Explore 2015 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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We hiked to Blue Pool on 11-26-2018. The trail is well maintained but there are rocks that you have to climb over so be aware that it’s not a flat path the whole way. IMO there could be a few more markers for the viewing outlooks....easy to walk right by when you don’t know to look for them. My watch said we did 4.3 miles, from the parking lot to Blue Pool and back but it’s mostly flat and was no problem for my kids (ages 11 & 10).

The view is the best part once you get to the falls

Went this last Sunday, it was raining and I came out muddy and wet but all worth it! I drive 2 wheel Hondai Tucson and took the road down as far as I felt comfortable then walked. Felt good about my stopping point. The last mile of the road is larger rocks and comfortable in a higher clearance Subaru but I didn’t want to chance it. The Hike is great once you get to the trail head. Stayed Left, very steep but ropes right where you needed them. Loved walking along the river, glad I had boots, lots of rocks to get they but the Waterfall is mind blowing!

Road to the trail is kinda hectic. alot of pot holes and big sharp rocks. asides from that I made it down to the gate in my honda crv. If u make it all the way to the end of the road the hike goes from 5.3 down to like 1 1/2 miles from the gate. stay to the left when u hike down the trail. STAY TO THE LEFT! if u don't want to climb down a cliff.

hiking
23 days ago

Great place. Amazing weather for Mid-November. Simple but so beautiful.

This trail is beautiful and so easy to access. Would be awesome to kayak on the lake in the summer!

Pleasant easy hike with just a little hill climbing. The old growth forest was beautiful.

hiking
30 days ago

Difficult road to travers to the actual trail head unless you have an all wheel drive vehicle. We walked the road to the TH and the trail itself is not long but steep and appearing not formerly maintained. The hike is sleek with rock and covered in fallen leaves making it difficult to traverse in many areas. The pay off is well worth the jaunt with a beautiful falls. The drive to this falls is also splendid.

Beautiful, and scenic.
Love taking my dog here.

hiking
1 month ago

Very easy long hike with a beautiful bridge and view at the halfway point. Cool mine town place also. long drive to get there though from salem area.

Best time of year to visit is in the winter! Hike in on the snow and get great views of Mount Hood.

Basically, the right side is a trail and the left is a road. Look up some good directions online. Get there early. The rock slide isn't marked so you have to watch for it.

Great little hike!! With all the reviews I was wondering what this hike would entail. It was an easy hike, but so beautiful with old growth, lovely Creeks and waterfalls!

Pretty easy to navigate, but I could see how one could get confused on the trail. Was weary to sit or stand on the logs with the previous reviews about the ground wasps. My daughter and I had the hike all to ourselves with the exception of a quite photographer.
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Went on to the powder house road to be accompanied to an owl. Beautiful walk, not too hard but a still has an incline! Would recommend!

backpacking
1 month ago

It only seems like a quick little out n back.

6.4 mi if you're just gonna take a mellow walk to one of Oregon's smallest towns with a population of less than 20--though they do have their own hydroelectric power plant, a lodge, and cool little cabins.

So if you want a flat n easy 3.2 out, 3.2 back with some decent swimming holes here in there, go for it: anyone can make it. It's a flat and easy gravel road through some nice old growth that's as mellow on the feet as fat aunt Sharon's orthotics.

Start venturing off the trail, however, and you'll begin to find remnants and massive machinery from over a century ago when it was an active mining community. There are enormous boilers and hulking gear-and-pulley systems from times before there was power in the area. Many (giant) pieces of machinery were run from high-pressure steam systems, not to mention and gravity-fed mining hydro-systems. You'll find a little of this if you poke around off the main trail, but the hikes that aren't listed here are the ones that start at Jawbone Flats--and they offer some amazing glances back at a time and way of life long-forgotten.

Head east past the town, follow a spooky old sign pointing to the mines, and you'll find yourself on an amazing dark old growth over-canyon trail for a mile or two with remnants of old train tracks, machinery, and things you'd expect to see in grainy black-and-white Ken Burns photo-montages.

There are other cool creek trails with roots and medium-easy footing challenges south past the trail to the Opal Pools. if you want to explore some pleasantly deserted creek trails (with a decent spot or two to camp if you can handle some spots of tricky footing with your pack and gear).

But if you make it to the mines and start exploring in earnest, you'll discover that the trail didn't always end there. Find the remnants of a gigantic bridge and structure that probably washed away 50 years ago and you'll start finding things: like a trail that can connect you with the Bull of the Woods systems.

Moreover, not all of the mines are barred-off and closed. Make the dog-leg to the Ruth mine a little longer before you head-back on the upper trail a bit longer, and explore to the east, and maybe try-out the remnants of a road or two that looks like it hasn't been walked/used in 30 years, and you might find things. Also, look up/explore the canyon if you find the leftovers of a 15-ft wide bridge (and be careful on the rocks/over the stream--no one will be coming by if you make an error).

Anyway, it's an easy and popular hike if you like it easy, but if you're a bushwhacker's bushwhacker and have some time to explore and hop a stream or two, there are things to be found in the Opal Creek wilderness. And exercise caution if you poke-around: you'll often be the only one around for miles if you find something cool, and some of then old stream crossings/bridges are tenuous. Moreover, the navigation of trails that suffered a washout or haven't been maintained since the last century can be a challenge. And also a reward.

Absolutely gorgeous! made it to the white locked fence easily thanks to the directions of *always staying to the left and down hill * directions once turn off of Crooked Finger Rd. Took second trail as stated below with Abbey Foundation sign and it was a quick hike in staying left once we hit the river.
Definitely going back once every season this next year !

Completed 10-8-18
Went in the dark, still a fun hike

Very pretty this time of year. Trail isn’t well marked in places but not difficult to navigate.

Beautiful hike. Great trail to hike on. Wish it was marked better. Saw all the falls but didn’t know which ones they were. Jaw bone flats was really cool. Would I do this hike again.. probably not.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy little stroll through the woods till you arrive at opal creek

loved it

Beautiful but busy. Trail is has some good spots, but more of a stroll for family.

Beautiful, easy walk with fall colors and blue skies. We took our time and just enjoyed the wildlife and friendly doggies and of course, great pictures too.

So gorgeous in the fall!

The view of Mt. Hood over the lake is amazing. We parked near the boat ramp so we were able to get the view and pictures right away. Then we were able to hop on the trail loop there and went around the whole lake. Mostly shaded and surrounded by woods with the lake always close by except when we came across a closure and went around a mostly unmarked trail. Was a little confusing but by keeping the lake in sight and listening for other hikers it was easy to find our way back onto the main trail. About 1.5hrs at a leisurely pace.

Definitely a great trail. Challenging for beginners but otherwise pretty relaxing.

Beautiful

hiking
1 month ago

the trail was really nice and our dogs loved it ! wide path !

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! The fall colors around the lake made the lake even more beautiful!

Very enjoyable and dog friendly :).

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