Middle Oneonta Falls

Columbia River Gorge / Oneonta Gorge / Multnomah County, Oregon, USA

Rating: 1     Difficulty: 2
Middle Oneonta Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

The Middle Oneonta Falls was one of four waterfalls on the Oneonta Creek within the Oneonta Gorge. It got the name "middle" because there was another waterfall immediately downstream of it (called the Lower Oneonta Falls) as well one a short distance upstream, which some in the literature have called it the Upper Oneonta Falls or just Oneonta Falls. So far, that upper waterfall remained elusive as the only way to reach it was either an upstream stream scramble from this middle waterfall or by a sketchy steep scramble into the base of the gorge from the trail to the Triple Falls (the fourth and uppermost of the Oneonta Creek waterfalls). Anyways, the middle waterfall was on the order of 20-30ft tall so it was modestly-sized and really more of an incidental attraction on the way to other larger waterfalls in the area.

I managed to reach this waterfall about 0.6 miles into the Oneonta Trail towards Triple Falls. There was a branch in that trail that descended to the left along a couple of short switchbacks before reaching a bridge over Oneonta Creek. Right from that bridge was the view of the Middle Oneonta Falls. This was the shortest approach to reach the falls. It was also possible to hike up from Horsetail Falls, continue past Ponytail Falls, then eventually descend to this footbridge from the other side. That hike would have been 1.2 miles one-way, where it would be 2.4 miles round trip or a 1.8-mile one-way shuttle hike ending at the Oneonta Trailhead.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

On the way up to the Middle Oneonta Falls, there was a short signposted detour to the 'Viewpoint' which provided precipitous views of the Columbia River GorgeOn the way up to the Middle Oneonta Falls, there was a short signposted detour to the 'Viewpoint' which provided precipitous views of the Columbia River Gorge
Middle Oneonta Falls was in the Columbia River Gorge, and this view of it was on the trail between this falls and Ponytail FallsMiddle Oneonta Falls was in the Columbia River Gorge, and this view of it was on the trail between this falls and Ponytail Falls
West of the Columbia River Gorge was Portland, which featured nice spots like the Japanese Garden where we were able to see this waterfallWest of the Columbia River Gorge was Portland, which featured nice spots like the Japanese Garden where we were able to see this waterfall
Sign at the Oneonta Trailhead, which was the closest start to the Middle Oneonta FallsSign at the Oneonta Trailhead, which was the closest start to the falls

This was the signpost at the trail junction where going left descended to the Middle Oneonta Falls while going right continued to Triple FallsThis was the signpost at the trail junction where going left descended to the Middle Oneonta Falls while going right continued to Triple Falls

Context of the footbridge and the Middle Oneonta Falls seen together in mid-Summer flow during my August 2017 visitContext of the footbridge and the falls seen together in mid-Summer flow during my August 2017 visit

The footbridge and the falls as seen in high flow in late March 2009The footbridge and the falls as seen in high flow in late March 2009

Looking upstream from the bridge at the Middle Oneonta Falls in contextLooking upstream from the bridge at the falls in context

Looking beyond the footbridge towards the trail leading to Ponytail FallsLooking beyond the footbridge towards the trail to Ponytail Falls

Looking downstream into the Oneonta Gorge with a small logjam just above where the Lower Oneonta Falls brink wasLooking downstream into the Oneonta Gorge with a small logjam just above where the Lower Oneonta Falls brink was

Direct view of the Middle Oneonta Falls as seen in late March 2009Direct view of the Middle Oneonta Falls as seen in late March 2009


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Checking out the Middle Oneonta Falls in every way possible from the bridge


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

The trailheads are either for the Oneonta Trail (see the Triple Falls page for its directions) or for the car park of Horsetail Falls (see its page for directions).

For some geographical context, Portland was about 49 miles (over an hour drive) west of Cascade Locks, 75 miles (90 minutes drive) west of Hood River, 80 miles (1.5 hours drive) east of Cannon Beach, 112 miles (under 2 hours drive) north of Eugene, 274 miles (over 4 hours drive) north of Medford, 173 miles (about 2.5 hours drive) south of Seattle, Washington, 440 miles (7 hours drive) west of Boise, Idaho, and 423 miles (6.5 hours drive) north of Redding, California.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES





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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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RELATED PAGES



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