Opal Creek Wilderness – Nasty Rock Trail #3356


Opal Creek Wilderness Nasty Rock Trail

September 4, 2012

Info:  From the Forest Service Land site (http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/willamette/recreation/hiking/recarea?recid=4255&actid=51). The official portion of this trail is 1.6 miles long on Forest Service Land. The trail aggressively climbs toward the ridgeline to the northwest. Once you reach the ridgeline, the trail turns more northeasterly traversing on the ridgeline towards Nasty Rock. This portion of the trail is not officially maintained by the Forest Service, therefore will likely be extremely challenging to navigate.

Directions:From Salem, travel East on Hwy 22 to milepost 23 at the Swiss Village Restaurant. Turn left on North Fork Road, which is marked “Little North Santiam Recreation Area”. To access Nasty Rock Trailhead, travel about 20.5 miles on road 2209 and keep an eye out for the post with hiker symbol on the left. Parking is approximately 100 feet before trailhead on the right at a dispersed camping site.

Jenn’s View: Hot diggity dog this trail was hard. 🙂 It was a steep incline from the very beginning to the point where we had to turn back. It reminded me of Henline Mountain Trail. I actually did that trail 3 times but each time I hit snow. Besides, I was in better shape last year so it wasn’t too hard. Tons of switchbacks on this trail, I thought I was gonna die. he he. I can’t find good information about this trail. Probably because its OK. There’s not really any great views of the mountain range. One site I did find, states that you would be able to see the Little North Fork Valley, Elkhorn Ridge, Henline Mountain, Battle Axe Mountain, and Mount Jefferson. I didn’t reach that area. I guess you are suppose to be able to see Nasty Rock. Not sure if it looks like a pile of rocks and they just call it Nasty Rock or that it looks like a mountain/hill and call it Nasty Rock. I found this trail on my map and thought, “Why Not?”. It’s a trail that I haven’t hit and was looking for something short to do. Just wasn’t expecting it to be that hard. There are two Nasty Rock. I was just looking at it. Maybe the one area is the actual “Nasty Rock”.

Makaila went with me and she was telling me WHY she doesn’t like to go with me. I’m trying to kill her. hahahahaha. What a dork. There’s not much to talk about this trail other than it was hard. It was a perfect day but prefer it to be a little bit colder. I took pictures of the rock boulders thinking may be one of these maybe Nasty Rock.

Makaila started shaking so I think her blood sugar level was low and I gave her my banana and ate my hard boiled egg. Normally, I would have a cliff bar or beef jerky or trail mix with me. Some times a Subway Sammich. We had to turn around approximately more than 1/2 way through our hike. We had to get back to Alesia’s first game! 🙂

Nasty Rock Trail 3356

I thought this was a mushroom growing off a tree but when I touched it, it was hard as a rock so I don’t think it is.

I would recommend this hike if you are looking for something short to do and not really caring if you don’t see much of anything. Saw the BLM guys and talk to them for a second or two just asking how far the trail goes to and they asked how far I wanted to go. Oh geez. They were no help. They were running down the trail and “whoop whoop” down the way. he he. Fun fun!


Opal Creek Wilderness – No Hike Hike! Sullivan Falls


Sullivan Falls

June 23, 2012

Info: (http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org/wiki/Sullivan_Creek_Falls)

There are no trailheads here nor any trails within two miles of this falls, but what makes Sullivan Creek Falls a worthy destination is its proximity to a road. The falls is literally next to FR2207, the road that connects the Little North Fork of the Santiam canyon with Detroit. There is a small parking area on the other side of the road from the falls with a messageboard, both of which are new additions since the Opal Creek Area gained wilderness status. There is room for 4-5 cars.

The falls is a fantastic place to visit if you are in the area, as it requires no effort beyond a bit of driving, and the reward is a chance to relax at a gorgeous 100+ foot waterfall. You can find the falls by driving to the upper trailhead of the Little North Fork of the Santiam trail on FR2207 and continuing up the road for two miles until you see the falls by the side of the road.


  • On I-5 exit onto Hwy 22 and head east towards Stayton
  • In 22 miles – at second yellow light just east of Mehama – turn left onto North Fork Road SE
  • After 15.1 miles road turns to gravel. Another 1.2 miles you will reach a fork in the road.
  • Bear right at the fork where the sign says “Three Pools”. This will be Forest Road 2207.
  • 3.8 miles from the fork will be a wide spot off to the left of the road for parking.
  • Sullivan Creek Falls is on the right side of the road.
  • No facilities.

Jenn’s View: I was actually looking for the Three Pools. I wanted to see if there really are 3 pools. Why not? Couldn’t find it. So, instead of forking to the left like I normally do towards Henline Falls, I went right towards Three Pools. Found another fork in the road and decided to take the path to the left. It had more gravel and just thought it would lead to Three Pools. Hmmm, I found a creepy old house. It reminded me of that movie The Cabin in the Woods. It freaked me out. There is literally no other homes or cabins in the area. You are just driving along and bam, here you go. Here is the picture:

Cabin in the Woods in Opal Creek Wilderness

LOL, well it’s freakier in person. Well, I never saw any Three Pools or any place that I would consider a “pool” of water so I decided after my odometer hits 20 miles, I will turn around. About 20.7 miles (from Hwy 22), I hit Sullivan Falls. I would have used this as the featured image but stupid people decide to graffiti the boards that it’s not pretty.

Sullivan FallsI met a family while I was there. They had a sticker on the back of their car stating “Chuck’s Trading Post”, I think. They were telling me that it is pretty nice during warm weather to play in the water. It’s called a NO HIKE hike because you drive to it and get out of your car and voila, you are there. No hiking whatsoever. BUT, Shadowlynn and I found a little trail up so we got to do a little scramble. It was to the point where I got stuck. I know that there is a way to get to the very top to at least get a picture of the top tier of the waterfall.

If you can see in the pictures below, there are two tiers… One at the top, flows and then another tier that you can see. There is a small waterfall slide right next to it. More like a run off. It’s real pretty.It’s hard to see the top tier but you can when you get real closeSullivan Falls

Concept Camping on the Oregon Hikes Facebook page (LIKE THE PAGE IF YOU HAVEN’T DONE SO, DO SO ALREADY!)shows this waterfall in the wintertime.

Opal Creek Wilderness Sullivan Falls

Picture taken by a friend on our Oregon Hikes Facebook Page – Compact Camping Concepts

I sat in the car for a little bit while it started pouring but I asked the universe to make it sunny and to stop raining so I can take pictures. It finally let up and the sun did shine. It was so nice.  Thank you UNIVERSE!

Sullivan Falls Park Sullivan Falls

We found a little path off to the right of the falls. It looks like it can get me to the second tier. Grabbed my gloves and started climbing up.

Sullivan Falls

Looking down at the pool, we ended up at the little slide fall or right next to it.

Sullivan Falls Sullivan Falls Sullivan Falls

Shadowlynn was watching the family down below so it was a perfect time to get a great shot of her.

Sullivan Falls

I tried to go further up but got stuck. The forest is pretty dense and couldn’t see that it would go up to the direction that I needed. Besides, I would want Scott to go with me 🙂

Sullivan Falls Sullivan Falls

My recommendation, if you want to play in the water, enjoy the waterfall…this is a great place. The family that was parked right next to me, they took out some chairs, had a snack/meal and played in the water more. If you are passing by, great place to take pictures. Otherwise, it’s just one of those drive by waterfalls 🙂 Go check out the other No Hike Hikes I did the same day

SALMON FALLS PARK: https://oregonhike.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/opal-creek-wilderness-elkhorn-falls-7/

NORTH FALLS PARK: https://oregonhike.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/opal-creek-wilderness-no-hike-hikes-north-fork-park/

Opal Creek Wilderness – No Hike Hikes! North Fork Park


North Fork Park

JUNE 23, 2012

Info: http://www.co.marion.or.us/PW/Parks/descriptions/northfork.htm. The first park land purchased by Marion County was for North Fork Park. 8.52 acres of the park are leased from BLM. The warm water of the Little North Fork of the Santiam River, a swimming hole, sandy beach, and one-half hour drive from the Salem urban area combine to make North Fork Park one of the most popular Marion County park areas. On warm Sunday afternoons, the parking area is full and cars are parked along the shoulder of the road for a considerable distance. Work relief crews helped develop the park’s trail system.


Facilities at a Glance

  • 11.98 Acres
  • Picnic Tables
  • Fishing
  • Fire Pits
  • Water Activities
  • Hiking Trails
  • ADA Accessible:
    Restroom and trail


8:00 a.m. to Sunset


Twenty-eight miles from Salem, Santiam Highway, one mile above Mehama, turn left at bridge, three miles up North Fork Road.

Jenn’s View: The park is located on the right. If you reset your odometer after turning from Hwy 22, you should reach the park within 2 miles.   I call this a no hike hike cuz it really is no hiking. You walk a few feet and voila, you are there. This particular park had a small trail that loops around and can access the North Santiam River in many places. Great place to fish and have a picnic. I did the loop and I will say I did get wet. It was raining on and off throughout the day. I was pretty lucky though and hit the no hikes when it wasn’t raining.

There is a bathroom in the parking lot. Most areas don’t have a bathroom so if you need to go, go.

North Fork Park

There is a sign that shows the loop and gives warning information about Anglers. I know anglers are fishers.  LOL. So I didn’t pay too much attention to what it states on the sign. he he.  Problem has something to do with having your license to fish.

North Fork Park North Fork Park

The path practically goes to the river. Great place to set the raft, kayak, canoe or just have a picnic and play in the water. The calm area didn’t seem too deep but I could be wrong. The rapids are pretty swift so be careful! Great place for kids and dogs.

North Fork Park Opal Creek Wilderness North Fork Park

Opal Creek Wilderness North Fork Park

Shadowlynn and I did the loop and it was pretty wet. My pants are great. Even though it got wet, it dries pretty quickly. It dried before I reached the next hike…Salmon Falls.

North Fork Park The loop had little steps and it was a pretty obvious path around. There were quite a few forks in the road but it was obvious that most of the paths lead to another part of the river

North Fork Park North Fork Park

Can’t wait for warmer weather so I can take the kids here for a picnic. Then we can continue finding more hikes out in this area!  Go check out the other NO HIKES hikes!

SALMON FALLS PARK: https://oregonhike.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/opal-creek-wilderness-elkhorn-falls-7/

SULLIVAN FALLS: https://oregonhike.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/opal-creek-wilderness-no-hike-hike-sullivan-falls/

Opal Creek Wilderness – Henline Falls Trail


May 30, 2011

Info: Taken from the US Forest Service (http://www.fs.usda.gov) The trail meanders through young Douglas-fir and Western Hemlock forest. The trail ends at Henline Falls. Here you will find remnants of old mining from the 1930’s. A mine adit was built into the solid rock wall and goes back in about 1500 feet.

Directions: From Salem, travel East on Hwy 22 to milepost 23 at the Swiss Village Restaurant. Turn left on North Fork Road, which is marked “Little North Santiam Recreation Area”. Travel about 19 miles to forest road 2207 junction, continue past this junction for ¼ mile. Trailhead is on the left side.
This also provides access to Ogle Mountain Trail #3357 where it intersects with Henline Falls trail.

Jenn’s View: I really do like this hike. It’s real easy and quick so if I have the urge to do something close, I can go here. I would probably head up to Silver Creek Falls but it’s normally crowded so I don’t go there as much. Plus, if you are courageous enough you can go in the mine…I wouldn’t suggest going pass the barrier though. It freaked me out! All I can imagine is something crawling on the ceiling and then grab me and pull me in!

The first time I did this was with my daughter, Makaila Hunter.  She’s so funny and fun to hike with. Of course, I brought Shadowlynn with us and she was sporting her wonderful doggie backpack that carries nothing in it. It’s terrible to hold anything in it, I just use so I can spot her. 🙂 The Dog

You go through the woods and it’s a pretty flat area to hike into so the hike was pretty easy. Most of the pictures taken were when we reached the falls.

A couple of pictures of us. It wouldn’t be my blog without a picture of me :)!

We did manage to do another hike very close by. These pictures were taken with my camera phone and my ELPH camera. Unfortunately, my little ELPH broke.

Taken at river levelIt's Jenn

REVISIT: March 11, 2012
So, silly me decided to once again go hiking and be unprepared for snow. Gosh darn snow! Besides, Scott Wenger had my snow pants when we went skiing that last time I was in Sisters, Oregon. EEEK. First time skiing since 6th grade. Quite comical on skis. I think I should invest in snow shoes.

Here was my drive in. I drive a 4 door Honda Accord so any snow – blah for my car. I love my little car especially now that the gas price is over $4.00 a gallon so my SUV has to wait once again.

Sorry it’s such a dark picture but the settings of my camera were way off and I forgot to adjust them before taking the pictures.

There was another car parked in front of the sign so I know that someone else was on the trail. You would normally do the self issued pass that is located on the sign in the little box but there were none so I didn’t fill it out. Next time, I should leave a small pad of paper and see who would write on it to tell me about the trail. hmmmm…. SCIENCE EXPERIMENT!

To Henline Falls and Ogle Mountain

Most of the trail was covered in snow. Man, it would have been nice to have my snow pants, just saying….

You come to a fork in the road. To the right, that’s the trail to Ogle Mountain. I wouldn’t take that road just quite yet. It’s long and bit more difficult.

You know when you are on the right track when you come to the sign to Henline Falls

When you are on the trail, you will start hearing the water… At the end of the path is good ol’ Henline Falls

Wouldn’t be a blog without a picture of me….Isn’t that what I normally say?

Opal Creek Wilderness – Opal Creek and Opal Pool (#)


May 29, 2011

Info: Thank you Oregon.com for the info!!! (http://www.oregon.com/Hike_Opal_Creek)

Difficulty: An easy 4-mile hike traverses the old-growth forest to 30-foot Sawmill Falls. A longer, 7.1-mile loop extends upriver to Opal Pool and Jawbone Flats, a Depression-era mining camp.

Season: Open all year, but the route may be snowy or icy after mid-winter storms.

Getting There: From Interstate 5 exit 253 in Salem, drive on East Santiam Highway 22 for 23 miles to Mehama’s second flashing yellow light. Opposite the Swiss Village Restaurant, turn left on Little North Fork Road for 15 paved miles and an additional 1.3 miles of gravel. At a fork, veer left on Road 2209. Then drive 4.2 miles to the locked gate. Residents of Jawbone Flats are allowed to drive the dirt road ahead; others must park and walk

Fees: A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park here. The pass costs $5 per day or $30 per season. (You can get a pass here ahead of time —  I get the annual pass — http://www.discovernw.org/store_national-forest-recreation-day-pass-national-forests-in-washington-and-oregon-only_09944.html)  It can be purchased at a ranger station, an outdoor store or at the trailhead fee box.

Hiking Tips: From the trailhead gate, the pleasantly primitive road crosses Gold Creek on a 60-foot-high bridge, skirts dramatic cliffs above the Little North Santiam River, and winds through an old-growth grove as impressive as any found farther upstream.

At the 2-mile mark, stop to inspect the rusting machinery of Merten Mill on the right. The mill operated briefly during the Depression, using winches from the battleship USS Oregon, but folded after two of the mill’s lumber trucks fell off the narrow canyon road. Now a camping area for backpackers, the mill site has one small empty building that can serve as emergency shelter. A short side trail behind the building leads to Sawmill Falls, a 30-foot cascade pouring into a deep green pool ideal for a chilly swim.

The route forks 0.2 mile beyond Merten Mill. Turn right across the river on a 100-foot bridge above a lovely gravel beach. The hike then follows the somewhat rough Opal Creek Trail left along the Little North Santiam River through woods where twinflower blooms and huckleberries ripen in July. After a mile, a sign points left 50 feet to Opal Pool’s scenic gorge.

To return on a loop, turn left, cross a footbridge at the head of Opal Pool, climb to an old mining road and keep left through Jawbone Flats, a well-preserved collection of 27 buildings dating from 1929-1932. Jawbone Flats has been donated to the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center as an old-growth study center.

Respect the residents’ privacy by staying on the road. Dogs must be leashed here. On summer weekends, a tiny store in the settlement sells snacks, drinks and T-shirts. The center also includes several rentable cabins for $100-$300 that sleep 2-16 (for information call 503-897-2921 or check www.opalcreek.org).

An optional side trip for those who would to see more of Opal Creek begins at Opal Pool. When you reach the trail junction beside Opal Pool continue upstream 0.6 mile to a single-log footbridge. Along the way you’ll pass several small waterfalls. If you like, continue 0.9 mile upstream on a rougher trail to Cedar Flat’s trio of ancient red cedars, 500-1,000 years old. Near here, the Beachie Creek crossing, on a mossy log, is a good place to turn around. The trail peters out beyond this point.

Jawbones Flats is a Depression-era mining camp that now greets hikersHistory: Opal Creek’s ancient forest was thrust to fame in the 1980s by controversy over Forest Service logging proposals. National television crews and thousands of visitors hiked to Jawbone Flats’ rustic mining camp and scrambled over a rugged “bear trail” to view the endangered old-growth groves towering above this creek’s green pools. By the time Opal Creek finally won Wilderness protection in 1998 an improved path had been built to make the area more hiker-friendly. The new trail shortcuts from the Little North Santiam River to Opal Creek, making possible a loop trip to Opal Pool’s gorge and Jawbone Flats.

Geology: Miners at Jawbone Flats did not find commercial quantities of gold, and so they concentrated on nickel and other minerals instead.

Jenn’s View:I was wet and miserable. LOL. The only downside to the trail was that it was a “road” not a hiking through a forest type trail until you get to the bridge. It was a pretty interesting hike though. We did end up at an “old town” type of place and ate our Subway Sammich!  Just watch for the crazy shuttle van that transports people who rent the cabins from the parking lot. At times I wanted to hop on!  I know we encountered a mine but the entrance was blocked. 🙂


The Falls and the area were actually beautiful. I will try this hike again. It will be at the bottom of my list unless someone wants to shuttle me up to Opal Pool and then I will hike all of Opal Creek area 🙂

Here is the map I downloaded from Oregon.com. Same website that I got all that information from. So we started at the Lock Gate. I believe that’s the parking area. We “walked” on the road towards Opal Pool and hit the bridge. It was a very long walk but Joyce, Terri and I made it a blast.

We found a little area that we pretended (Okay, just Joyce) that she was looking for Edward Cullen from Twilight. She’s so silly.

Well, here are a few of my favorite shots:

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Opal Creek Wilderness – Salmon Falls (#7)


 April 17, 2011
Info: http://www.co.marion.or.us/PW/Parks/descriptions/salmonfalls.htm)  Purchase of this area, with the assistance of Land and Water funds, was made to preserve an outstanding scenic site. The area is forested, and at the falls site, the Little North Fork of the Santiam River plunges over the rock outcropping about 30 feet to a pool beneath. Only minimum development of the popular area has been undertaken. Emphasis has been placed on preservation of the natural beauty of the site. The Bureau of Land Management owns land on two sides of the park and is interested in ultimately developing the entire area. Facilities at a Glance

  • 22.62 Acres
  • Picnic Tables
  • Fishing
  • Water Activities
  • Hiking Trails
  • Fire Pits
  • ADA Restroom

8:00 a.m. to Sunset

  • On I-5 exit onto Hwy 22 and head east towards Stayton
  • In 22 miles – at second yellow light just east of Mehama – turn left onto North Fork Road SE
  • At milepost 13.6 turn right onto Elkhorn Drive SE
  • After ½ mile park on the left to access Little N. Santiam Trail No. 3338
    at the Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area

Jenn’s View: Great hike for the family…If you travel up the path a bit, there is an area where you can go swimming. I bet it has a lot of people here during the summer. I remember pulling off to the side of the road, the trail was right there, and boom the waterfall was right there as well. Had to do a little climbing but VERY little.  The trail continued and would be an excellent “beginners” trail running area. Highly recommend even with small children. Just be careful of the water.

It was pretty cold but just dress in layers and should be great.

The trail was relatively flat and leads you straight on top of the falls. You see all these little wooden bridges. When I told TJ we had to get back soon because we had to drive to Hillsboro for Grandma’s and Auntie Joyce’s birthday, that’s when he got all “pissy” and didn’t want to hike no mo’. 😦

The top of the falls did have a sign stating something about swimming at your own risk. he he

There are quite a few waterfalls around this area. Check out Opal Creek Wilderness blog. May 29, 2011 to get to Opal Pool or Henline Falls blog dated May 30, 2011 and Henline Trails dated May 21, 2011


JUNE 23, 2012

Went and re-visited this on my way to Nasty Rock Hike – which by the way I did not do. I ran out of time. Scott was on his way to my house and I had to do the dishes.

The water level is real low at this time compared to what I had seen back in April 2011. 🙂 I had originally thought this was Elkhorn Falls but I was wrong. I even took a picture of the sign so this is what I assume is Salmon Falls Park.

Oh My goodness, I would NEVER use the bathroom. One thing, the lock is on the outside and it looked pretty gross in there…I was too scared. I’d rather pee outside.

Salmon Falls Park Salmon Falls Park Salmon Falls Park Salmon Falls Park

As you can tell by the picture, the water level is extremely low

Opal Creek Wilderness Salmon Falls Park

Opal Creek Wilderness Salmon Falls Park

Opal Creek Wilderness Salmon Falls Park

Go check out the other No Hikes Hike I just did around the area. Great place to take the kids for the day and see what wonderful areas Opal Creek Wilderness has to offer.

NORTH FORK PARK: https://oregonhike.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/opal-creek-wilderness-no-hike-hikes-north-fork-park/

SULLIVAN FALLS: https://oregonhike.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/opal-creek-wilderness-no-hike-hike-sullivan-falls/