Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Opal Creek Trail is a 6.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gates, Oregon that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.9 miles Elevation Gain: 652 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

historic site

Beginning at the Opal Creek Trailhead, this hike is on a gravel road through an old-growth forest of cedar trees. This trail takes you over a high bridge to the opal pool and you can loop around and go back through Jawbone Flats which is a fun little historic town to see. It is a great walk along an old road and an opportunity to explore an old mining operation abandoned over a century ago in this ancient forest. There are several little trail junctions that veer off the main trail that lead to swimming holes. Along the way you can also see Slide Falls and Sawmill Falls. This is a popular trail so do not expect to have the entire place to yourself. Camping and parking are regulated due to the popularity of the site.

hiking
19 hours ago

Great trail with lots to see! The first half was fairly easy old gravel road for a mostly easier hike with lots to see still. The second part was definitely more difficult, making it more of a moderate hike. The water was stunning. It was busy & Jawbone Flats was closed off.

hiking
fee
muddy
rocky
scramble
5 days ago

The trail seems to be fairly easy in the beginning. Flat straight gravel trail but then the moderate/hard fun part begins! There is no doubt that the whole hike is absolutely beautiful but man does it get intense about 2 miles before you get to Opal Creek. Very narrow, muddy, rocky incline watch your step. Once there, you are greeted by a bridge with a beautiful clear blue pool and rocky waterfalls! The kids dared to cliff jump into the pool of water and the look on there face once their bodies touched that water was priceless! Freezing cold! On our way back we decided to cross the bridge and make a loop. You come up to a sign that says it’s closed but we went through it regardless. It was more of an 8 mile hike for us. 06/29/20

hiking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
over grown
6 days ago

Whetstone trail was very overgrown with lots of downed trees. Hike took my teenage son and I 8 hours.

hiking
bugs
6 days ago

Yesterday beautiful a yearly must for me its a beautiful hike. Some bugs wear repellent.

hiking
8 days ago

Don’t listen to the reviewers who rate this hike poorly because of crowds. They’re too easily dismissing how ineffably gorgeous this trail is. Get there at break of dawn and you will practically have the entire place to yourself. The hike is not strenuous at all, and offers really amazing views of the forest and creek. Once at the insane creek overpass (it’s super loud and powerful), you can continue toward Jawbone Flats (currently closed) or make you way down to the creek and find some opal pools to enjoy. Once the sun is high enough, you’ll probably piss your pants from how ridiculously delightful those pools look with the sunlight dancing in them. Don’t rush, enjoy the views, do some opal pool exploring, take it all in, and have a blast. This trail is definitely one of the most beautiful trails you can get on.

most of the hike was on a road and there were a lot of people, mostly partying. not ideal for a family. the falls and lake are gorgeous!

hiking
blowdown
muddy
rocky
12 days ago

Crystal clear water which was beautiful, but just way too overcrowded for my liking. Families with kids just standing in the middle of a stream crossing talking and not moving to let others by. When we made it to the end where the waterfall and pool where, there was about 30 or so people there just hanging out. It was pretty of you don’t mind the crowds. Probably won’t go do it again though.

hiking
12 days ago

Super beautiful hike

hiking
muddy
rocky
16 days ago

Everything about this hike was beautiful. A bit muddy and slippery. But plenty of trail space. Lots of up and down. But nothing too bad. Will definitely take this trail again. A million times yesss.

hiking
17 days ago

Hiked 6/18/20. Very wet, muddy, and rocky- wear chacos or waterproof boots. Beautiful, shady old-growth throughout.

hiking
closed
muddy
20 days ago

Walk was nice. Kind of confused as to why this hike is rated so highly. A road that turns into a one lane path. HEAVILY populated with people. A lot of people not following the dog leash law and a lot of people not respecting the Jawbone Flats path being closed off. With the jawbone flats being closed to public, the total hike is about 8.5 miles. Super muddy and not much of a destination to hike to. Definitely not the number two hike in Oregon.

hiking
muddy
21 days ago

Hiked 6/14/2020. If you want to avoid the crowd, definitely go early or on a weekday. Almost entire trail is shady and muddy this time of the year. You hike on the gravel road for about 2 miles and then the trail, kind of narrow. I was happy to have my waterproof boots. There are a couple of bridges to cross the streams, so a stick can be handy for people who struggle with balancing. Dogs do seem to love this trail! One of the most beautiful trails, the end is sooo rewarding. Many waterfalls and huge trees on the way! There are beautiful wild flowers and mushrooms to look for. There are couple of trails on the way going down to the river and campsite, perfect to enjoy a snack and spend some alone time. Overall I would rate this easy, not going to make you too tired.

hiking
23 days ago

Hiked on Friday, 6/12. Arrived around 3pm, parking lot was about 3/4 full but we didn't see anyone on the trail the entire time. We only got a few miles in, just to the first waterfall and pool by the mining town. It was absolutely gorgeous! The water was so clear we could see the bottom. If you're up to it, a plunge in the cold water is incredibly refreshing!

hiking
muddy
24 days ago

hiking
30 days ago

Such a beautiful hike. Went yesterday, started around 11. The water was incredible and path was clear and dry for most of the trail. Got in the water a few times, it was too cold to swim, but incredibly refreshing to dip. Not too many people definitely less than the first time i trekked this trail. We wanted to keep going and hiked most of the kopetski trail which is at the end by opal pools. Kopetski has an incredible waterfall that you cross and it kind of sprays you. Absolutely stunning views of waterfalls follow. We completed it around 7, but we took alot of stops to check out the water and views. Jaw bone flats was closed due to construction. I highly recommend trekking kopetski trail, everyone we saw turned back around at the end of opal creek and didn't run into anyone on kopetski.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice flat trail for the most part, with lots of rocks. Gorgeous views. There were only 10 or so other people on the trail today. Make sure you go off the main path a few times to see the whole creek! Love this one.

hiking
1 month ago

Trail was pretty busy as expected but overall a great hike. Pretty flat hike for majority of it. One of the roads is closed so there is a detour- round trip to the waterfall and back was 8.98 miles! Did with two dogs and they loved all the puddles on the flat dirt road.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Fun swim and jump spots if you’re not scared of some cold water. ALSO the road is getting fixed!!!

walking
1 month ago

loved the hike! pretty easy tbh terrain is mostly flat and easy to get around. pretty much a family friendly hike with lots of cool things to explore around.

closed
2 months ago

we were stopped by a national forest person. telling us the whole forest is closed and that we could also end up with a ticket. we told her, we didn't drive 3 1/2 hours not to go so we will take our chances. she did say the jawbone flat mining town is for sure closed and the road to it was closed. so we had to take the alternate road to get to the falls. we were disappointed that we couldn't see the mining town but the waterfalls were absolutely beautiful and worth going. I do have to say for the forest being closed. there were alot of people there. beware though. there will be a 4 mile road you will go threw in order to get to the trailhead. the potholes on that road were so bad. if you don't have 4 wheel drive then I wouldnt chance taking your car on this hike. your car won't make it. you need 4 wheel drive. overall it was a great hike. A bad wind storm came threw and there were quite a few trees that fell. which scared us a bit but I'm glad we got out of there safely. I can't even begin to tell you how beautiful the waterfalls are.

Showing results 1 - 20 of 613