Monica Martin is bae.
The line up by ShaunPeterson
Redwood National and State Park // California
This particular area came up in a recent conversation. I miss this place so much. I just want to disappear here for a month or so and camp with the Banana Slugs and amazing hiking areas.
Opal Creek Hike to Jawbone Flats | Trail the Sun
I have been super stressed out with trip planning and working full time, so Jon decided to take me on a little get way to Opal Creek. Opal Creek to Jawbone flats is a 7 mile out and back trail in the Willamette Valley National Forest. Although it says out and back there is another way to wander back. I will share in another post! Opal Creek is known for it’s crystal clear water and natural pools used as swimming holes.
The drive out there is breath taking and well worth the 2.5 hour drive from Portland. You will be rewarded with beautiful views and crystal clear water if you choose to make this drive. Unlike the Wolf Creek Trestle hike this is not hard to find.
On the way to Jawbone Flats you will wander along a gravel road used by the 12 inhabitants of Jawbones. If you read the reviews on this hike it is true when they say that if you stay on the gravel road that you are missing a lot. There is a old sawmill and mines to find and explore! (although I do not recommend exploring the mines).
About a half a mile to a mile back right after you cross the first bridge on your left hand side you will see a pool. You can take a small but steep trail down, do a little repelling and get right down to the pool. Jon and I decided to work our way up that creek a little ways and found a beautiful secluded spot to eat our lunch of champions, consisting of mixed nuts, apples, and Clifbars. Along with taking a dip in the freezing water.
Back on the gravel road after a little ways of walking you’ll want to head off the path again.
At 2 miles you reach the historic Merten Mill, built in 1943, a steam-powered sawmill that logged five of the surrounding acres. The operation ended after two of the company’s logging trucks fell off a steep area of the road, proving the logging risky and unprofitable. A steam engine repurposed from the U.S.S. Battleship Oregon still lies in the clearing. A short side trail behind the mill leads to Cascada de los Ninos (Waterfall of the Children) a 30-foot falls that marks the end of the native winter steelhead run. (Taken from OpalCreek.org)
The Waterfall of Children is the second place Jon and I decided to take a dip. Keep in mind the water here is about 40 degrees but it was too clear and beautiful not to swim in. It was quite romantic and I felt like I was in a fairy tale.
After a while here we realized we had spent a lot of time swimming and decided to b-line it for Jawbone Flats and the Opal pool.
Along the drive and hike here we discovered tone of other trails and pools. It would be a great place to backpack and there are lots of people that do it! We plan on coming back soon and hitting all the other trails and pools, making a backpacking trip out of it. I think the Willamette Valley National Forrest may be my new favorite place to hike.
Other trails and pools me and Jon are going back for…
- Henline Mt Trail
- Henline Falls
- Whetstone Mt Loop
- Detroit to Elk Lake
- Elk Lake to Battle Axe Mt
- Triple Pools
Stay tuned for Jawbone Flats, Opal pool and the hike out!
Oh Oregon how I love you.