’re there, right in front of the waterfall. Easy peasy!

This also appears to be a great spot to swim in, as the falls aren’t too rough and the water is fairly shallow and easy to access. To me, the neatest part of this Horsetail Falls was the crevasse it’s water carved out of the rock face, and the rocks themselves.

If you’re interested in a hike, the Horsetail Falls Trailhead is located at this spot, and will take you to another waterfall, Ponytail Falls.

Click here to check out the other waterfalls and sights we visited while exploring the Columbia River Gorge.

[All photos were taken in August 2014.]

CROWN POINT | COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE, OREGON

We saw so many waterfalls along the Columbia River Gorge, including Multnomah Falls and Bridal Veil Falls (and with more waterfalls to come!), so it was great to drive up to Crown Point for a great view of all that encompasses the Columbia River Gorge.

The view was super impressive. You know how they say that everything’s bigger in Texas? Not true. Our rivers are, at the most, half the width of the Columbia River. Now, I’m not complaining. I LOVE my rivers. But our rivers that have water as gorgeous as this are usually spring-fed, so they’re small. Simply put, the Columbia is just big and pretty. :)

I also loved the small streams winding off the river into the green meadows, the cliffs and hills in the background, and the small beaches along the banks of the rivers.

The Vista House is a good place to pull over to get some great views, but there are a few more up at Crown Point.

[All photos were taken in August 2014.]