Opal Creek to Cedar Flats 4/20

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pdxgene
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Opal Creek to Cedar Flats 4/20

Post by pdxgene » April 20th, 2014, 5:38 pm

Mary Ann and I took a ride out to the surprisingly empty Opal Creek today. A couple quick notes... Lotsa potholes in the road, kinda rough compared to January when I was last there. The new trail segment to replace the fallen bridge is kinda rough on the feet. It hasn't got a lot of use yet and is kind of slanted so your feet aren't level as much as you'd like. There's a couple edgy spots that unleashed dogs and small kids would be best kept away from. And as you'll see later.. when crossing the falls, DON'T fall to the right.. Also the 'old'trail that it replaced has been completely covered up and on the new trail they routed it uphill enough that you can't really even see the old spot. And we were trying.. So off we go..
Starting with the Little North Santiam looking downriver from Sawmill Falls..
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The Little North Santiam looking downriver from the Kopetski Brige.. (by the way, the entire trail is now signed as the Kopetski Trail so I'll refer to it as that.. For those who don't know the story he's the ex-Congressman who pretty much saved the area)
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The Little North Santiam is your companion until Jawbone Flats. This is one of the views from the Kopetski Trail..
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The moss is just everywhere..
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Arriving at Opal Pool..
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The sunny part of Opal Pool...
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Opal Creek as it leaves Opal Pool..
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Looking upstream at Opal Creek from the bridge near Opal Pool..
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Opal Creek pouring thru the gorge into Opal Pool from the bridge whose shadow you can partially see..
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The falls at Flume Creek which I'd assume would be Flume Creek Falls..
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Mary Ann crossing in front of Flume Creek Falls. This is where falling right would lead to a very below average result..
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Opal Creek along the Kopetski Trail to Cedar Flats..
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I guess this isn't truly a waterfall and doesn't have a name but it sure makes for nice pictures..
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On to Beachie Creek just past Cedar Flats. Today's lunch spot and turnaround spot...
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Posing with the big cedars at Cedar Flats..
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One of the little creeks along the Kopetski Trail as we returned from Cedar Flats
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More of the colors of Opal Creek along the Kopetski Trail just before the falls.
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You get a nicer advance look at Flume Creek Falls on the return trip. Outbound you just kinda turn a corner and see it..
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My turn to cross on camera (don't fall left coming back :lol: )
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One little cliffside patch of Easter (ok avalanche) Lillies just past Jawbone Flats coming back..
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The Little North Santiam River as we headed back up the old mining road from Jawbone Flats..
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The Little North Santiam River at Slide Falls
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A quick stop at the Kopetski Bridge again heading out..
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Finishing up with a look at the Little North Santiam River back at Sawmill Falls where the pictures began
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And Sawmill Falls..
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With the white sky pretty much killing anything with a view I don't think we could have picked a better destination for the day. On the non-road parts of the trail we saw only one other single and one other couple hiking. Had it to ourselves the rest of the time. Yay :D
Album here http://picasaweb.google.com/pdxgene/OpalCreek26

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chiefWright
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Location: Marquam
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Re: Opal Creek to Cedar Flats 4/20

Post by chiefWright » April 20th, 2014, 6:13 pm

Wow, what really beautiful pix. The colors are so fresh and lush. Nice you had the place almost all to yourselves.

pdxgene
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Re: Opal Creek to Cedar Flats 4/20

Post by pdxgene » April 20th, 2014, 8:41 pm

chiefWright wrote:Wow, what really beautiful pix. The colors are so fresh and lush. Nice you had the place almost all to yourselves.
Thanx! The colors are really nice in spring. As long as we don't get any extended rains. Too much water moving too fast really dilutes it. And then late summer it can get so low that you lose a lot of the color due to lack of water.

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MariposaMan
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Joined: April 14th, 2014, 10:04 pm
Location: Eugene, OR

Re: Opal Creek to Cedar Flats 4/20

Post by MariposaMan » April 20th, 2014, 9:34 pm

Wonderful photos... such vibrant colors! Love the one of the lilies. Definitely makes me wish for a visit.

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sprengers4jc
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Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Opal Creek to Cedar Flats 4/20

Post by sprengers4jc » April 21st, 2014, 7:03 am

Thanks for the TR, pdxgene! This trail is our destination for our next backpacking trip at the end of May. Just out of curiosity, did you see anywhere that would make a good camp near Cedar Flats or just before it? Info for backpackers is surprisingly non-existent for Opal Creek area (unless I am completely failing at Googling it).
'We travel not to escape life but for life to not escape us.'
-Unknown

pdxgene
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Re: Opal Creek to Cedar Flats 4/20

Post by pdxgene » April 21st, 2014, 8:28 am

There are quite a few spots right there at Cedar Flats, it is actually nice and level ground right there, and just after along Beachie Creek maybe but not much before. No one was using any of them yesterday. There really aren't any spots I can think of between Jawbone Flats and Cedar Flats that would seem very inviting to camp. Maybe a couple small spots but they'd be almost right on the trail.
There are also a lot of spots on the trail section leading towards Opal Pool along the Little North Santiam.
The one main rule I know of is you just cannot camp anywhere within the Jawbone Flats area.

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sprengers4jc
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Re: Opal Creek to Cedar Flats 4/20

Post by sprengers4jc » April 21st, 2014, 8:35 am

pdxgene wrote:There are quite a few spots right there at Cedar Flats, it is actually nice and level ground right there, and just after along Beachie Creek maybe but not much before. No one was using any of them yesterday. There really aren't any spots I can think of between Jawbone Flats and Cedar Flats that would seem very inviting to camp. Maybe a couple small spots but they'd be almost right on the trail.
There are also a lot of spots on the trail section leading towards Opal Pool along the Little North Santiam.
The one main rule I know of is you just cannot camp anywhere within the Jawbone Flats area.
Great! Thanks so much!
'We travel not to escape life but for life to not escape us.'
-Unknown

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weekend_warrior
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Re: Opal Creek to Cedar Flats 4/20

Post by weekend_warrior » April 21st, 2014, 10:36 am

great photos! Did you see any snow drifts near Cedar Flats? I was there on May 4th last year and we camped at Cedar Flats, with large snow drifts all around...

pdxgene
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Opal Creek to Cedar Flats 4/20

Post by pdxgene » April 21st, 2014, 12:39 pm

weekend_warrior wrote:great photos! Did you see any snow drifts near Cedar Flats? I was there on May 4th last year and we camped at Cedar Flats, with large snow drifts all around...
Thanks! No snow at all. From the parking lot looking back you could just see patches at the tops of whatever hills those are you face going out but that's it. In some places the ferns were still hugging the ground so you could tell they'd been last to melt out and not too long ago but every bit of it visible at any point from the trail was gone. Even the places where water pools and/or runs down the trail were pretty much dry.

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RobinB
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Re: Opal Creek to Cedar Flats 4/20

Post by RobinB » April 22nd, 2014, 10:58 am

Thanks for the fantastic TR and pictures. The water color there is just astounding. I've never been, but it's now on my very short list.

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