Explore Willamette National Forest - 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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Absolutely stunning, the trail was amazing with amazing views. The offshoots were my favorite. There was a ton of snow on the west side of the trail which made it a lot more challenging, but overall it was a great hike!

hiking
7 days ago

Quite the calf burner, but made for an incredible first time hike. The views are worth the grind up to the top. Couldn't imagine walking this during snowfall or heavy rain due to downed trees in parts and narrower paths. All in all a nice gem of a hike.

Went on a Cold Sunday morning hike. We took the Kopetski trail loop and came around the back side of jawbone flats. No worries you end up on the same trail you start on. We started our hike at 11 AM and got done at 2:15 PM. We only saw two other groups of hikers until we started to head back, then it was a bit more crowded, but no problem as it’s not nearly as bad as the summer time. Dress warm/layers as you are hiking in a canyon that gets very little sunlight and it’s cold until you warm up from hiking. We stopped for a small lunch at jawbone flats and had to layer back up before we got going again. Love this place. BRING CASH OR CHECK for parking. And if you can spare it, the town takes donations too, and once you see how pristine they help keep the town and trails you’ll want to donate. Great hike for all ages and skills but the Kopetski Loop is a little more rugged and step, would not recommend for little ones or people with old knees. Enjoy.

As someone who isn’t from here, I was bummed that nobody mentioned the lake gets drained in the winter so it’s mostly dirt there currently, but it was a great hike nonetheless and the view of Mt Jefferson is incredible. No snow, and saw families with small children and kids on the way out and back. Took my 12 year old dog on this and she got tired from the incline on the way up but was fine after we hung out at the top for about 10 minutes and we were able to get back to our car in half the time it took to get up the mountain. Definitely would do again when it’s warmer out and the lake is full

Beautiful hike with an amazing view, especially on a clear day. I would highly recommend this hike.

hiking
9 days ago

One of the most beautiful hikes in Oregon. Jawbone Flats is an incredible site to see.

snowshoeing
9 days ago

We tried to do this with a four wheel drive Jeep with snow chain and snowshoes on January 12. As soon as we turned off of 22, there was heavy snow on the road. The road is not serviced by a snow plow. We pulled out a pick up truck that was stuck. We continued on and we made it to about 5 miles away from the trailhead. We got super stuck in the snow, finally got out and went for a hike from there. Will definitely be back again! The views we had were epic, just had too much snow on the road to be able to make it to the trailhead. It was definitely an adventure and won’t soon be forgotten!

hiking
16 days ago

Hiking this trail in the winter is the way to go if you want to skip the crowds. It was the perfect little hike for a winter day.

Great easy hike! A little tough when you want to go down to water , which is cold.. pretty busy on a Sunday, got to parking at about 1100. Water color is amazing!!! Would love to come back when their is snow everywhere . Highly recommend.

Easy to find, clear trail, beautiful view. Hiked in winter and snow coverage was not foreboding.

Beautiful hike, mostly dirt but where the canopy lightened there was a little snow on the ground. By the end of the hike the snow was mostly melted. The pool was beautiful with the snow falling, but don't expect a big waterfall this time of year.

Went this last summer and had a blast! Very pretty falls and not too long of a hike!

Great hike for the start of 2019. Get there early as there is parking but it will fill up. Hike is easy and well worth it. Be prepared for lots of people. It’s a popular spot!

Didn’t plan on doing at 7 miles. But it was a beautiful loop!! Went through the old mining areas which was cool. Not many swimming spots.

hiking
1 month ago

Came here on 12/7/18 roads were icy on the route alltrails takes you on Google maps. Dirt road coming in seemed a lot worse (pit hole riddled) than leaving. There are two vaulted toilet stalls here and they were clean. You can rent cabins at jawbone flats. If you want to do the loop I would make a right at the trailhead for the pools when you first come across the bridge it will be easier to follow if you don't have a preloaded map. This place is a must see the road is easy and opal pools trail is moderate to hard. This trail is 9.9 miles and we finished it in 5.5hrs. In jawbone flats the bathroom is closed for the winter. You can rent cabins in jawbone flats and if you are handicap, you can drive in if you are renting a cabin. Cabin prices are fairly expensive over $100. Jawbone flats is privately owned and surrounded by national forrest. You need a northwest forrest pass to park here or an American the beautiful or day pass. I believe $5/visit/day. We were the first ones on the trail and when we left there were 3 or 4 other cars in the lot on a Friday. There is ice on the trail this time of year in the early mornings so use caution. No drinkable water here if you are doing a day trip here, so make sure you bring plenty of water or have a filtration system. There are people that live here all year long. we saw 3 hikers and 3 dogs on this trail 2 dogs were not leashed up.

Visited Salt Creek Falls yesterday 12/10/18. The gate to drive up to the falls is closed, so you have to park in a smaller lot to the left and walk about a half mile to the larger parking lot. There’s a viewpoint just off the lot where you can see the falls, or you can walk down the trail to get closer to the bottom. There was only a few inches of snow so the trail is still pretty easy to get down in just snow/hiking boots. The end of the trail has been ruined by a rockslide, so you’ll know when to stop and turn around.

The Diamond Falls loop has a bit more snow (up to a foot in some places) and less foot traffic. We were able to complete the 3 mile loop without snowshoes, but you’ll probably need them if there’s any more snow. My only regret is that we didn’t walk all the way to the bottom of Diamond Falls. There’s a sign for “Lower Diamond Falls” - we followed the sign and walked off the main trail, but stopped at the bridge over the creek because it was broken and we didn’t know if it was worth it to cross over. After we turned around and made it to the upper Diamond Falls viewpoint we wished we would have seen the view from the bottom!

All in all it was a great trip! Both falls were beautiful, but Salt Creek Falls alone was worth the 3 hour drive from Portland to see.

1 month ago

Nice easy walk to two beautiful waterfalls. If you catch it right the sun makes a rainbow just by the falls. Went on 3rd December and trail was a little icy and slippy so be careful. Was very quite as well only us along the trail.

We hiked to Blue Pool on 11-26-2018. The trail is well maintained but there are rocks that you have to climb over so be aware that it’s not a flat path the whole way. IMO there could be a few more markers for the viewing outlooks....easy to walk right by when you don’t know to look for them. My watch said we did 4.3 miles, from the parking lot to Blue Pool and back but it’s mostly flat and was no problem for my kids (ages 11 & 10).

Great hike, moderate incline and well maintained smooth trail. Little parking lot with no toilet. Stunning 360* views if you can climb up a short steep trail at the top. Beautiful view of mt. jefferson

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

One of my favorite hikes in Oregon that often gets overlooked. The view from the top is always worth it. Easy hike, well maintained trail and dog friendly.

Great place to hike! Restrooms available. Lots of water scenes, waterfalls, and forrest to explore. Flat and easy marked trails. Dog friendly as well.

hiking
2 months ago

Sweet trail, pretty easy, and theres a super cool helicopter pad and lookout at the top! Amazing drive to the trailhead too.

hiking
2 months 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.

Amazing views. Idk about that 2.2 miles though. The loop took us awhile and we move at a decent pace.

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.

My dog and I LOVED this trail.

backpacking
2 months 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
2 months ago

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

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