Explore Dog Friendly - 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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hiking
3 days 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.

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
15 days 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.

Just wonderful.

hiking
18 days ago

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

hiking
29 days ago

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

Nice walk along mostly gravel path.

walking
1 month ago

beautiful easy hike! the leaves are gorgeous right now!

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.

1 month ago

Quiet, lush, creek access.

What a beautiful part of the world. I'll be bringing the hiking club here soon. I do wish there were more clear view points but i guess that would mean losing some trees. I'll keep the trees.

hiking
1 month ago

a decent hike to the fall, and is near susan creek falls which is convenient

1 month ago

I went during early spring in the morning shortly after sunrise. Everything was mildly wet and as the sun rose higher and started to warm the air I could see a misty fog coming from all plant life. I had never seen anything like this and found it to be quite mystical because the trail itself leads you into what feels like a fantasy Forrest. Along the way are towering sequoia, ferns and trees covered in long strands of lichen. All along the path is little river in which you follow to the end of the trail to a double tiered waterfall. It’s a fairly simple hike with a nice incline at the end. During spring I recommend water proof shoes as the water from the river bellows over the path and can get quite muddy. During summer the canopy of trees keeps it cool and the temperature is quite tolerable. During the fall it takes a new shape of the color changing leaves and I have yet to experience it during the winter. It is a beautiful drive to get there and promise you won’t be disappointed!

First and foremost this wildlife refuge It's an awesome getaway. It's a great place to walk, run, ride bicycles, ride skate boards and long boards. It's has a good dog park, and some pretty good fishing holes too if you're into that. It's just a awesome park to visit.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail! I took my dog with me and she loved it! The best part was the part leading up to the creek. Its so beautiful out there! I will definitely be returning.

hiking
2 months ago

this was such a fun trail dispite the fact that the opal pools were not quite as impressive as I was lead to believe. still very pretty. nice easy trail. the kids gave up about mile 4 though so unless you got some energetic kids with some hiking enthusiasm I wouldn't recommend it. jawbone flats is pretty cool I had no idea that was there. the path is mostly gravel road except for 1.3 miles that is good trail type trail. lots and lots of huckleberries this time of year.

Enjoying the walk along the river with my dogs.

Great trail for beginners. There was one spot towards the end that got a little steep and may be hard for some people. Beautiful scenery the whole way and not too much traffic. Will definitely be doing again!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice easy hike. Quiet.

hiking
2 months ago

It’s a great place to just walk.

Great hike!

Beautiful opal waters

Might be the best trail I’ve done in a while. Came here on a Monday afternoon and it was almost completely empty. A nice variety of environments and difficulties.

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome hike ! Wish somebody would have said it was 6 miles of driving on gravel road because we popped a tire on the way down ... oof ... but other than that it was a really cool hike ! The natural water slide at the end was so cool. Maybe if they could put up more signs pointing to where to go to that would be helpful because we got a little confused.

hiking
2 months ago

Great first hike for our two pups. It was beautiful and had some great spots along the trail for them to enjoy the water. There was a lot of poison oak at the start of the trail but it did not last long.

road biking
2 months ago

Took my recumbent trike on this trail. Lots of fun. Fairly busy but not crowded. Pleasant ride.

2 months ago

So did this hike with co-workers. The app says it's an easy hike. it is not! More like moderate is how I would describe it. Over a gravel road and up and down spots. But that being said it is beautiful!!! All the little trails you can go off to see the waterfalls and the most beautiful pools of water ever!! Jawbone Flats is so cool!!! Here's the moderate part of the hike.... the 1.3 mls from Jawbone is a very narrow rocky and better watch out for the tree roots trail. But I am telling you the end results is totally worth it!! I would do it again!!!

on Opal Creek Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Was great for swimming and hiking, I did it with 3 kids 14, 8, 6, water was beautiful and clear. Got there early and the parking lot was half full after we got back it was jam packed. Overall it was a really great hike.

on Opal Creek Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! GO EARLY if you want peace, quiet, and tranquility. We encountered a lot of large loud groups on our way out late morning. Trail is moderately easy but do recommend good shoes as it is long. Forest is stunning and the water crystal clear!

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