* Latourell & Multnomah
Falls (viewing bridges) hikes are typically automatically included
in your tour itinerary. Wahkeena (viewing bridge) & Bridal Veil Falls hikes are often included in the itinerary, and are
recommended. These are short hikes (15-30 minutes RT max.).
All other hikes ('extended hikes') are an option and must be pre-arranged before your tour;
otherwise they are not an option. NOTE: All hikes are self-guided hikes
and are optional; including the standard hikes, where your driver/guide will not be accompanying your group. To add the
Bonneville Dam, please notify us or your tour guide ahead of time; the 5-6 hour tour option
You do not have to participate in any hike as views of all of the
standard falls (except Bridal Veil) are all
had without hiking.
Trailhead Release Agreement
form is required from your group (see below *) to hike on any optional/extended hike.
This does not apply with the standard (viewing bridge) hikes. Be prepared for inclement
weather (rain, snow, cold, ice, wind etc.) during winter time tours. Be prepared for rainy weather during summer time tours,
and dress appropriately.
* ALL HIKES ARE SOLO 'SELF-SERVICE' HIKES;
your driver and/or tour guide WILL NOT be accompanying your group on your hike due
to Forest Service regulations. While we
consider our extended hikes to be completely safe; in wilderness areas, possible
wilderness dangers are always present, including Falling—Please stay on the maintained trail. A Trailhead Release Agreement form
exonerating My Chauffeur of any responsibility on the trails will be required for your tour. Hikes
are not recommended for children or pets. Trails are typically not near restrooms or running water, so you should plan on carrying
your own water supply. Cliff sections (if applicable) are exposed, so anyone subject
to vertigo should proceed carefully, and turn back if the first set of
cliffs are uncomfortable... If you
have any apprehensions about nature hiking and/or nature areas, you should
not do the extended hikes. The trail surfaces are often rocky and uneven, and anything less than
a good pair of hiking shoes or boots is not adequate. Also keep in mind that
the Columbia Gorge is home to
and it grows along some sections of the some trails. If you're
susceptible to it, keep an eye out in sunny, open cliff-tops and open oak
forests. Long pants are a good idea is you're particularly sensitive.
We are here to help plan your Gorge tour, answer questions and/or make
suggestions. Give us a call at 503-969-4370 (toll-free
EMAIL US. If you have already made a reservation,
** The options of Bonneville Dam and Upper Horsetail Falls require more
time than our standard stops. Please notify your guide ahead of
time to be able to accommodate this in your schedule (we will drop out
other stops) unless you want to extend your tour to the 5-6 hour option.
*** Mt. Hood tour option is
between 8-10 hours long.
Oneonta is a narrow steep gorge
leading back into the hills for about a mile; the sides imbedded with 50 species
of ferns, plants and wild
flowers. Along its course runs a silvery stream, fed from a beautiful water-fall.
The old bridge is part of the original highway which carried motorists over
this bridge and through Oneonta tunnel. The bluff is solid basalt rock which
was tunneled to permit the roadway to parallel the railroad in continuing the
Columbia River Highway without bridging the railroad or climbing the steep
grades. The bluff gives the impression of the one-time rivers that washed over
the mountains in the geological period. The route was changed and the tunnel
filled with debris during the 1940s when it became hazardous for larger cars and
was rebuilt & reopened in 2003 for foot and bicycle traffic.
Oneonta Falls(5-6 hour tour option recommended)
- For the adventuresome - Oneonta Creek
runs through the gorge. There are four major waterfalls on the creek: Upper,
Middle, Lower and Triple Falls. Lower Oneonta Falls (type:
Horsetail, seen below) can
only be seen by walking through water (bring rubber boots or extra pair of
socks & shoes**) upstream from the creek's outlet at the Historic
Columbia River Highway. To get to a vantage point where the entire lower falls
is visible requires wading through water that in some places can be
chest-deep but usually no higher than knee-deep, depending on the season and the relative amount of snow-melt. The
upper falls are about 1 mile upstream from the middle falls and require
scrambling up the creek or climbing down a canyon wall to view. The fourth falls
which is "Triple falls" can be seen from a vantage point on the upper trails in
the canyon. For the adventurous, a hike to the lower falls is an
Oneonta Tunnel on the
Columbia River Highway, Oregon. Photo postcard by Cross and Dimmitt.
Here the stream has sliced through 200 feet
and 25 million years of great basalt flows. Ask your guide about the
prehistoric "tombs" inside the gorge. Imagine that the falls were once at about
the location of the highway before it receded and formed the gorge,
demonstrating that things are still and always changing in the gorge, albeit
very slowly. Evidence of the constant erosion and mud slides characteristic of
the relative unstable nature of the gorge can be seen throughout this area.
The falls is one of the most spectacular in the whole Columbia River Gorge.
There’s the narrow passageway into the main part of Oneonta Gorge (If you want
to see the falls and you don't mind wading knee high in cool water, bring your
rubber boots or an extra pair of sneakers to hike through the stream to the
falls about 1000 feet from the highway. Your reward for this refreshing journey
will be a gorgeous view of the falls plummeting nearly 100 feet into a crystal
clear pool; seen below). Mosses and lichens and ferns, oh my, all kinds of
plants and trees (50 species) grow in this gorge.
** If you choose to hike Oneonta Gorge, do
so at your own risk. Storms in the late 1990's washed fallen trees downstream,
creating a large log jam near the mouth of the gorge. Climbing over the log jam
to access the deeper parts of the gorge should only be done at your own risk,
with the understanding that nature is precarious at best. Maximum 47 persons. A
Trailhead Release Agreement
form is required from your group. Be prepared for inclement
weather (rain, snow, cold, etc.) during winter time tours. Be prepared for
rainy weather during summer time tours, and dress appropriately.
The Oneonta Tunnel, with the railroad
to the north (left image) and after bypassing (right image), the
railroad now out of view beyond the trees.
Lower Oneonta falls, photographed in late
Oneonta Gorge Creek Bridge on the Historic Columbia River Highway