When we arrived at an opening, there were two people sitting across from Triple Falls having their lunch. What a perfect way to spend the afternoon! We joined them for a bit, shot a few photos from across the gorge, and then continued along the trail to the top of the falls. It was another great spot to picnic and dip your feet into the water.
Unfortunately, this was the last waterfall we were able to see on our Oregon waterfalls bucket list before Eagle Creek Fire closed the entire area, but we know we’ll be back!
UPDATE: Some of the trails in the Gorge are still closed from the Eagle Creek Fire damage. See more on USDA.
Distance: 3.2 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 610 Feet
Seasons: Year Round
What You See: Triple Falls, possibly Middle Oneonta and Upper Oneonta Falls
Trailhead Coordinates: 45.58849,-122.0806787
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From Portland, take I-84E to exit 28 (the Bridal Veil exit). Drive another 5.1 miles east on the Historic Highway and park in the small lot to the left before the Oneonta Gorge. The trailhead starts on the other side of the street.
From the Oneonta trailhead, walk parallel to the historic highway. You will then switch back and gain a couple hundred feet. The trail flattens out and you will pass the junction where Horsetail Falls Trail #438 heads downhill to Middle Oneonta Falls.
The trail climbs a couple more switchbacks until you reach the viewpoint. It’s hard to miss since it’s only a few feet from the trail. It is quite exposed, so be careful as you come down to admire the falls. Unfortunately, it’s the only viewpoint from the front, so all the photos will look the same.
Once you’re finished, continue along the trail to the top of the falls. You can dip your feet in the creek and there are even a couple spots you could sit in the water if it’s warm enough. If you want to continue up the trail a bit more, it’s much more scenic here than the previous portion.
On the way back, we went down the trail to Middle Oneonta Falls. There is a bridge at the bottom where we stopped a bit, then headed back on the trail we came in. If you want to scramble down to the base of Middle Oneonta Falls, you can also walk to the top of Lower Oneonta Falls and wave at the crowds there.
Just above Lower Oneonta Falls and about 100 ft from the base of Middle Oneonta Falls.
Middle Oneonta Falls
The Oneonta Gorge tunnel close to the trailhead was also destroyed by the fire.
ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR YOUR HIKE
- As always, go early or on weekdays to avoid crowds.
- Bring shoes with good footing.
- This isn’t the best hike if you have young kids since there are steep portions and exposed cliffs.
WHAT TO PACK
- Water & Snacks
- Shoes with good traction (His + Hers)
- Tripod, Lens Cloth, ND Filter
- Camera (5D Mark III) + Lenses (35mm + 70-200mm)
- Adventure Photographer’s Backpack
Airism Bra Tank // Popflex Active Leggings (love the pockets!) // Vasque Skywalk Gore-tex Hiking Boots // Topo Designs Daypack
Mid Layer // Capilene Daily Tee // Hiking Pants // Hiking Boots // Adventure Photographer’s Backpack
WANT MORE HIKES LIKE THIS?
TRY THESE IN THE AREA
ONEONTA GORGE HIKE (1 mi, Δ 0 ft, Difficult)
LATOURELL FALLS HIKE (2.4 mi, Δ 520 ft, Easy)
WAHCLELLA FALLS HIKE (2 mi, Δ 250 ft, Easy)
ELOWAH FALLS HIKE (1.6 mi, Δ 260 ft, Easy – Moderate)
MUNRA POINT HIKE (4.7 mi, Δ 2270 ft, Difficult)
DOG MOUNTAIN HIKE (6.9 mi, Δ 2800 ft, Difficult)
BEST WILDFLOWER HIKES NEAR PORTLAND
“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
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ESTHER + JACOB
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They move to a new city every year and currently live in Portland, Oregon.
This Post Has 4 Comments
great post! like it
Thanks, David :)
Wow beautiful park guys. And the waterfall looks so dreamy. It’s sad heard you guys have to leave the place early to avoid the fire. However from the photos I can say you guys had great time with nature. trees, waterfalls, trails what else you can want for a calm walk. Great article guys, keep travel guys.
Thank you! We especially loved this area. I think parts of it have already opened up, so that makes me happy to hear.