Opal Creek Wilderness – Opal Lake (#17)

August 28, 2011

The Opal Lake trail drops down steeply from FR 2207 less than half a mile to Opal Lake, the source of Opal Creek. Opal Lake is remote and beautiful spot, and of late has been used as a starting point for those wanting to visit elusive Opal Creek Falls (Opal Creek), a few-tenths of a mile downstream from the lake (bushwhack only).
You can also reach Opal Lake by bushwhacking up from Opal Creek, but that trip is recommended to only the most hardy and intrepid hikers with bushwhacking experience.

Directions: Drive 50 miles east of Salem on OR 22 to Detroit Lake. Just before the Breitenbush River, turn left on French Creek Road 2223 and go 4.2 miles to a fork at pavement’s end. Go right on Road 2207 and it’s the 2nd Trailhead on the right.

Permits: Permits are not required. Parking and access are free.
Jenn’s Review: Joyce and I decided this is NOT one of our favorite hikes. Besides the steep, rocky downhill, bugs galore and the trail was not maintained. Wear pants! There are thorny bushes that will get you. It is a small hike though. If you are looking for a quiet lake to camp or hang out (maybe skinny dippin’? ha ha) than this is pretty nice lake.  Good luck in finding a flat, not muddy spot to set camp. đŸ™‚ The neat part about this is that you cross 2 different Wilderness! You start in Mount Jefferson Wilderness and end up in Opal Creek Wilderness!
The reader board was empty. No postings or signs – I’m thinking they are doing a rehab of this trail.
We did have fun on this hike though…Joyce was singing to one of the songs on Dirty Dancing.

The first stop you come to is a meadow.  We were laughing because we kept saying this is the meadow that Edward Cullen took Bella.

Follow it to the right and you will hit the lake.  The guy we met on the trail was a little freaky…OKEE, his dog was a little freaky and kept attacking poor ShadowLynn…Well all dogs seem to want to attack her, even Muffy!

Of course we had to get silly pictures (after spraying ourselves with bug spray cuz the mosquitoes were awful!)

Shadowlynn fell into the water at the end of the log…Stupid dog!

When I say STEEP, I mean STEEP! It’s one of those, you are breathing very heavy and taking breaks every few steps!

I have a feeling that this trailhead will close eventually and that the only way to get to Opal Lake is to hike from Opal Creek, which I believe is 37+ miles! I couldn’t find much information on the web about Opal Lake. Glad I did it before it is completely overgrown and can’t get in to it.


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