Explore the most popular hiking trails near Elkhorn with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

So much to look at.

hiking
19 hours ago

Beautiful hike! Be prepared to drive over five miles on a gravel road to get there; our rental SUV was just the ticket. Parking could be an issue on the weekend, we saw about 20 cars there on a Tuesday. Although we weren’t alone, we didn’t feel that it was too crowded by any means.
Just before two miles, start looking to the right of the trail. When you see a bunch of old rusty machinery, follow your ears to the right to get to the first swimming hole, a beautiful waterfall with clear, cool pools beneath. It’s a steep scramble to get down but totally worthwhile. Two tenths of a mile further, the path forks at a sign. Both trails end at the Opal Pool, another beautiful swimming hole. The left fork is about 1.1 miles and goes through an old mining town (now an educational center) and the right fork goes through forest on a steep and narrow path. There is a sign on the right fork which states that it is 1.3 miles to Opal Pool, but it is really much farther. Keep walking until you see the bridge, and if you want you can return the other way in which you came.
Loved it and and will come back.

The trail is mainly on gravel. There is a fork in the trail with a mile marker sign posting information about (left) Jawbone Flats/Education Center and (right) Opal Pool. I went both ways and I highly recommend the trail on the right since it's much more beautiful and the trail is on red dirt. The miles of the entire trail is inaccurate because it depends on where you're going (Opal Creek swimming holes, Jawbone Flats, Old Mining area, Opal Pool). My friend, my dog and I hiked all over and ended this hike packing ten miles in our legs. Wear durable, waterproof hiking shoes. Your feet will thank you.

hiking
2 days ago

Awesome hike filled with nature beauty of mountains, woods and pools.

Good climb first two miles, first half pretty over grown in areas once you hit the runoff. Trail is ridden with mosquitoes til the second half. Nice rock ledge for a quarter of a mile and a few logs to hurdle over along the way. No water past the 2.75 miles til you get to twin lakes. Didn't see alot of lake access but 4 to 5 camp spots. Good hike but the road in to Elk lake is slow going and 4 wheel drive would make it easier but we did pass a mercedes, proceed at your own risk. ;)

Easily one of the most beautiful areas in Oregon but (there’s always a but) the crowds have gotten astronomically larger over the years. If you can go on a weekday then you’ll find respite from the lake parties. Just know that you’ll likely still spend a significant portion of the day finding and picking up other people’s trash.

hiking
4 days ago

We started early...saw no one on our way to the pools. Beautiful hike the whole way....water was cold but nice for the kids and dog to play in before heading back.

backpacking
5 days ago

The road up is tough, and pretty rocky. You end up having to Park where the split to Elk Lake is, as the road farther on is washed out. The trail could use some love but wasn't too bad. Enjoyed our stay at the lake. Upper twin is really nice this time of year. Just warm enough for a nice dip in the lake. Campsites are very well maintained, but please pick up your trash as we had to pick up quite a bit on our way out. The the trail to the lower twin seems to not be there anymore or is it very overgrown.

Loved the hike only reason not a 5 is because it’s so crowded! Did I last weekend of June 2018.

great place to take a largr group and to swim

although the water is beautiful I don't think I would do this hike again. I think it is slightly overrated. I have seen more beautiful scenery with less people around (Not that it isn't pretty). People complain about hiking on the gravel road but it is honestly one of the nicer and maintained paths I've encountered in my hiking days. As we were analyzing people we noticed a lot of them we're wearing flip-flops and Van type shoes. So that is why their feet hurt. Not the trails fault it is their fault so ignore those comments if you are prepared with proper shoes. We could never find the falls in the pictures you see. After returning from the hike we honestly think they are the falls after crossing the very first Bridge. So if that's what you want to see then I would just crawl down from there if that's what you're going for. I think the bridge was about a half-mile in.

At about 2 mi in you hit a junction. It says going to the right you have 1.3 miles to opal Creek and to the left you have an education center.(take The education center trail if you want to see Jawbone flats and the old cars). We went to the right only to find it took us to a random location with some pretty Falls and Clear water. There was a natural slide as well. We ended up having to cross the water after enjoying it for a little bit only to end up back on the same Trail heading towards the education center. We continued hiking up to finally get to Jawbone Flats and saw the old cars from the 1920s that we were hoping to see. At this point we saw another sign that said only a quarter mile more to get to opal Creek and we were thinking it was going to be the Falls we were anticipating only to get there and find it was a random Gorge area. The Gorge was pretty but after spending about 4 to 5 miles of hiking all over the place we were done. we are experienced hikers so the 4 to 5 miles isn't bad but we were tired from all the other hiking that day. I'm more frustrated that signs weren't very clear. So if you're wanting to go to see the falls and nothing else just stop at the first bridge and hike down from there and you will have some beautiful Falls.

We hiked at least 8 miles RT with taking the ill-marked signs And never got to the actual falls bc of poor signage. we asked multiple ppl but were told different things. pretty water, but I'd do a different hike next time with just as pretty water.

Good trail, mostly road.

hiking
14 days ago

The water is so crystal clear but the gravel road is hard on the feet. Most of it was walking on the road.

The water is beautiful but other hikes have the same. This trail is half a gravel road and the loop is over 7 miles. The gravel road is a feet killer so be prepared. Once was enough for this one.

Super steep but very fun!

hiking
16 days ago

Bad ass hike would give it 5 stars but the opal creek wilderness is gonna reclaim this hidden gem since no one has performed trail maintenance in years

backpacking
22 days ago

This trail makes an excellent overnight train up trip. Moderate distance and elevation gain. There are 10+/- blow downs on the trail but nothing too annoying. There were quite a few water sources along the way, so I never needed to carry more than one liter of water. Lots of small brook trout in Upper Twin and crawdads too. 5-6 good campsites on the northwest side of the lake. Very little mosquito activity on June 23-24, 2018.

Training to climb Kilimanjaro at the end of the year and looking for good training hikes. This one was a good one for that. not too long, but steady and constant elevation gain, rocky trail and beautiful view at the top. It's a great feeling when there is no more up until you remember the down is probably harder on tired legs. That was definitely the case on this trail.

Saturday morning and only one other couple on the trail. Definitely coming back to this one!

hiking
27 days ago

Lots to explore on this hike. This is one of my favorites.

I'm so glad the potholes have been fixed!

walking
27 days ago

One of my favorites! Very packed on weekends because it's so popular. Love cooling off in the water next to the waterfall at Jawbone or at the natural rock water slide on hot summer days.

hiking
28 days ago

Start early. There are a ton of people on this trail. Also it is more like a road than a trail. It was something fun to check out, but I doubt I will do this hike again.

One of my favorite places. A must see and explore!

Fun hike great views from top.

Absolutely beautiful!!

Went midweek, only three other small groups on the trail. definitely earns hard rating, very steep and long. Great views from the old lookout site. Only earns 4 stars because trail after lookout to summit is unstable at times, narrow, sometimes overgrown, and has several fallen trees over it. I reached the Summit, but honestly the extra mile each way wasn't really worth it, as the views from the lookout are just as stunning and similar.

Beautiful hike. Only ran into one person on the actual Whetstone mountain trail, and it was decently well-maintained. Pretty difficult hike when it rains. There wasnt much snow in mid-June!

Such a beautiful and relaxing hike!

Beautiful hike! We arrived early and ran into two people until we were on our way back, haha. Gentle inclines and stunning views. This trail just made me happy. Be forewarned that there has been cougar sightings recently, so ensure you are safely prepared.

hiking
1 month ago

So beautiful!

backpacking
1 month ago

Trail is in good shape, road to the trailhead is rough and rocky but doable. Gorgeous views, great camp spots to stay overnight at Twin Lakes.

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