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backpacking
21 hours ago

Beautiful area, however, extremely crowded with people staying at opal creek ancient forest center (a really neat sustainable retreat area with cabins and activities for large groups) then lots of day hikers and river rats. All of which I’m totally fine with had I known what I was going to expect once I arrived. I came to backpack, not car camp and that’s what this place screams!!

We arrived at about 10am on a Tuesday in the middle of August. The parking lot had roughly 50-60 cars already and a shuttle van was making trips down the first part of the trail (roughly 3.5-4miles) to the cabins at opal creek ancient forest center. In previous reviews it was mentioned that the first few miles of the “trail” WAS a gravel road, but everyone failed to mention that it was STILL in use! I don’t want to share a trail with any vehicle unless I’m at a festival, and even that sucks. So after the giant shuttle van passed us we proceeded down (about 2.5-3 miles) to where the Kopetski Trail crossed the river and we hit are first single track of the day. Yay!

The single track is a little tight but it’s very manageable, yes the footing can be a little tricky but if you have on good sturdy shoes and watch where you’re going you’ll be fine. After crossing back over the bridge down by opal pool we were pretty burned out on all the crowds screaming and shrieking and were relieved to be heading past the “resort” like atmosphere.

Past the main crowds it’s about another 2 - 2.5 miles to cedar flats. Be forewarned only two pools deep enough to swim in that we could see and the last one is a good half mile from the two camp sites at the end of the trail. There are about four camp sites altogether from the crowded cabin area all the way along to the end out in Cedar Flats. Also there is a bees nest at the second to the last camp site. Almost everyone got stung once but the poor dog got it the worst.

So here’s the deal, had I known more of what to expect, I wouldn’t have gone for a backpacking trip here. I like solitude, over crowds, whilst packing. I would have gone for the river fun and maybe a quick day hike to checkout jawbone flats, the mining stuff, and the cool thing that the people out at opal creek ancient forest center got going on.

Pros: gorgeous, old growth viewing, old mining equipment, and mind shafts, quiet if your all the way out in cedar flats, easy hike with hardly any elevation gain, absolutely stunningly clear water!

Cons: tons of people, specific vehicles are prohibited to use the road/trail until opal creek learning center (not much traffic and they do drive slow but still a con) all the swimming holes are ran sacked with dozens of high energy kids and families making it tough to find time to relax at the river. It screams car camping vibe.

Totally fine but had I known for backpacking I just wouldn’t have done it. My fault should have researched more. This is really the purpose of this post. To help another backpacker gather info on this place so they can make a better choice.

awesome, grin a bare the last 2miles. But it's worth it!
Take food and water for lunch at the top

Hardest hike I've done since Yosemite few years back. Highly recommend hiking poles due to the elevation climb; little to no switchbacks on the trail. Note that you need a recreation pass visible in your car at the trailhead, and that there is a registration box a little ways up with a form that needs filled out. Other then the copious amounts of black flies at higher elevations, the hike was amazing. Still got some good views of Mt. Hood even with some smoke haze in the air.

hiking
2 days ago

Little thick the first 1/2 mile or so but the views are totally worth it! My wife and I hiked this on a Sunday and hit the trailhead around 12pm and didn't see anybody on the hike down to the beach, and crossed paths with only 1 other group of 3 on our way back up. The elevation gain was truly mild, but if it's wet at all, strongly recommend hiking footwear. It felt like you were in a dream/movie set in a rainforest with how thick the forest was, only to feel this amazing ocean breeze with incredible views and a total chill beach to hang out before the trek back up the hill!

It’s a great hike for first timers and great for kids. The cave was cool and the waterfall was pretty.

hiking
3 days ago

Easy hike with plenty to see and hear. Loved walking through the forest and hearing the ocean waves. Great panoramic views from the highest point, and make sure to head to the end of the Cape Falcon trail to view the secluded black sand beach. We got to the trail head at about 8:45 and only started encountering other hikers on the way back, so go early for more quiet time, as this is a popular route with families. My favorite hike on the coast!

hiking
3 days ago

Somewhat steep and tricky descent to the beach, and challenging (for me) coming back up, but totally worth it! We had the beach completely to ourselves and enjoyed exploring. Started on the trail at about 8 and only saw 1 person until we were heading back to the parking lot around 9:30.

pretty hike but paved the entire way

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike - be prepared that it's all up hill going out. The ending is worth it though!

The trail starts off with some switchbacks that will have you over looking the ocean pretty quickly. During the majority of the switchbacks you will be out in the open and the trail will be pretty tight, but not too bad. Once you enter the trees the trail opens up, but you will have to be mindful of mud and roots. Towards the top the trail is very smooth until the final climb to the summit. Last 50 feet is a little rocky and has a slightly steep climb to the summit; the rest of the trail is a mild incline. Great view a summit. Looking at the beach there will be another peak to your left that allows a wider look at the mountain range, but you’ll have to traverse a pretty narrow ridge to get there. Take your time on the way down through the mud and you’ll be fine. Hike takes approximately 2 hours to complete without breaks.

Not a bad little workout. Unfortunately barely any scenery and no waterfalls. Other downer is that you’re constantly dodging mountain bikers...and I mean CONSTANTLY!! The mountain road to the trailhead is tons of fun if you have a sports car tho

Such a beautiful trail. Only saw a few people on a Sunday. Listening to the river made up for my dogs pulling! Not technical. A little rolly. Be back soon!

Tamolitch Blue Pool 8/11/18

My group planned to arrive early to Blue Pool, but a fatality on Hwy 22 caused us to take a 2.5hr detour. We arrived way later than we wanted to. Parking was already out on the highway at 1:15pm. This hike is about 2 miles in and 2 miles out. It’s a fairly easy hike that is shaded most of the way. The scramble to get down to the Blue Pool is a bit trickier, but doable. Just take your time. We had a group of 10 and only 5 of us were brave enough to go into the 37 degree water. If you decide to go in or walk around barefoot, I highly recommend water shoes. The rocks were extremely painful on the souls of our feet. Lots of hornets by the water, so be careful. We only saw 2 people jump from the cliff. This is extremely dangerous as several people have died over the years. Since this was a warm August Saturday, it was crowded with hikers, mountain bikers, dogs and children. I definitely recommend going early, on a weekday or in the off-season. It was still a great hike with breathtaking views. The shades of blue are indescribable. There are restrooms at the trailhead of Blue Pool. Also, if this was too short of a hike for you, definitely piggyback Koosah Falls or Sahalie Falls with this one. We would have, but with our unexpected detour, we ran out of time and needed to make the long trek home. Happy Hiking!

absolutely beautiful. the trail is rough and can be hard to find at times. I attempted three time before I finally found it. but it was so worth it

READ ROG’s review as well as other’s below before doing this trail!! Looks like Rog and I went the same day.

I’m going to keep it short bc others have already written detailed instructions. Scary drive across unpaved gravel and craters at hairpin turn, but I made it to the white gate. The descent is steep. Wear shoes with traction. I stupidly wore my sneakers instead of my hiking shoes and fell down the descent. Luckily didn’t hurt myself. IMHO waterfall was pretty but there are much prettier ones in the area. Oneonta Gorge is a favorite but closed now due to the eagle creek fire.

hiking
4 days ago

I agree with Rog's review below. My husband and I were there yesterday also and we took the wrong path down too. We had a couple behind us that almost got hit with rocks coming loose. PLEASE READ ROG'S REVIEW AND LOOK AT HIS PIC'S!! Everyone says this is a steep climb up and down. They mean it! No joke! I think it was like a 5 to 10 degree vertical climb. Also want to add that once you get to river you need to stay left also on river bank. Do not cross! You will run out of river rock on the right forcing you to cross back to the left side. Please wear proper shoes. Lastly please be respectful of others. Everyone is there to take amazing pics and take in all the beauty!

Best friend and I did this in the cold of winter. Well worth it even during the cold. We went off the path and made our way around the pool. Absolutely beautiful.

hiking
4 days ago

Take the correct trail!

This is a beautiful area. But there is an easy way and a crazy way. This location is on private property so there are no trail markings letting you know which way to travel. My friend and I went down a trail which matched some of the descriptions we read below, but little did we know there are a few trails down which match the descriptions below. The trail we took was a death defying Triple Diamond decent for experts only.

Here are some tips on how to avoid the nasty trail.
1. At the very end of the road you'll notice a trail to your East located about 2 car lengths back from the gate (dead end). There will be a big black and white sign explaining that this is private land and to play it safe.

2. Shortly after that big sign the trail will seem to split. One path has a fallen tree crossing the trail. The other path, to your right, looks well traveled.

3. STAY TO YOUR LEFT. WALK OVER THE FALLEN TREE. Shortly after you cross over the log you will see an identical black and white sign. You'll also see a long knotted rope anchored to the base of a small tree. This is the trail you want to be on.

Further down the correct trail you'll get to a point where two large trees have fallen down parallel to one another, leading straight down to the rivers edge. There is a rope which leads down the entire length of these logs. This is the easiest way down to the valley floor.

Back at the Y, if you chose the trail to your right you will see the following clues that your on the wrong path.
1. There will be a nice clearing covered with short grass. This spot has a great view of the valley. The path leading to this point seems very well used. TURN AROUND YOUR ON THE WRONG PATH.
2. Shortly after the grass clearing the trail will narrow down to a single path of loose sharp stones and dust. The topography will become very steep. The path will make several very quick switch backs. TURN AROUND YOUR ON THE WRONG PATH.
3. You will see a rope tied to a dead tree trunk. The rope is tied about 4 feet above the ground. A notch has been hacked into the tree trunk for the rope to nest in. TURN AROUND YOUR ON THE WRONG PATH.
4. The rope, tied to this dead tree, has no outer sheath, and looks very old. It also happens to be just long enough to lead you to think you can make it to the next rope tied to a root, but you cant. and by that time you'll find it hard to retreat. TURN AROUND YOUR ON THE WRONG PATH.

At this point you should turn around and head back. Dont bee foolish like me and my friend. When we reached the second rope tied to the root we discovered it was nothing more than a 3 feet long nub. We were too far down to climb out. The entire area is made of loose jagged rocks anchored by nothing but dust. It is sketchy as F. Some boulders broke free while I was making my way down, sending an avalanche of rocks, dust and broken tree trunks clear down the gulch to the rivers edge. Thank God no one was below us.

The trails leading down the falls are not marked at all. To me, a fallen tree crossing a trail means dont go this way. So I naturally chose the trail which looked obviously open. I had understood the trail down to the river had a rope, so when I saw the rope tied to the dead treed I assumed this was the trail. Someone needs to add some signs, or drag some logs across the bad trail and cut an opening in log crossing the good trail.

Parking: Parking is located in small nooks along the single lane dirt road. The further down you go the sketchier it gets. There is a big wash out and some huge craters about 3/4 of the way down the road. The road heads down hill. So when you are leaving you'll be climbing out of the valley, and that washout with the craters is located at a hairpin turn, so you cant get much of a run at it. To be fair, there were several nice sedans parked below washout point. But I was glad that we parked above this point.

Now as far as the falls are concerned. It is a beautiful area, it is secluded and the geology is amazing to behold. I feel that it is a great place to visit. But in my opinion, the Silver Falls area is equally as nice, if not more scenic.

This is definitely a beautiful hike. But, every person who has commented before me about the trail being a challenge, not well maintained or mess, is not exaggerating. After about 2 miles of traversing root systems and trying not to slip in mud, I turned around. I crossed the road and did Elk Flats instead. The way that trail is maintained is drastically better!

This is an amazing site! Expect it to be really crowded but the pool is worth seeing! Also don’t expect to swim much, there’s a reason why all the pictures don’t have people in them! The water is almost ice. Pretty easy hike in! Follow all our adventures on Instagram @themicrotourists!

Parked at the south trail head ( not available in this app) and it was 2.3 miles but still steep for a somewhat beginner. Felt like a good workout but not completely exhausting. beautiful views along the way but also overgrown with bushes. At the top, you do have to rock climb a little but worth it.

Beautiful arch and views at the end of a very steep trail. Wasn't as hard getting back up the trail as I thought it would be, but it does get steeper as you get closer to the arch. Very enjoyable day!

Great easy and comfortable hike on a very well maintained trail. Great trail for company who is not acclimated but wants a big payoff for the effort. The water was very cold but not unbearable and the hike down was not as bad as some post made it seem. Go around to the opposite side and the trail is very user friendly. The anticipation of the water is worse than the water itself. Very enjoyable, casual and non-taxing.

Amazing trail. Loved it. We loved the cove at the far end of the beach. Definitely coming back.

amazing! absolutely worth it!

we drove as far in as we could. the first turn off the "main" gravel road was not marked by a sign but rather an empty sign frame. we kept feeling like we were going wrong but it was right. the road is ROUGH but in dry weather, our Acadia made it fine. once you've driven as far as you can, there is a closed gate. there is parking for about 3-4 cars down that far then parking along the road. you'll not want to go through the gate but rather head back up the road about 100 feet and you'll see the trail which is marked with a sign up on a tree. the trail forks, stay left then head down. the trail has steep areas but you can go up and down with the assistance of ropes someone has left. once you've hit the stream, still head left and once you see the waterfall, the trip become worth every struggle. take a picnic, enjoy your time and really take it in. There was less than a dozen people there and it was the hottest day in July - but still too cold to swim (for me) - others were swimming.
I'm a very beginner and enjoyed it. we also took a dog who LOVED it. enjoy!

Well defined trail to the pool but more difficult to get down to the water. Totally worth the hike down.

This trail is pretty tough. I left early hoping to beat some of the heat but that didn’t really pan out. I followed the map posted above. When I left the parking lot from the Top Spur trail I headed up a bit to a second junction. Left will take you down the PCT towards Lolo trailhead, right takes you to a nice little head scratcher of a junction (which is where you need to be). After you fill out your permit you can head left and get right into the hike or do what I did and take what I thought was the direct trail - but it’s a side trail- WITH AN EPIC VIEW. This path leads around the side of a ridge and is so worth taking either in your way in or on your way out. This meets up with an trail cut off that put me back on the proper trail that heads up to McNeil. I took the long way round, instead of the questionable looking side trail that ends up taking through quite the scramble (I’ll be honest I didn’t know that was the trail that takes you straight up) I opted to take the slow painful workout that goes along the back side of the ridge. I was better for it, there’s 3-4 water sources which were essential on a day like yesterday. The flies were $&@!?@& terrible. Don’t take your pup unless you have pup shoes, that dirt in direct sunlight can be really tough on them!

easy trailhead to reach with paved roads leading to there. Like others have said its a little steep in the beginning but levels off pretty nicely towards the middle. I went pretty early so the bugs weren't terrible but bring bug spray if your going later in the day. Cool views and a fun drive to do early in the morning.

ATTN: Road is CLOSED and the trailhead is inaccessible. However, I’d love to come back and hike this when it opens up. The drive from Portland wasn’t too bad.

hiking
8 days ago

This was for sure top 3 for flowers this year for me.

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