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Came here on 12/7/18 roads were icy on the route alltrails takes you on Google maps. Dirt road coming in seemed a lot worse (pit hole riddled) than leaving. There are two vaulted toilet stalls here and they were clean. You can rent cabins at jawbone flats. If you want to do the loop I would make a right at the trailhead for the pools when you first come across the bridge it will be easier to follow if you don't have a preloaded map. This place is a must see the road is easy and opal pools trail is moderate to hard. This trail is 9.9 miles and we finished it in 5.5hrs. In jawbone flats the bathroom is closed for the winter. You can rent cabins in jawbone flats and if you are handicap, you can drive in if you are renting a cabin. Cabin prices are fairly expensive over $100. Jawbone flats is privately owned and surrounded by national forrest. You need a northwest forrest pass to park here or an American the beautiful or day pass. I believe $5/visit/day. We were the first ones on the trail and when we left there were 3 or 4 other cars in the lot on a Friday. There is ice on the trail this time of year in the early mornings so use caution. No drinkable water here if you are doing a day trip here, so make sure you bring plenty of water or have a filtration system. There are people that live here all year long. we saw 3 hikers and 3 dogs on this trail 2 dogs were not leashed up.

We couldn’t make it to the trailhead by 1 mile because the snow was too thick. 4WD required. We will try again!

Did this one in August. View at the top was incredible.

Terrific hike. Great view from the ridge a little past the lake.

hiking
27 days ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! The trail is iced over in quite a few places. You might want to use cleats or hiking poles to keep from going for a slide.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice steady graded hike, best to use spikes due to snow and ice making walk down unsafe. Moraine Lake is spectacular, views super, and the solitude healing.

hiking
1 month ago

Quiet and peaceful. Great during the summer, not to crowded, the water isn’t too cold.

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.

Super cool loop. Can tell why this would be a great place to walk your dog if you're a local. But if you're looking for views and a good hike go elsewhere, lots of better views in this area!

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.

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.

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

I really like this trail. Just the right amount of challenge and spectacular views!! It was a little brisk when we started. The wind picked up a little too. Definitely pack layers. You’ll see a sign saying “end of the trail” but there is another 2 1/2 miles of trail to explore. Gorgeous back there with some steeper inclines. Worth the extra time. Broken Top seems to be in reach when you go all the way back.

Great views at the top. Good reminder for us to get back in shape!

Great hike, really not hard tho. Took us 2hrs 30mins up, the first 5.5 miles are very easy and almost flat, from there on you hike up the ridge towards the lake, still very doable. The lake is gorgeous, just don't drink/swim, there is 5 elk carcasses in the water and 8 more on the ice.

Amazing day for a Fall hike! 70 degrees You could not ask for a better hike this time of year.

hiking
1 month ago

Felt longer than 5 miles to me today but it was lovely
Beautiful views!

We did the loop, perfect for a beautiful October afternoon. the quiet forest and occasional glimpses of Tumalo Creek made for a lovey afternoon saunter.

The end of the trail head has fantastic views and is one of the best spot to see the sunrise in the Bend. There is photo opportunities galore. The majority of the trail is not too windy, but the top has strong wind chill so bring layers if the temperature is low.

I did not extend the hike to Broken Hand, but will be making this hike next year with that plan in mind.

hiking
1 month ago

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

Nice walk along mostly gravel path.

walking
2 months ago

beautiful easy hike! the leaves are gorgeous right now!

on Moraine Lake Trail

2 months ago

Challenging and rewarding hike! Coming through the thick forest to the opening on the plateau and then down into the lake made this a hike amazing! I can’t wait to share with my family and friends!

hiking
2 months ago

This trail was amazing! So much diversity in the scenery. The wind was STRONG and cold when we went. The views were incredible. With two bad knees I felt challenged but not beyond my scope. You can take the "unmaintained" portion pretty much straight to Broken Top if you push a bit further. completely worth it. WOW.

absolutely beautiful and full of different types of scenery. there was limited visibility at the top when we went, which added to the feeling of being in another world.

We loved this trail, went further than the sign the read "end of trail" towards Broken Top.

I went the first week of October and fording the River was pretty easy, knee deep. Unlike water crossings with rocks sticking up to step on, avoid the largest rocks, as they are super slippery. Knew to take extra shoes and small towel to dry feet off before replacing hiking boots. Leaves we’re just starting to turn with spectacular views along the way, then rewarded with incredible beauty at the end, where there’s a perfect spot to enjoy a snack before heading back. Hardest part of Trail is the last 1.5 miles back uphill to the parking lot.

I’ve done this twice now. It’s a pretty trail no matter what time of year. WALK ON THE GRAVEL ROAD UNTIL YOU SEE A BRIDGE TO THE RIGHT. I see many people getting lost on the off spurt trails. Dog friendly, not a hard trail either. The gravel road is more tiring than the actual trail. Lots of cool history as well.

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