One of the best things about Portland is the nature that surrounds the city. The Colombia River Gorge, only 30 minutes away from Portland, seems a world away. The Colombia River separates Oregon and Washington and is one of the largest rivers in the United States. It has many waterfalls from the gorge feeding into the river that are totally worth checking out. One of our favorite places was the Oneonta Gorge. This hike leads to several waterfalls and a stunning view of a gorge unlike anywhere else on the Colombia River.
How to Get to the Colombia River Gorge
From Portland, take 84/30 Eastbound. Exit at NE Corbitt Hill Road, and turn left on the historic Colombia River Highway. From here, stops will go in order from Vista House all the way to Horsetail Falls.
Top Attractions on the Colombia River Gorge
Bridal Veil Falls
Horsetail Falls Hike to Oneonta Gorge
Distance: 7.1 Miles return (11.4 km)
Elevation gain: 1,089 feet (332 meters)
Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
The Horsetail Falls hike is an excellent adventure into the Colombia River Gorge. This hike includes three unique waterfalls and amazing views into the Oneonta Gorge. To start this hike, park at the Horsetail Falls parking lot off the Historic Columbia River Hwy. Take the trailhead (#438) to the left, that leads up above Horsetail Falls and into the gorge. Our favorite site was Ponytail Falls where the trail goes behind the waterfall.
Stay on the trail for roughly 2 miles which will lead to the end of the Oneonta Gorge. There is a small bridge to cross to the other side of the gorge. Turn right to head back for a 4-mile hike. The other option is to make a quick detour to Triple Falls, to the left.
From Triple Falls, turn around and head back, past the bridge, and to the #424 trail. This trail leads you back to the historic highway. There also is another chance to see the Oneonta Gorge from the road before you reach the parking area.
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