addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwchatcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscrossdots-three-verticaleditemptyheartexporteye-with-lineeyefacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgoogleimageimagesinstagramlinklocation-pinmagnifying-glassmailminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1outlookpersonplusprice-ribbonImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruseryahoo

Backpacking - Opal Creek

Opal Creek is a trail that seems to take you back in time. A short distance into the hike you will come across Merten Mill, with some of it's rusting machinery from the Depression Era still visible. The mill still has a small building that remains, with a short path down to Sawmill Falls, lying behind it. Many natural rock slides and pools fill the narrow Little North Santiam River that runs along with Opal Creek, before meeting at Opal Pool. A large waterfall is viewable from a log bridge that spans over the pool and waterfall, making for a great viewpoint. Much of the trail winds through thick forest with huckleberries scattered along the path. The trail continues, and makes a loop as it goes through the small community of Jawbone Flats. The turn back the clock feel is due in part to it's 27 well preserved buildings that date back to 1929 - 1932. After passing through, the trail crosses back and finally makes a 7.1 mile loop. A very enjoyable trail with lots of wilderness to see, along with some history of the area.

http://www.opalcreekwilderness.com/

Trail Info: Opal Creek is a 7.1 mile loop, with just 300 feet of elevation gain. The trail is rated as moderate, and has some roots and narrow sections with overgrowth.

Where: Opal Creek is about 110 miles from Eugene, located near Mehama.

When: Meet at Best Buy at 7:30AM. Leave before 8:00AM.

Directions: From I-5 North, take Exit 253 for HWY 22 - North Santiam Highway. Continue going on HWY 22 East for 23 miles until you get to Mehama's second flashing yellow light. Opposite the Swiss Village Restaurant, turn left onto Little North Fork Road for 15 paved miles, and an additional 1.3 of gravel. At a fork, veer left on Road 2209 and continue 4.2 miles to a parking lot and a locked gate. The trail starts at the gate.  GPS coordinates for the Opal Ceek Trailhead are N 44. 50.370' and W[masked]'.

Details: I plan on leaving Best Buy by 8:00AM. After reaching the trailhead we will hike in to Sawmill Falls to take a short break and enjoy a snack. After enjoying our snacks and relaxing some, we will continue the loop and then enjoy some time at the natural rock slide. We will also take time to enjoy a lunch together on the flat rocks along the riverbed. After our fun on the rock slide and lunch we will continue on towards Opal Pool. We will set up camp along the river and grab our day packs and cameras for some exploring.  Beyond Opal Pool is the turn back the clock community of Jawbone Flats, with old mill trucks and machinery lined along the path.  After some exploring of the old community we can head back to camp for dinner.  People can enjoy the rock slide some more or simply relax by an evening fire.  Come morning we will enjoy a good breakfast together with a possible trip along the Battle Ax Trail.  We can then head back, break down camp and head on home.  Those with tight schedules can feel free to leave after breakfast, if needed.

Contact: Matt Howell - (541)[masked]

Forest Service: Detroit Ranger District - (503)[masked]

Requirements and Suggestions: Please pack for one night, with all of your gear.  I recommend light and comfortable quick drying clothing, and dressing in layers.  Durable, and water resistant hiking boots or shoes are highly recommended, as we will be near water on parts of the trail.  A swimsuit and towel for the rock slides are also encouraged.  Please remember to pack your 10 Essentials.

Ten Essentials:

Map
Compass (optionally supplemented with a GPS receiver)
Sunglasses and sunscreen
Extra food and water
Extra clothes
Headlamp or flashlight
First aid kit
Fire starter
Matches
Knife

Carpooling: We will meet at Best Buy and set up carpooling. Since this is a bit of a longer drive than some of the other trips, I encourage carpooling as much as possible and those riding along to contribute between $10 and $20, if possible, for gas and wear and tear of the driver's vehicle. Please indicate in your RSVP if you need a ride or can provide transportation for others.

Parking and Regulations: Opal Creek requires a $5 day pass, or the annual Northwest Forest Pass. You can pick up a Northwest Forest Pass for $30 at REI and other local sporting goods stores. If you have one, please bring it. Even if you don't plan on driving.

 

Join or login to comment.

  • Gustavo

    I'm sad i missed this! i've always wanted to go backpacking

    July 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    For those of you who asked about my cookpots, I have the Evernew Ti non-stick titanium 1900 mL cookpot with fryingpan lid. Here's a link to the website: http://www.evernewamerica.com/ECA419.htm

    July 5, 2013

  • Matthew H.

    A short YouTube video I made of our hike out on Sunday. I hope everyone enjoys it. http://youtu.be/M2YIhPiLTJY

    July 2, 2013

  • BW

    Like always the best Fun.

    1 · July 1, 2013

  • Jody Buchanan B.

    Matt did a great job & is a natural leader. It was my first Meetup & I felt right at home thanks to everyone. The location is pristine & weather was perfect. I had a great time! Thanks again for putting this together. Carrie... I enjoyed your company in the car... It was great to get to know you !

    2 · July 1, 2013

  • Matthew H.

    Great trip! Weather was awesome! Water was very cold at Opal Pool, too high at the waterslide to enjoy it safely, but the water as refreshing at Sawmill Falls. I enjoyed meeting some new people, spending a fun weekend together. Fun conversations around the campfire and great bonding with others. Thank you everyone that went. I will definitely be doing this trip again. We will try to get the cabin rental trip set up for fall, and maybe even a winter snowshoeing trip there. Still one of my favorite places to go.

    June 30, 2013

  • Carrie

    Opal Creek is soooo beautiful. It was the ideal first backpacking trip. Great people to enjoy it with was a huge bonus.

    1 · June 30, 2013

  • Susanna

    Fabulous weekend, great company, frigid water; made the heat bearable! Thanks for organizing, Matt :-)

    1 · June 30, 2013

  • Justin

    Awesome trip with great weather and great company. Water was a little cold, but some of us still got in.

    1 · June 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great trip!!

    2 · June 30, 2013

  • Justin

    Since it is going to be a nice weekend and might be a little crowded there. I suggest we get to a campsite and set up and then go explore the rock slides and/or pool. I would hate to be enjoying the rock slides and have a group pass us up and snag up all the spots.

    1 · June 27, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      It makes sense to me. I know of about 4 spots that we should be able to all fit in, otherwise we may have to spread out, and then just have one spot be where we all hangout. Also, there isn't a lot of available parking, so getting us all into the fewest vehicles possible would be great.

      June 27, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sounds like a good plan.

      June 28, 2013

  • Matthew H.

    Cassandra, Janel, Carrie, and Christine, I need to hear from each of you as soon as possible. You were each on the waiting list for this trip originally, and I need to make sure you now know you are on the list of those going. I have heard from the others one way or another. Thank you.

    June 18, 2013

    • Tiffany

      Hi Matthew. Unfortunately plans have changed and I won't be able to make it. Sounds like a great trip though. Hope to catch up with you another time.

      June 20, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      Sorry you can't make it, Tiffany. More trips to come.

      June 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm going to be in Wyoming the day before so I'm bowing out and letting the waiting list folks have my spot.

    June 20, 2013

  • Susanna

    Hi Katie, please bring your extra sleeping pad. Thanks so much! Susanna

    1 · June 25, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      No problem!

      June 27, 2013

  • Mariah J.

    other plans

    June 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi all, just a few updates for our upcoming trip:
    1) Looks like we'll have warm weather with highs of 78*F Saturday and 76*F Sunday, dropping to mid-50s at night. Dress in layers.
    2) Mosquito forecast is moderate so bring your insect repellent.
    3) Thanks to the rain, fires are allowed in a fire ring.
    Hope to see everyone Saturday morning!

    1 · June 25, 2013

  • Jody Buchanan B.

    My adult son would like to go. Can I include him?

    June 23, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      Sure, just simply change your RSVP to include one guest.

      June 23, 2013

  • Matthew H.

    A couple of things as we look forward to the upcoming weekend at Opal Creek. As of right now, the weather is suppose to be great for Saturday. Hoping so, as the swimming holes and rock slide are a lot of fun. To help out, and possibly lighten some people's packs, I will be bringing my water filter to share. So you won't need to pack in so much drinking water. I also have an extra cooking pot system, and a Therm a Rest sleeping pad, if anyone needs to borrow them. If there are any other items someone may need, let me know, I might have an extra.

    June 23, 2013

  • Jackie A.

    I don't have the gear nor the means to get the gear..... I'm still trying to get all my gear together for a bike camping trip.... Unfortunately very few items cross over to both types of outdoor activities......

    June 23, 2013

  • Mona

    Sorry, my RSVP for the 6/29 backpack trip was made in error. The day trip on 6/30, but I first need to check on another event.

    June 23, 2013

  • Christine

    Sorry. I hadn't remembered that I had signed up...but I am now working on Sundays so I can't attend.

    June 18, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      Thanks for the reply. Sorry you can' make it. Hope to see you on another hike soon.

      June 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Day hike for me. Im ok with camping, would love it in fact. Not up to carrying a camp pack.

    June 19, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      Linda, if you would enjoy the day hike, please sign up for the day hike on June 29th. There are no campsites at Opal Creek. You have to backpack in if you want to camp and use a tent, and all.

      June 19, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      For those that have signed up, this is an overnight trip. If the headline says backpacking, it's overnight, if the headline says hiking, then it is just a day hike. Please adjust your RSVP accordingly, just in case you didn't read the full write up.

      June 19, 2013

  • Matthew H.

    Mark, would you mind leading a day trip for people, like last year? Maybe leave an hour or so later than the backpackers? Meet for lunch at the waterslide? Let me know what you think, and I can set it up. That way I know who is staying overnight and who isn't. I don't need someone showing up and not having a ride, because the rest of us are all staying overnight. Thanks.

    June 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Oh. Your talking same day. I see

      June 17, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      It was suppose to be the same day, but somehow I must of added it to the calender wrong. I will let those going just for the day decide.

      June 18, 2013

  • Matthew H.

    A day hike has been added, for those wanting to just hike in for the day. Please sign up there, as this trip will be for those backpacking and staying the night.

    June 16, 2013

  • Sarah M.

    It looks like I won't be able to go after all--there are a couple of things I won't be able to rearrange. I'm sorry, though, because it sounds like such a sweet trip!

    June 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I want to go, and have hiked this area a number of times, but not in the last few years. I have never stayed over night though... or carried a back pack or tent.
    I'm not in good enough shape at this point to carry all that. I can make the hike ok, but not carry the stuff. Is the camp going to be at the base near the pools? Can I drive from Albany and leave camp gear at camp site and just hike with some water and a snack?

    June 14, 2013

  • Steven

    Backpacking - Overnight

    2 · June 11, 2013

  • Matthew H.

    For those that have signed up, this is an overnight trip. If the headline says backpacking, it's overnight, if the headline says hiking, then it is just a day hike. Please adjust your RSVP accordingly, just in case you didn't read the full write up. If we have a large group that wants to just go for the day, I can find someone to lead that. I just can't have a huge group of us, as Opal Creek has a rule of group sizes on the trails. Also, the sizes of the camping spots limit the amount of tents.

    1 · June 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am new to the group, can you give me an idea as what type of gear to bring, and about how long of a hike it is. Thanks

    June 10, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      Welcome, Mike. A gear list is listed under "Discussions",­ then click on "Message Board". The trail information is listed in the write up for this event. The trail is about 7.1 miles. Hope that helps.

      June 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So sorry to cancel - turns out I'll be traveling south at that time.

    June 1, 2013

  • Justin

    If the weather is warm, I am jumping into Opal Pool!

    May 31, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Opal creek was my husband and my first date :)

    1 · May 26, 2013

  • BW

    I will need a ride.

    1 · May 1, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      You know we will always have room for you in one of the cars. Glad to see you join us for this one. Opal Creek is an amazing place to enjoy.

      May 1, 2013

10 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy