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hiking
2 hours ago

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

Just do the bottom half of the trail.

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike, serene setting and landscape.

Just did this trail today. It was my sister and my 2 children ages 11 and 8 and they loved it! We did Ape Trail that was above ground and once we got done we walked back and then went underground. I’m not sure which one we did I’m seeing a lot of posts where people say they did the Upper Cave area but crawled and we didn’t crawl at all. It was an open area cave but pitch black. I used a head flash light and my cell light and my kids had their own lights as well. We didn’t finish the cave trail due to my son sprang his ankle . The terrain is very unsteady so watch your step. Other than that it was really fun and awesome. I’m definitely coming back but more in the spring or summer time. Happy Hiking!

Great hike! It’s a long haul to the falls, but completely worth it!!

A hidden gem. Multiple shots of the peaks as you hike. the panorama is the cake!

Did the upper caves (the challenging ones) and absolutely adored it. It gets a bit challenging in some parts but I wouldn’t consider it very hard. I enjoyed all the way.
I would recommend wearing a nice coat since the temperature is Lower downt there and definitely two sources of light (head lamp and flashlight will do) some light gloves might be helpful as well and I wouldn’t take kids younger than 8 or 9 (not only for the physical part but the fact that it’s completely dark and might find it scary)

By the way, you will need a permit in dashboard of the car to park in the lot.

Road to the trailhead is very well maintained for a forest service road. There are a few pot holes but they’re more like speed bumps and easily avoided, my Honda Civic had no issues getting there if you’re worried. Trail to the base of the falls is easy and short, if you want more of a challenge hiking to the upper trail #152 has some steeper sections. Couldn’t really see the falls from the upper trail but found some cool camp spots with a view for backpacking.

hiking
6 days ago

Did both caves. Did this hike without hiking baby. And I would never do this with hiking baby. Helmet is a good idea for upper trail. Recommend 2 sources of light. 1 for use 1 for backup. You do not want to be in the upper cave without light. Rope is installed for 8ft climb. Was completely alone on upper cave. Honestly not smart to do upper cave alone. Learned my lesson on that one. I am a big guy and there is a lot of tight spaces. But I did it with a camera bag and backpack. Was alone for most of the lower cave.

Gorgeous, unbelievable views! Ridiculously windy at points, thought we might blow off the side. Also be warned the last few miles of the forest road are pretty rough and require an agile 4 wheel drive vehicle (ideally with high clearance).

hiking
7 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.

hiking
10 days ago

Very nice hike. Not very steep, except for the short trail that takes you up to the Falls Creek Trail #152. I went up to the base of the falls and then to the viewpoint above the falls and then completed the loop and my Alltrails app recorded 6.5 miles.

An amazing all around hike! Small walk right up to the base of the falls, or a small moderate 2.0 mile loop if you’re interested in hiking the whole trail. On the trail you’ll see a second waterfall and some other beautiful sights! Hiked it on 11/7/2018, and the fall colors were really popping. Loved every bit of it!

It was beautiful trail inside and out. We had our 1 year old son on my husband's back and were able to do about 95% of the cave until it was just too small to crawl through with a child on your back. the terrain is a but rough for a child under 4 to walk. We loved it.

backpacking
19 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.

Super easy hike. The lower cave is very roomy and it’s a clear path back and out. It was a surreal experience as a first time cave-goer. My only complaint is that a duo near us had clearly been disregarding the signs not to smoke cigarettes in the cave. Without the side of fresh air, it felt like we were walking through an ashtray most of the way.

We went to the side of the upper cave. We reached a point where it seemed like it ended, so we turned around. When we were finished and left the caves and referred to the maps...we realized we hadn’t pushed on far enough and there was more to the upper cave. Will definitely go back to try it out.

Good lights- yes...I went cheap on a headlamp and it wasn’t quite bright enough for my liking

It was quite wet and drippy in there...a raincoat was nice to have.

Good, sturdy shoes. The ground is quite uneven.

Relatively easy trail. Follows creek most of the way to the falls. Awesome little peekaboo of the falls from the trail before you get to the lower viewpoint.

hiking
21 days ago

Fun hike, went backwards starting from the upper caves. Completed 10-14-18

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
22 days ago

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

Didn't do the entire trail because we were on a time schedule but the waterfall is gorgeous. Highly suggest.

Perfect hike, not hard just enough and getting to the waterfall was a great experience.

hiking
23 days ago

I ran through the cave basically... really wired if you know what I mean.

This is a beautiful trail through a lush forest that follows a stream and leads you to the impressive bridal veil falls. Nice and shaded, relaxing hike w some uphill along the way.

Wonderful hike and an easy trail to navigate once you've found the trailhead. If you're hiking upstream the actual trailhead can be tricky to find if you don't have service or good directions. If you're unfamiliar with the area I strongly recommend getting familiar with directions because GPS commonly fails here.

hiking
28 days ago

didn’t expect to do this underground cave today because we didn’t have proper lights. we were just going to hang out by the entrance to take pictures, but got so excited and amused by the scenes that we decided to carry on the upper (more difficult) trail using our iphones as lights. highly suggest using head lamps as you want your hands free. it’s flat rock at time, but there are a lot of boulders you need to climb.

i liked entering through the main cave entrance and taking the ground trail back to the parking lot. if i did it vice versa i would’ve probably been more uneasy taking the cave back.

it was my first cave experience / hike, but overall, i highly recommend.

Not difficult, but if you want to get better pictures you’ll do a little navigating on slippery rocks. Even then, it’s not bad. Views are spectacular, of course.

So beautiful!

hiking
1 month ago

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

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