Category Archives: Canyoneering
Oneonta Gorge is, well, gorgeous. I’d never done the full hike, which is like the Columbia River Gorge’s entry to canyoneering. Hikers have to clamber over a massive log jam, then walk right in the creek to get to the destination of the waterfall. Denise and I had been there before a few years ago, but had never ventured too far, as the season was wrong to get wet. Today, with temps in the nineties, I was primed to try it. It’s been hot for a while in Northwest Oregon, and a lot of people seemed to have the same idea. I arrived at the trailhead by 10 a.m. and barely got a parking space.
As my dear readers may know, I like my solitude, but was not worried. I figured once people realized they were going to have to scramble over a log jam and set soaked upstream, many would turn around. Boy, was I wrong! Oh well. Beyond the log jam, I was really in the bowels of the chasm. 1The walls were only 25 feet apart at a few points. There was no solitude on this hike, but plenty of adventure and beauty. Soon enough, I was getting quite wet, sloshing along up to the middle of my shins. Then it got interesting. I tried to skirt a deep pool by clambering on rocks, but to no avail. I had to get soaked up to my belly. The water was chilly at first, but not too bad.
After traversing the narrow, deep pool, the canyon opens up a bit, then effectively dead ends in cliffs split by a good sized waterfall. People wandered around taking selfies and group portraits. A few waded in the deep pool below the falls. I gawked at the canyon walls as much as anything. What a lovely place. I could have stayed there a long time, but the crowd seemed to keep increasing, so I turned back, reveling in the beauty of Oneonta. There’s a good reason it’s popular.