Explore Santiam - 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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Super awesome hike!! Totally kick ass though. Straight uphill and lots of switch backs, but worth it.

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.

Really easy summit hike and great to see both the cave and the peak at the top! Great camp spot up there too. NOTE: when going to the cave you will go through a burned forest area and the trail is relatively difficult to follow so keep your eyes peeled. It's a scramble with lots of loose rock, but doable if careful

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.

hiking
6 days ago

Quarry to Peterson Ridge Tie Trail to Whychus Creek Overlook. Back on Whychus Draw Trail to Metolious Windigo Trail and back to trail. This mileage x2 due to technical difficulty. No bikes, no horses, very few other hikers. Beautiful. The best scenery was on the Metolious Windigo side of this loop.

Helpful Hints **
The directions off of here were wrong when I plugged it in. It took me to a gated off forest road. Just type in the trailhead on google and it'll take you to the right place.
The cave won't be hard to find if you know what to look for (I didn't, but eventually found it.) There's an obvious trail that y's off to the left by the summit. Follow that till you get to another viewpoint, and you'll see the burn area. Don't walk down into the burn. Walk along as close to the rock as you can and there's a small trail that dips to the left and goes down, and hooks left right along the cliff wall. The cave faces Jefferson on the cliff wall of the viewpoint you passed walking towards the burn. It's right underneath it really. kind of hard to explain, hope that helps.

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.

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

GPS had us on the wrong road to a locked logging road. Definitely take 2233 approach to the trailhead. The gravel section was brief and not too bad. Gorgeous views at the top of triangulation peak! Boca cave was MASSIVE. Really enjoyed the burned out beauty. The approach to the cave could be pretty difficult for some. my poles came in handy. Highly recommend.

a basic forest trail that leads to beautiful views. definitely fire damage that was pretty in its own way. Boca cave was spectacular, and much bigger than expected. I think our mileage was about 4.6 miles.

Beautiful mellow hike. Lots of creek/falls viewpoints. A few steep rocky parts, but they were short.

loved it

Pleasant and easy Sunday afternoon scroll. Beautiful fall foliage. Downside: the constant presence of the sound of the highway.

Pretty steep most of the way up. Beautiful views of mount Jefferson at the top. Be aware there is a lot of damaged area from wildfires.

Hiked this after Henline Trail (waterfall). Only saw one other person. Amazing views! Will be doing again.

What a great trail! Off the beaten path which I loved. The trail loops around and leads down to Wychus Creek which is spectacular! One helpful note... to stay on the trail that leads down to creek there is a sharp right turn about 1/8 mile before the sign for Wychus Creek. It’s not obvious but it’s marked for horses as well. Thankfully another hiker told us about it.

hiking
27 days ago

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

Really amazing hike! Lot of razorbacks and some steep points but super amazing and such an awesome view all along the way (especially at the top)!

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!

just went yesterday with 5 grandkids and it was great. ranging in age from 7 to 14 years old. We started from fern ridge road, up the gravel road by the cows to the trail head. took a break there at a picnic table and started up the trail. kids loved the falls and the stairs. Ended up at the campground for lunch. Left Salem at 8.30 and were back home by 1.30. just a great day!

First of all, what the sh*t Nancy. Dropping a trail's rating just because you don't know how to Google or call a ranger station is BS. (Referencing the below review).

This is an awesome trail with excellent payoff for moderate work. There is a primitive campsite up there too, but no campfires especially right next to the burned area! Next time Im tempted to hike in my gear and stay the night! World class views of Hood, Three Fingered Jack and South Sister, and obviously Mt Jefferson taking point and center. The cave was an awesome added bonus, you must follow literally foot prints and somewhat of a trail downhill through the burned area after passing through the campsite. Be careful as its slippery. The trail all around was enough to feel accomplished but also easy enough to not feel ragged. I started around 430pm and was back to the car at 730pm after watching the sunset from the summit. Total distance on my pedo said just under 6 miles.

Maybe this is a good hike for inner-city folks looking to take in some “nature”. Not so much a hike as a short nature walk.

Not my cup of tea - the entry “trail” is a gravel road through private property, followed by short trails to a couple little falls. One of the falls is right on the road, which is good for access, I suppose. We walked to two more falls that were kind of neat, but wouldn’t go back.

In all fairness, we “hiked” this early summer, and the falls are probably considerably more voluminous and spectacular mid-winter, but be prepared for mud of hiking to the other two falls.

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.

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

I would like to go but I do not see any roads to get there. How is this accessed?

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.

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