Willamette National Forest (Detroit Lake Area) – Tumble Lake

Tumble Lake

TUMBLE LAKE

SEPTEMBER 1, 2013

INFO:  From the Oregon Hike Book by Sean Patrick Hill. From the edge of Detroit Reservoir, the Tumble Ridge Trail heads straight into the neighboring mountains, climbing steeply to the spire of Needle Rock and the vista of Dome Rock. Hidden up Tumble Creek is Tumble Lake, with a waterfall. Though you could hike in this way, there is an easier point of entry that makes for a quicker hike to these sights (which is what Scott and I did and this review is based on that direction to this easier hike). From the upper trailhead on Road 2223, go in 0.4 mile to a junction. To access Dome Rock, go left 0.5 mile to the 4,869-foot peak. To access Tumble Lake, go right at this first junction crossing a meadow down into a gully for 1.2 miles to the shore. Follow the shore to the left 0.3 mile to see the outlet creek and waterfall.

DIRECTIONS:  Drive 50 miles east of Salem on OR22 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. (The road will initially split before the 4.2 miles and make sure to veer to the left. The road is super narrow so beware of oncoming cars/trucks) This is a picture of a pretty narrow part. My car (Honda Accord) is not that wide but it sure felt like it was a tight squeeze. Road to TumbleLake

At pavement’s end, fork left onto Road 2223 for 3.9 miles. It’s a good idea to watch your miles because there are no trail mark. We just found it because there were cars parked on the road and we saw a trail on the left. Permits are not required and parking and access is free.

JENN’S VIEW: Scott and I really enjoyed this trail. We have a 12-13 year old German Short-haired Pointer and a 6 year old tiny Maltese with us and they did better on the trail than I did! The climb back up was pretty brutal because it was a pretty steep incline. When we hit the lake, it was absolutely beautiful. So green and blue and very clear. Wish we had brought a raft to slowly drift around. Went looking for the waterfall but didn’t find it. I was a little bummed about that but give me a great reason to go back and do Dome Creek and then back to Tumble Lake. I was thinking of camping here next year. Scott promised to pack everything back up when we leave. Tee hee, I’m such a woos. I would say Pamelia Lake is prettier. You can get really pretty pictures with the mountain reflecting in the water. It’s flat and easier to get in to and tons of trails to hike around. Only problem with Pamelia Lake is that there is a limited access fee (not much $5 and can be ordered online) and must have a wilderness pass (another $5, I believe). Check that blog out here:  http://www.oregonhike.org/2011/06/mt-jefferson-pamelia-lake-9.html

The trail starts off with a small climb up. No big deal. The dogs were so excited to hit the trail. Too funny.  Scott being a “poser”. hahahahahaha….

Scott Wenger PoserThe first 0.4 miles is a steady climb up and you will actually see the sign to Tumble Lake. You will also see pretty cool rock spires (well that’s what I call them) and beautiful trees – Don’t ask, I normally don’t know what “type” of trees. It probably says it in my guide book but it’s late and I really don’t feel like getting out of my bed to check. LOL. Going to the left will take you to Dome Rock. We will hit that area next time  because its only 0.5 miles to the peak – I think. Then head down towards Tumble Lake after our OOOHHHH and AHHHH’s at Dome Rock.

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The next obstacle we faced was which way do we go? Follow what looks like a dry river bank. DO NOT FOLLOW THE TRAIL ON THE LEFT THAT LOOKS LIKE A TRAIL! Nor follow the flags that are on that trail. Scott and I sorta followed the flags and we eventually found our way out but we ended up on that dry river bed.

TumbleLake13Scott trying to figure out which flags to follow. We finally figured it out but it would have been easier to just follow the dry river bed!

_DSC0008After making our way out and on the right path, the climb down was a little hurtful on my poor little knees. It’s slippery too with loose rocks so be careful!

Tumble Lake

Eventually you will hit what my book calls a “meadow”. I guess. It’s a field of raspberry or some type of “prickly” bushes. Be careful – it hurts. I had to turn my capri pants back to regular pants. Man, I love those pants! Poor Scott was wearing shorts.

Tumble Lake

 After that, it’s a short walk to the lake. I just kept looking up thinking to myself how hard it is to climb back up! GRRRR, it’s gonna be brutal but after reaching the lake – the excitement of making plans to camp, raft, hike, etc all came about when we hit the lake. Sam, who is OLD OLD OLD dog, hates the water – actually jumped in the water. He loved it!

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We saw someone camping up near the rocks and one guy fishing in the lake on the other side. We didn’t stay too long because we had to get to a party that night.  We will definitely be back and with more time. Did I mention – the hike back is B.R.U.T.A.L.!

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Wouldn’t be a post without a picture of the one and only – MEEEEE!

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Opal Creek Wilderness – Opal Lake (#17)

OPAL LAKE
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. 🙂 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.