This spring my husband and I and another couple, Max and Katie got the pleasure of going to visit Oregon! My main interest was hiking along the Columbia River Gorge just outside Portland. I fell in love with the PNW when I visited the area for the first time just a month prior to this trip. Washington only got me more excited for Oregon. Brady and I had planned to go on this trip for quite some time, and in the midst of planning our good friends Max and Katie expressed interest in coming. Before we knew it, the trip was planned and the four of us were off!
We flew into Portland and immediately headed to the Columbia River Gorge to set up camp. We stayed in Wyeth campground and hiked the Columbia River Gorge the next two days. The amount of waterfalls we saw was incredible. I had heard of many of them before the trip that I was excited to see, but we even stumbled on some I wasn’t aware of. We saw Multnomah Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Latourell Falls, Triple Falls, Horsetail Falls, Elowah Falls, and Oneonta Falls. My favorite waterfall was Latourell Falls. A few of the waterfalls were right off the road, so those ones tended to be crowded by tourists and people. My favorite were the waterfalls you had to hike in to see, making them a little more secluded. Most people have heard of Multnomah Falls, and this was actually my least favorite beings it was overrun with people and very commercialized; BUT, we made the most of the situation by getting ice cream and corn dogs really turning into a bunch of typical tourists haha!
Getting to travel with another couple was so fun and throughout the trip Max took on the name Old Trapper and Katie took on the name One-eyed Kath hahaha. We gave them these names when they would jokingly act like a mountain couple. The amount of talk about Big Foot between the guys was more than I could handle haha. They were quick to learn my nickname of Steve, which I get dubbed when I’m dressing or acting like a dude. We hiked during the day and lounged in our tree hammocks in the evenings. We didn’t rough it quite like we were prepared to do beings we got running water and a picnic table at the campground, but we did make meals with our tiny Jetboil stove, the guys cut their own fire wood and we bathed in the freezing cold pools below the waterfalls. We even bathed at the top of one of the waterfalls, and I definitely ruined this cute little families picnic by unintentionally bathing directly in front of them.
The Oneonta Gorge was one of the main reasons I wanted to visit this area. The Oneonta Gorge leads back to a hidden waterfall and accessing it requires wading through water. When we walked by the entrance to the gorge, it was closed and taped off, which the ranger then told us was due to some of the rocks being loose and falling. We asked the ranger if it would be open before we left, he said no. Naturally I was devastated, UNTIL I jokingly said I was going to find a way to get in and One-eye Kath was also down. Katie and I decided we would get up super early and sneak into the gorge when the ranger was away. We had heard from some others who had sneaked in the day before that the water was waist high at some point. The water was also freezing since it was spring. The boys decided to join us and we all snuck in and climbed over a massive log wall to get to the gorge trail. We then hiked back through ankle deep and then waist deep water to see the Oneonta waterfall hidden deep in the gorge. It was everything I imagined and I am so happy we found a way to get in! Thanks to Katie for being a rebel with me, we made it!
The Columbia River Gorge is a place I immediately wanted to visit after discovering it. I am so happy I can not only check it off my bucket list, but also that I got to visit it with some very cool people that I hope to go on many trips together with in the future.