Start Point: This secret gem starts on the Horse-Tail Oneonta falls loop. This trail is super popular but it packs in great scenery and a few beautiful waterfalls. About 1.5 miles into this loop you will come across a bridge. Do not cross the bridge but keep walking to the left of it. There is not a clear trail here and there is a steep rocky drop into the river so be EXTREMELY careful! This is the most dangerous part of the trail.
Parking: Terrible all the time. There is a parking lot at the start of Horse-Tail Oneonta falls loop but count on it being full and find parking along the street. No fee either way.
Distance: About .2 miles of stream walking so it takes much longer to navigate
Difficulty: The entire hike is steam walking and strategically climbing over big boulders. It is not terribly difficult but it certainly takes time and balance. NOT a hike for children or animals.
Equipment: Bring good water shoes and a headlamp if you want to explore the little cave at the end! Also a waterproof bag, there is a high chance of slipping and getting wet.
Traffic: NONE!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Description: The gorge is full of beautiful waterfalls in all shapes and sizes, this waterfall isn’t particularly unique but the beauty of it is it’s secrecy. Which I will be ruining today by writing this blog post to my thousands of loyal readers 😉 more like dozens at best but feel free to share the article to help me reach those thousands!
Once you hit the bridge and very carefully tip-toe across the sloping cliff you can hop right in the river and start walking up it. There were very few points where you have to actually stream walk on this hike, I spent most of the time climbing and jumping fro boulder to boulder. The water is cold but never went more than waist deep.
Keep walking/climbing/swimming until you reach the waterfall, it should take you about 15-20 minutes. There are many beautiful pools to stop and play in along the way. Once you are at the waterfall which you almost certainly will have all to yourself you can explore the low hanging cave behind the falls. I chose not too because who knows what you will find back there…
This secret beauty is a perfect alternative to the WAY too popular and crowded Oneonta falls. Steam walking is SO MUCH FUN on a hot Portland day.