Rain, rain, rain. Concrete skies. I thought to myself, why not revel in it. I’ll journey to the rainforest in the western Columbia River Gorge. If you are going to get wet, why not enjoy it?
Parking near the Horsetail Falls parking area, I began walking west along the old Columbia Gorge Highway. Soon I was switchbacking up the cliffs to an overlook above Oneonta Gorge. Another mile and 120-foot Triple Falls was reached. I hiked further up the Trail after crossing a well-built foot bridge across Oneonta Creek to see the large Douglas firs, scattered mature cedars and maple trees in the bottom of the canyon.
Returning down the trail, I crossed Oneonta Creek on a footbridge near a small waterfall. Then it was up the east side of the gorge, around the face of the cliffs and into the next canyon which held 80-foot Ponytail Falls. This is always an interesting part of the trek. The Trail leads through an open cavern behind the falls. After heading east for a short distance, I switchbacked down the cliffs beside 175-foot Horsetail Falls before returning to the parking area.
All in all the hike was 4 1/2 miles in length with 800 feet of elevation gain. A very wet outing, but world-class scenery.