Oneonta Falls

When you can’t go to LA as much as you’d like, you meet your friends part way – in Portland! Wilson and I made the 3 hour drive to Portland on Saturday morning to meet up with my college friend Jamie and her friend. It was a sunny spring weekend, and we had so much fun checking out the farmers market, eating way too much, going to underground bunker speakeasys, and getting out for a hike along the Columbia River. The one downside was that the bike-powered smoothie machine at the hotel wasn’t available (so Portland, right? I was really looking forward to giving it a try). We usually stick to the city when we visit, so it was a nice change to get off the beaten path.

Except, we found, it was a really beaten path – I think everyone else had the same idea to get out for a hike on a nice spring weekend (typical PNW). We had meant to go to Multnomah Falls, but you couldn’t find parking anywhere in the general area, so we went for plan B: Oneonta Falls. And I’m so glad we did – it was loads more gorgeous than Multnomah.

Oneonta Falls

Photo by the intrepid Wilson – who braved the sharp rocks and frigid water because he was determined to get this shot!

It required some extra effort to get out there, but it was so worth it and we’ll definitely need to come back when the weather is warmer! It’s an involved hike – at one point, we were on all fours, clamoring over fallen logs and trying not to fall into the freezing water below. Oneonta Falls is one of those hikes where you want to have everything zipped up, with hands completely free to grab onto walls, logs, slippery boulders, branches, etc.The hike is absolutely beautiful though: you’re walking through a gorge that’s covered in ferns, moss, and small streams of water coming down the walls. The path (stream?) feels very hidden and tucked away, it could almost be a place out of a fantasyland.

Oneonta Falls, OR

The view from the logs – the water might look shallow, but it’s pretty deep in some parts. Must come back!

To really get to the falls at the end, you need to wade through shoulder-height water – we didn’t go that far because the water is just too cold this time of year, and the rocks at the bottom are sharp and painful if you’re not wearing water shoes. We really want to come back in July or August (in the meantime I need to buy some water shoes) to get the full experience!

 

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