Oneonta Gorge is a narrow slot canyon within the Columbia River Gorge and is a popular day hike to due to the four stunning waterfalls tumbling down the mossy cliffs. Especially for a visit to the lower gorge, visitors are advised to be in shape and wear appropriate clothes, as it is necessary to scramble over boulders and logs along the river bed. Since there is no trail, this usually involves walking in water, which can be anything from ankle deep to chest high depending on the season.
The gorge is a designated botanical area and it is easy to see why. The wet climate has covered the basalt canyon walls in a variety of ferns, mosses and lichens, many of which can only grow in this specific area. Three of the waterfalls - Lower Oneonta Falls, Upper Oneonta Falls and Triple Falls - can only be seen by walking upstream from the river’s outlet, which can be found along the Columbia River Highway. Middle Oneonta Falls however can also be observed by hiking along the Horsetail Falls Trail till you get to a bridge crossing over Oneonta Creek.
Oneonta Gorge can be found about 35 miles outside of Portland just off the Interstate 84. Since there is no trail and getting wet while hiking along the river bed is required, a visit in one of the warmer months is recommended.