Over the past year, I’ve learned that it’s easy to take the beauty of your homeland for granted. Since moving from one side of the country to the other, I’ve forgotten how gorgeous my home state is. After visiting the Columbia River Gorge I’ve been reminded of the gorgeous place that I’ve left behind.
The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is nestled on the Oregon-Washington border. It’s known for it’s high winds, panoramic view points, and for being one of the seven wonders of Oregon.
The Columbia River Gorge is probably most famous for it’s waterfalls. There are 77 on the Oregon side alone! Out of all of these, I hiked to Oneonta Falls.
This hike is more of a swim than a typical hike. In order to make your way down the slot canyon, you must wade through the water. I made the hike during the summer after it has been 90 degrees Fahrenheit for about a month. At the deepest parts, the water was four feet deep.
Oneonta Gorge is a slot canyon with sharp cliffs rising up above you on either side. Just as you enter the gorge, there is a large pile of trees that block the mouth. This log-jam is the result of a flood back in the early 90s, and you must climb over the pile in order to reach the falls. As you weave your way slowly to the back of the canyon, you can’t help by look up at the mossy cliff facades or down at the water rushing over your shoes.
What’s most incredible about this hike (and the scenic area in general) is that it isn’t far from Portland. By only driving 30 minutes out, you feel like you’re in a completely different world. I am in love with hidden gems like this that aren’t too far removed. Go find yours!