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Friday, June 22, 2012

Oneonta Gorge: The Zion Narrows of the Pacific Northwest

I'm a big fan of slot canyons.  As I was researching for the trip, I stumbled on a picture of Oneonta Gorge.  It immediately went on the "MUST DO" list for while we were in Oregon.  Slot canyons are awe inspiring. Most of them are in Southern Utah in a dry desert region known as the Colorado Plateau.   A slot canyon in Oregon and green with vegetation- I've gotta see this!
Oneonta Gorge is a small side canyon to the Columbia River Gorge.  It's only about 1/3 of a mile long, but the narrow walls, green with ferns and mosses is astonishingly beautiful.  It's about 2 miles east of the wildly popular Multnomah Falls, but only sees a small fraction of the visitors.  I didn't mind.  The canyon changes with every flood, so you can expect water from ankle deep, up to pools deep enough to swim in.  The waterfall at the end is a popular swimming hole during warmer weather. 
Near the entrance of the gorge, several signs alert you that climbing on the log jam can be hazardous.  If you go, be sure to exercise caution if you climb on the logjam!  It's not my fault if you get hurt. 
A closer picture of the logjam.  There are several trees 3-4 feet in diameter among the branches and debries.  I climbed up on a big boulder on the east side before continuing over the logs.
 You can see the boulder and logs in this picture.  Even from here, the canyon looks amazing, 
On the other side of the logjam, the canyon beacons you in.  I wasn't equipped for swimming or much wading, so this is as far as I got.  I couldn't help but think it looked similar to the Narrows of the Virgin River in Zion National Park.  But green.  And smaller.  But an amazing place just the same.
Nearest City: Cascade Locks, OR
Location: 2-3 miles east of Multnomah Falls
Time Needed: Varies
Difficulty: Varies
Kid Friendly: Not really
Additional Info:

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Wow Wow! That's BEAUTIFUL!!!! That would be really fun to see! It looks like your Oregon trip was very scenic and wonderfully adventurous!