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

Plan to go Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
2 days ago

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

hiking
9 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
21 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
23 days ago

This a great hike for all levels. I would call the loop “easy” for hikers considering you go by at least 10 waterfalls, if not more counting the little ones. This is a must do hike!

hiking
24 days ago

We hiked the first half and saw 3 or 4 falls. We hiked out and back to same way. I carried our small dog in a carrier. We loved it!

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
24 days 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.

on Tumalo Falls Loop

29 days ago

I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with this hike. The most effort that I had to put into it was getting parking. The waterfall was at the beginning and you didn't have to walk far from the parking lot to see it. There were mountain bikers everywhere and at time made it difficult to get past them on the narrow parts of the trail. They were even in areas the the signs said they weren't allowed. This made it hard to enjoy the trail. As beautiful as the waterfall was, I prefer to work to get to it, not walk 1 minute from where I parked.

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!

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
1 month ago

beautiful easy hike! the leaves are gorgeous right now!

hiking
1 month 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.

You are pretty much walking through Lava the vast majority of the time. Pretty neat area if you have never been here before, not much of a repeat type of hike but certainly one that you need to do at least once.

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.

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.

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

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.

hiking
1 month ago

One of the best intermediate hikes in Central Oregon...I’ve enjoyed the lake in the summer for paddle boarding as well...

Favorite hike so far! Did the longer route since I don’t have a high clearance car. Totally worth it! Would do it again in a heartbeat, I suggest camping so you can watch the sunrise !

Great hike. Well worth the time.

Took about 2 hrs 45 min going a moderate pace. First half of trail has several waterfalls and is shaded. Second half is mostly sunny and away from the water. Dogs are also not allowed on the second half which is why many recommend doing this as out and back. There are a couple places where you cross the river on logs. Overall an a great hike with gradual elevation gain, most of the trail is pretty flat after the initial ascent. I recorded it as 7.7 miles not 6.9 as app indicates.

we did the 15 Mile out and back hike and considered it very easy but well worth the trip.

Great scenery, hike isn't as hard as in description. One of my favorites. Road to upper trailhead is very narrow and Rocky.

Load More