Hiking - 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: Mark will be leading a group leaving Best Buy by 8:00AM. There will be just over 7 miles of trail to enjoy, a natural rock waterslide, several waterfalls and swimming holes, and a turn back the clock town.  Bring a swimsuit, towel, camera and possibly a change of clothes.

Contact: Matt Howell - (541)[masked]

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

Requirements and Suggestions: Please pack for just the day, 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.

 

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  • Barbara

    Can somebody pick Lee up at 310 Mill Street in Springfield (Riverpark Apartments, between B Street and C Street) at 7:20am? My horse that I've had for 22 years died very suddenly today and I'm not ready to spend the day with other people. Lee, if nobody else volunteers tonight, I'll pick you up at 7:20am as agreed. The website is scheduled to be down in the morning.
    Barbara

    June 29, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      I'm sorry to hear about your beloved horse, Barbara.

      June 30, 2013

    • Barbara

      Thank you. Saturday was extremely stressful. Thank you for understanding about my last minute cancellation.

      July 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Lovely location, a great place for a cool walk along with stream views and COLD water!

    June 30, 2013

  • Matthew H.

    Glad we were able to see all of you today. Mark, thank you for taking the time to lead the group and make sure everyone had a safe and fun trip. I greatly appreciate it. Great seeing everyone!

    June 30, 2013

  • janai

    Great day thanx mark for being so mellow with the time and understanding about the many sites we wanted to visit too! Melanie so glad we recovered your glasses for the rest of the trip so many gorgeous sites:) Ty for driving Rachel a&w was da bomb!! Xox

    1 · June 30, 2013

  • Melanie

    The hike, creek and swimming areas were stunning! It was so good to get into the water and spend the day with such good company. Thank you Mark, for leading our group today! AND thank you to EVERYONE who helped find my GLASSES under the water!!!

    1 · June 30, 2013

  • Lou B.

    Any pictures ?~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    1 · June 30, 2013

  • Jyoti N.

    Great hike. Wonderful people. Thank you Mark

    2 · June 30, 2013

  • Lou B.

    Great, nice day a bity warm so you jump Into the water more.

    2 · June 30, 2013

  • Ananda

    Couldn't have picked a better day for jumping into icy cold water ~ and what a beautiful hike!

    1 · June 30, 2013

  • Lou B.

    Any way the 4+1 can go , that are on the waiting list, or are there limits of group size on this trail ?

    June 27, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      Jyoti and William are now going, I have it set to 14 people, and no new RSVPs. I'm hoping this solves things for everyone. If anyone else would like to go, please leave a comment below, and I will try to add you by tonight. I have other things to do today, and will take a final count of people for the trips before I head to bed.

      2 · June 28, 2013

    • Jyoti N.

      Thanks Matt and Lou

      1 · June 29, 2013

  • Melanie

    Does anyone know if there is a place to change into a swimsuit along the trail or is it best to just wear it for the hike?

    June 29, 2013

  • Lee A.

    The earliest EmX on Sunday to Best Buy is after 8 so I'll have to cancel.

    June 19, 2013

    • Barbara

      Let's shoot for 7:20

      June 28, 2013

    • Lee A.

      7:20 is fine. Thank you, Barbara. I'll wait for you in front of the building.

      June 29, 2013

  • Doug T.

    Please take me off the wait list. Have a great time!

    June 28, 2013

  • ying

    sorry i have to change.

    June 28, 2013

  • Lou B.

    Is It poss to have those on the waiting list go and split up Into two bunches , to be under the limit of 12 for group size , so all can go ?
    Yes need to have a group leader that knows and have been there , for each group.

    June 28, 2013

  • Matthew H.

    An error was made on the event calendar somehow. By the time it was caught people had already signed up. Some thought it was for Saturday, some knew it said Sunday. I have already apologized for the mistake. I can't please everyone here. I tried adding a day hike for those that didn't want to stay overnight. Due to the confusion and the problems it has caused, I won't be offering day hikes at the same time as a backpacking trip in the future.

    June 26, 2013

  • Sarah M.

    I also didn't realize it would be on Sunday, and just noticed it. That would make it work for me, but with four already waiting, I think I'll pass and try again next time.

    June 26, 2013

  • Doug T.

    I have 2 seats to carpool.

    June 24, 2013

  • Audrey

    Matt- I had Saturday set aside, and other plans on Sunday. Due to the change in dates, won't be able to join.

    June 24, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      I never changed the dates. It was verbally mentioned as a possible Saturday trip on here, but when it got posted, it ended up on a Sunday. Not sure how, as everything was copied over from the backpacking one. Even the date for the RSVP closure is the same date and time. Which doesn't make sense. Long story short, it ended up being on Sunday instead. Sorry that you can't make it on Sunday, my apologies.

      June 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, can't go on a Sunday

    June 19, 2013

  • Lou B.

    When It was listed for sunday to go, that's why I opted to go, If Its to go on Saturday I'll not make It , I'll go If Its Sunday, and that's My assumption others are going as well on sunday!

    June 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I can not do Sundays, i go to Church. I'm happy to have this separate Day hike on Saturday. Thank you for the extra trouble.

      June 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Oh just read your reply....can't go if it's Sunday. Sorry, will go on another hike another time I guess.

      June 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Please advise as to how I should travel. I'm in Albany.

    June 19, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      If the group traveling north is willing, there is a Rest Area located along the Santiam River, between Albany and Salem. That would be an ideal place to meet them and get a ride up and back. There is a convenient access road that goes under the freeway, so rivers can get to the location from both sides of the freeway. I hope that helps everyone out.

      June 19, 2013

  • Susanna

    Doing the backpacking trip. See ya Sunday!

    1 · June 19, 2013

  • Rachel B.

    Looking to for training opportunities to prepare for a hike up Mt Saint Helens in October... need to get in shape!

    1 · June 19, 2013

  • Mark

    Hello Hikers since it will take a little over an hour to arrive at opal creek I am looking at changing the arrive time to 7:30 am and the hit the road time to 8:00 am this is a one hour change from the original plan. What dose everyone think about this?

    Mark,

    June 18, 2013

    • Lou B.

      My understanding Its going on Sunday

      June 18, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      That is fine. As long as everyone knows when they are going. I will look for you all near the swimming hole and rock slide on Sunday then.

      June 18, 2013

  • Lou B.

    Can drive have room for 4-5 people, have an annual Northwest forest pass

    1 · June 18, 2013

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