Explore Oregon - 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
1 day 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.

on Green Lakes Trail

hiking
3 days ago

As spectacular as everyone says. Passed no more than 15 or so people in both directions with long stretches of solitude including at the lake itself. Conditions: Cascade Lakes Highway clear (from Bend) except for one snowy/icy hill just west of Mount Bachelor. Trail clear for first mile or so, packed snow for the next two (not slippery), some icy hills in the final stretch -- enough that I put on traction for the trip down. Tentative road closure date is 11/19 so enjoy this trail now!

The best ever! We went early in the morning and were there by ourself for a few hours. It was blissful. Make sure to leave your glitter at home as the stupid hippies have left enough along the trail and trees.

backpacking
13 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.

hiking
14 days ago

Best hike I’ve ever been on. Went in August on a really hot Smokey day and it was cool. Walked next to a creek almost the entire way and took a dip in the lake at the top.

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
16 days ago

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

hiking
20 days ago

Great easy hike to take guests. Easy trail to go in chacos or tennis shoes. This October has been more forgiving than most so it was a great day to go early.

loved it

This is a nice hike, be sure to get a pass online before you show up! There are rangers along the hike that will be asking. The fall colors were pretty. It was a bit cloudy when I went so I was unable to see the mountain but overall a decent hike - not crowded.

hiking
24 days ago

Absolutely beautiful trail. Didn’t make it all the way to the lake, but lovely by the creek all along the way. Gently sloping, not very technical.

hiking
24 days ago

Very well maintained trail with lots of picturesque scenery, including the river, waterfalls, forest, open space with obsidian boulders and of course - lakes and Mountain View’s. Went over Labor Day weekend, lots of other hikers but not crowded. The hike in was 2 hours. We took a 30 minute break to snack and take in the scenery then hiked out, which took 1.5 hours. Would recommend.

gets crowded, but great payoff

backpacking
25 days ago

Hard for me to completely rate this trail fairly. Started out hiking at 11p so it was pitch black. Very cold that night and to make matters worse once we got to the lakes the wind decided to get crazy. If I was to guess sustained 15mph with gusts all night up to 40. Powerful enough to have branches fall on our tent. In the morning the lakes were pretty but again very very cold mostly due to the wind. We did a loop with soda creek trail back to the trail head and decided to forgo no name lake that night given how windy it was the previous night at a lower elevation. The lakes were definitely pretty and so was the western side of broken top and the eastern end of sisters. Great overall trail system in this region no doubt.

hiking
27 days ago

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

hiking
28 days ago

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

Nice walk along mostly gravel path.

walking
29 days ago

beautiful easy hike! the leaves are gorgeous right now!

Very peaceful hike. We started at the fish hatchery and hiked about 3 miles down river , crossed over a bridge and hiked another 3 miles on the other side of the river. Beautiful scenery but there is no waterfall on this hike. We saw a trickle of water coming out of the side of the river but not what we would a waterfall. Still a pretty hike though.

backpacking
1 month ago

We backpacked mid-September and experienced a mixture of weather. The views were amazing and there were many trails we explored once camp was set up. Grab a good water filter so you don’t have to weigh your bag down with lots of water. There are many places to refill with the filter. Trekking poles were helpful as there are a couple spots once at the lakes where you can cross water on logs but they are slippery so be careful. There are lots of easily located designated camp spots and a back trail to hike South Sister if you wanted. Will go again for sure!

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.

Spectacular views - creek, waterfalls, Broken Top, South Sister, lava, and lakes. Bring a camera and plenty of water. Fairly easy hike - moderate due to the distance.

on Green Lakes Trail

1 month ago

Awesome hike for all ages. Did this late September, NO mosquitoes

great ride with only two hikers on the trail. lots of water for the horses.

we took the whole family, all five kids and what a beautiful hike!

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing Overnight stay.

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.

camping
2 months ago

Just got back from this hike. What a beautiful hike. Lots of great camping around the lake. No mosquitoes at all but then again the creeks were all dried up too. Hiked up the indigo extension trail that winds it’s up the hill and eventually overlooks the lake. Highly recommend the hike.

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.

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