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Oneonta Falls

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Oneonta Falls (Tom Kloster)
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There are four waterfalls on Oneonta Creek and the names have proven difficult to pin down. The lowest falls, at the head of Oneonta Gorge, is often called Oneonta Falls, but in fact that is Lower Oneonta Falls. The next one, near the Trail #438 bridge is often called Upper Oneonta Falls or Oneonta Bridge Falls. I've chosen to follow Bryan Swann's lead at Waterfalls Northwest] and I've called it Middle Oneonta Falls. The fourth falls is, of course, Triple Falls.

This is the third falls on the creek, sometimes called Upper Oneonta Falls. The USGS maps label it simply as "Oneonta Falls", so I've copied that lead here. The Oneonta Trail (#424) bypasses the falls completely, and many people miss it altogether. About one mile from highway, just past the junction with Horsetail Falls Trail, a small use path used to lead down the the creek and the falls. An alternate and less steep way to get to the base was by a path leading from the first Oneonta bridge below Middle Oneonta Falls. On the east side of the canyon at the bridge, there was a scramble path leading up the canyon. This route led up the creek about 1/3 of a mile to the falls. There is a large cavern eroded behind the falls similar to nearby Ponytail Falls. Similar creek action has eroded the softer soil from beneath the lava rock.

After the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire, it wasn't until late 2021 that the Oneonta Trail reopened to the public. Both user paths have disappeared, and it remains to be seen whether there is a viable route to the base of the falls given the instability of the terrain. However, the very top of the waterfall and its amphitheater can now be viewed from the Oneonta Trail.

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