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trail running
1 day ago

PERMIT REQUIRED (Online purchase) . Fantastic trail after the first 3 miles. I ran the loop clockwise in early October and saw only one other group of hikers. There were a couple of water filter opportunities, but I wore a pack with 2 liters and didn’t need it all running in cool weather.
Views of the mountains were stunning. The obsidian was sparkling and fall foliage was bright yellow, in contrast to the evergreens.
I plan to come back during mosquito season to see the wildflowers that were brown this time of year.
Highway 242 is closed from November to whenever the snow melts, so access is cut off during the winter.

Very pretty, starting to get snow now though

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

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

hiking
2 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.

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

hiking
2 days ago

Trail is well marked. Getting there was relatively easy. Steady climb all the way to the top. Took me two hours to summit, and there was some snow at the very top. Great views, would highly recommend.

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.

I hiked Foley Ridge to Substitute Point on November 10th. The burn area begins less than two miles in. The beginning is lush and green. Hiking in a burn area means an eroded trail which is sometimes hard to see. Overall though deadfall was fine, and I was able to follow footprints in frozen ground, then snow and finally mud. Sign was easy to find at 4.4 mi to Substitute Point. Trail was not always discernible from this point, but footprints again helped. Used micro-spikes for last climb to top as steep and icy. Views are outrageous of South Sister. Best to do in fall without high heat. Road up to trailhead was great even on dirt with good signage.

Hiked Iron Mountain last week and the view was worth the work. Pack a lunch and enjoy.

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.

Serenity

My dog and I LOVED this trail.

backpacking
14 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.

UPDATE 10/27/18 road closed 5 miles before trail due to rock slides. Trail not accessible

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
18 days ago

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

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful trail in the fall, Lots of Cats tongue mushrooms to nibble on. beautiful bridges, and ultimately you can reach the top of mount June. can be pretty steep in places.

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.

backpacking
22 days ago

WOW! Great little hike! Took about 45 minutes to get to the top at a rather consistent medium pace with a break. The trail is not well maintained, and the trailhead can be difficult to locate. Overall the view and fire lookout is amazing!

loved it

Beautiful trip! This map is from Trailbridge/Blue Pool trailhead to Coldwater Cove. Coldwater is closed after Labor Day, so You’ll have your pick of car camping sites, which is a welcome sight after the hike up the river. The distance is 16+ miles total if you go all the way to cold water cove. The second mile is the toughest due to serious crowding and rough lava rock trails. Once you make it to the Carmen reservoir at the 6th mile you can take the waterfalls trail, which is tougher and more crowded, but worth it on the way back if you can catch it early in the morning. After blue pool, Carmen/Waterfalls is the first place to get water, and last good place before you get to Clear Lake.

Stunning foliage and beautiful views. Elevation gain is steady and moderate. Water and Mountain View’s throughout. One of my faves.

I hiked this trail on a sunny late-October day.
Here are some key points to know about it.
1. The trailhead is shared with the Lawler trail and the trails-split, just a hundred feet from the start, is not marked. Keep right and you will soon cross South Creek on a short wooden bridge (you'll know you're on the right trail). After crossing the creek you will soon (.2 miles) encounter another junction. Keep LEFT, follow the Eula Ridge trail. Do NOT turn right toward Hardesty Trail...this would lead you to the Hardesty trailhead on OR 58.
2. The trail is heavily forested all the way up; do not expect any views. The "interest" of the trail, for me, was (a) as a workout... and what a workout did I get and (b) to complete my Hardesty "triple crown" after having prevously reached the summit via the Hardesty Trail and the Mount June trailhead.
3. The trail is STEEP. The first 2.75 miles are steep but OK as the trail winds its way up through a series of switchbacks. The next mile is a different story; the trail cutters apparently suddenly forgot how to make switchback and headed straight up the ridge line. Both my legs stared to cramp up after half a mile of this treatment. That section is not a lot easier on the way down as it is rather slippery
4. The trail is shared with mountain bikers. Other than the usual "share the trail" aspects of that, it also means that portion of the trail are worn-out and even more slippery (especially the switchback turns). Hiking poles recommended up and down.
5. I was glad we had a spell of dry weather, the trail (and especially the super steep section) are likely hard to navigate in muddy/snowy conditions.
6. The trail does not seem too popular but is well maintained (nor overgrown, not damaged). I did not encounter anyone on it for the 7 hours I spent there; I only saw one biker just below the summit, on the Hardesty Mtn trail.

hiking
24 days ago

Easy to find trailhead and it’s nicely marked. Beautiful views at the top. We stayed for a while taking pics and enjoying the views. It was a clear day so we saw all the surrounding mountains. Beautiful!

hiking
24 days ago

Last couple miles are overgrown, but the hike alongside the mountains is beautiful!

hiking
24 days ago

Hiked this on 10/20/18. It's a little confusing where to park, at the paved snow park parking lot or tenths of a mile up the dirt road at the end of the lot that takes you right to the trailhead. there isn't a lot of room at the trailhead, so we chose the paved lot. This is an awesome 10 miler. I did it in late October, so there wasn't much left of the one lake on the route. the first 2.5 miles are an easy gradual incline. Take a break at the lake before doing the second half, it gets steep from there to the summit. The blow down is easy to traverse. It's only for the mile from the lake on, and they are easily stepped over or have well worn paths around. Once you hit the switchbacks on the final mile to the summit the trail narrows, with lots of loose rocks. Our dog did fine on the entire trail. The views from the summit on a clear day are spectacular. To the north you can see as far as St. Helen's, and to the South I believe I could make out a portion of Broken Top through an opening on the East side of Mt. Washington, and every thing in between.

Beautiful trail. Good for walking or running in most parts. We went on to Vivian lake which was farther than we anticipated and not well marked. All in all great day 8.5 miles total.

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