How to Get to Oneonta Gorge Hike!

Okay, so the Oneonta Gorge hike isn’t really a “hike.”  It’s more of a “wade & scramble.”  Wading waist-deep through freezing ass water, that is!  Which is why Oneonta Gorge is perfect for hot summer days.  I would never attempt this “hike” on a winter’s day unless you’re an absolute masochist & want to freeze your balls off!  Got it?!  Okay good ~ & on that note, here’s how to get to Oneonta Gorge hike!

How to Get to Oneonta Gorge Hike, Girl Who Travels the World

Making your way through narrow passages like this is the name of the game at Oneonta. Only with a lot more people than this.

Eagle Creek Fire Update

Unfortunately, the devastating Eagle Creek Fire, that occurred in the Columbia River Gorge on September 2nd, 2017, affected the Oneonta Gorge hike, & it is currently CLOSED.  As of now, Oneonta Gorge is scheduled to re-open in Summer 2018.  For complete info on trail closures, visit the Gorge Friends website HERE.

How to Get to Oneonta Gorge Hike!

Oneonta Gorge

Directions to Oneonta

Directions from Downtown Portland

Distance from Portland: 36 miles

  • Take I-84 East for 33 miles
  • Take Exit 35 onto Historic Hwy
  • In 700 feet, Turn right onto E. Historic Columbia River Hwy
  • In 0.2 miles, Turn left onto E. Historic Columbia River Hwy
  • In 1.6 miles, the destination is on your left: Oneonta Gorge

Oneonta Gorge Hike Info

  • Starting Point: Oneonta Gorge Trailhead
  • Total Hike Distance: 1.0 
  • Hike Type: Out-and-back
  • Difficulty: Trail is flat, but difficulty lies in scrambling over massive logs & rocks, can get slippery
  • Time: 2-3 hours
  • Elevation Gain: Zero
  • Pet-friendly: Not unless you have a Wonder Dog
  • Kid-friendly: Yes (active kids who like to climb)
  • Good for Trail-Running: Definitely NOT
  • Crowded: Yes, especially during summer
  • Best Time to Go: Summer, hot days
  • All Seasons? No, summer only 

Oneonta Gorge Info & Photos

Now that we’ve figured out how to get to Oneonta Gorge hike, here’s what it entails: it’s flat the whole way, so no worries about incline.  What you will need to do though, is scramble over a massive pile of logs.  This is where my dog, Dylan, gave me a look like, “NO WAY, Mom ~ hell no!”  You also have to wait in line, while the people ahead of you scramble up & over the logs.  If your dog is extremely plucky & has no problem leaping, swimming, & balancing on crazy logs high up in the air ~ then by all means, bring your dog.  Otherwise, leave Fido at home on this one.  Same goes for young children.  (Dylan went back to the car, much to his relief.)

Once you get past the big log jam, you’ve got a few more scrambles ~ but the first one is by far the worst.  Mainly, you’ll be wading through massive amounts of water.  And at the end, of course, is the payoff: a gorgeous waterfall & a large pool for swimming.  If you’ve had enough of water by now, though, feel free to skip it & just enjoy the view.  

How to Get to Oneonta Gorge Hike, Girl Who Travels the World

Scrambling over logs…she looks happy. He looks worried.

How to Get to Oneonta Gorge Hike, Girl Who Travels the World

Blurry pic ~ but shows you the massive log jam you’ll have to scramble over. This is where my dog had to turn sheer terror.

How to Get to Oneonta Gorge Hike, Girl Who Travels the World

The payoff at the end: the falls.

Where to Stay & Drink!

How to Get to Oneonta Gorge Hike, Great Oregon Hikes, Angel's Rest Hike, McMenamins

Best place to stop & get a drink? McMenamins Edgefield.

What’s better after a long hike than a cold beer?  For all Gorge hikes on the Oregon side, a great option is to stop & grab a bite to eat at McMenamins Edgefield, located in Troutdale, OR.  It’s right off I-84, & the sprawling property is vintage Oregon: there’s a hotel, the Ruby Spa, a golf course, several restaurants, brewery, big porch, & plenty of Oregon quirkiness.  Highly recommended for a stay or a drink & a meal on your way home from hiking.  And in the summer, check out their popular concert series held on the lawn. 

Great Hikes Nearby!

Since Oneonta Gorge isn’t much of a hike ~ you may be itching to get in some elevation before the day is over.  And you’re in the perfect area to do so ~ you’re literally surrounded by great hikes.  For an extensive list of Columbia Gorge hikes, including a large map of the area, click here.  But the two closest hikes to Oneonta are Horsetail Falls & Triple Falls.  Both are relatively short, & Horsetail Falls itself is extremely photogenic ~ & right off the main road.  You can literally walk from Oneonta Gorge to Horsetail Falls, right through the Oneonta Tunnel.

If you’re headed back south towards Portland, you’ll pass numerous hikes such as Angel’s Rest, Multnomah Falls, & Wahkeena Falls.  None of these are too long, & all will help you dry off after the wet Oneonta walk.  

Great Oregon Hikes, John Muir, Angel's Rest Hike

Get Prepared!

You’re GOING to get wet on this hike ~ there’s zero doubt about that.  So, in addition to trail runners with good tread (or some good wet/dry shoes), it would be wise to bring a cute bathing suit.  Especially if you want to swim & get some pics underneath the waterfall at the end. 

Flirty Floral Print Bikini

Tie-Dye Print Bikini

Black Leaves Push-up


How to Get to Oneonta Gorge Hike!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this short post on how to get to Oneonta Gorge hike.  My goal is always to help people get outside more & enjoy life’s adventures ~ & Oregon & the Columbia River Gorge are outstanding places to have a thousand adventures.  Have you been to Oneonta Gorge?  What are your favorite & least favorite things about this hike ~ & was your dog able to make it (or did he chicken out like mine did)? 

Happy Adventuring! 

xoxo Noelia 

Read Next: Great Hikes in the Columbia River Gorge!