Even More Adventure
Looking for even more? Here’s a place to start, and once you’re in the gorge and on the highway we’re sure you’ll find endless opportunities for adventure.
Oneonta Gorge is home to not one, but four waterfalls!
For the adventurous, tackle Lower Oneonta Falls. There is no trail, rather you must walk up the creek bed, and up to your waist (or depending on the season chest) in water through the gorge to finally reach the crown jewel. Be extra careful when crossing the log jam as it can be extremely slippery. Choose a warm summer day to make your trip. The trip is worth the challenge if you’re up to it, if not for the view then for the trek itself.
For those not so inclined, the alternative path is no less rewarding. Take the Horsetail Falls Trail and within a few minutes you’ll have left the sounds of civilization behind you. You’ll pass by Horsetail Falls, Ponytail Falls and the tiny Middle Oneonta Falls. From there the path splits and you may either return or continue on to Triple Falls. While the hike to Triple Falls can be steep at points, the path is oh so worth it. Not only is there a view of these three waterfalls, but you can easily walk to and sit atop the waterfall for a feeling of serenity.
There is nothing quite like it.
John B. Yeon State Scenic Corridor
A hikers paradise, the John B. Yeon State Scenic Corridor holds two of the most cherished waterfalls in the northwest. Both Elowah Falls and the McCord Creek Falls are only short hikes away, and both are worth taking the time to see. Despite the fact that these trails are easy and appropriate for beginners they tend to not get much traffic. Take advantage of these quick, amazing trails.
Fruit Loop at Hood River
If you’re more of a hands-on person hop back in the car and take the fruit loop, a 35 mile scenic drive through the more than 30 farms and vineyards. Stop and pick up some of the best apples and pears in the world under the white capped majesty of Mt. Hood. Expect to stop at the Cascade Alpaca Ranch to touch, and the Hood River Lavender Farm for the view and the unforgettable smell. Finally stop at the winery with as many awards as the highway has years. Yes with over 100 awards the Cathedral Ridge Winery makes a great tasting stop on your tour.
Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum
Located in Hood River the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum holds one of the largest collections of working antique aeroplanes and automobiles in the country. You’ll have access to over two acres of beautifully preserved history.
Mayer State Park
Just a little ways past Hood River on the Historic Highway is Mayer State Park: a great place to make a day of adventure. It’s a great stop whether you’re there to drive up to the top of Rowena Crest and feel the wind behind your back as you soak in the view, or to swim at a quiet spot at the river. Take the time and explore the Tom McCall Nature Preserve’s few short trails including the McCall Point trail that leads up 1,000 feet for a magnificent secluded view of the world.
Mayer State Park also contains opportunities for boating, fishing, and windsurfing. There is a $5 day use fee.
Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail
Looking for an invigorating bike ride or walk? While the entire Highway is open to cycling, the State Trail is closed to motor vehicles giving you peace from the roar of passing cars. The trail consists of three segments totaling twelve miles of paved bicycle bliss.
The first, between Cascade Locks and John B. Yeon State Scenic Corridor, is a lush pathway full of green ferns and flowers lining the road. Expect to pass several trailheads along the way, any one of which may lead to an unexpected, exciting adventure. Take exit 40 in the middle of the trail to the Toothrock Trailhead and Bonneville Dam.
The second section of State Trail is one mile between Starvation Creek and Viento. In 2015, construction will begin on a mile-long extension to the west, to Lindsey Creek.
The third segment of trail lies between Mosier and Hood River. This five mile path, Twin Tunnels, passes through an awesome ponderosa pine forest into the Mosier Tunnels themselves. Watch the geology closely and see if you can tell how glaciers and floods cut through this land to make the Gorge thousands of years ago. The path ends at the Mark O. Hatfield trailhead overlooking the river.
There is a $5 day use parking fee at the Mosier Tunnel trailhead.