Starting in a fern-filled forest, the trail climbs uphill for 0.6 mile before reaching the top of Coopey Falls, a 150 to 175 foot horsetail waterfall, and the footbridge crossing the creek. Continuing on, the trail begins to switchback uphill for 1.6 miles before reaching the ridge crest. Turn left at a junction to a spectacular gorge viewpoint. Use extreme caution at the steep cliff edge. Continue east 2 miles to Wahkeena Springs and Wahkeena Falls Trail #420. Average trail grade is 10-15%
Attention Hikers: The bridge crossing the Oneonta Gorge on the 438 trail has a ONE PERSON load limit. Please cross with caution and only one at a time. This bridge is 1.3 miles from the Horsetail Falls Trailhead.
The trail begins at Horsetail Falls Trailhead, off the Historic Highway, and ends at Oneonta Trail #424. A fun family hike which takes you behind Ponytail Falls. Steep cliffs at some points.
Oneonta Creek Trail begins at West Oneonta Trailhead on the Historic Columbia River Highway and ends at Larch Mountain Road 0.3 miles south of Larch Mountain Trailhead. From Larch Mountain parking area travel another 0.3 miles along a trail that leads to Sherrard Point for one of the most far ranging views in the Columbia River Gorge. This trail is one of the most demanding of the the three direct routes up Larch Mounatin. The grade is steep and the trail requires hikers to ford Oneonta Creek. During summer and late fall you can likely make these crossings without getting your feet wet.
There are four waterfalls in Oneonta Gorge. The Lower Falls is not visible from the trail. Middle Falls is visible from the trail. The upper falls are about 1 mile upstream from the middle falls and require climbing down a canyon wall to view. After approximately 1.7 miles you will reach Triple Falls, which can be seen from a vantage point on the upper trails in the canyon. Hiking to Triple falls would make a good day hike and is just over 4 miles roundtrip.
The Oneonta Trail has many great elements for making an overnight trip in the Columbia River Gorge. Some of the highlights are; waterfalls, steep creek-weathered basalt cliffs, and good camping spots. Please consult a good, up to date map when planning your hike and Leave No Trace.
Alert: The Lower Oneonta Gorge is not accessible by trail. Many people choose to walk into the creek bed to view the lower falls. This is not an official trail. There is a large log jam in the creek that is slippery and dangerous to cross. Please know your skill level and recreate responsibly.