Opal Lake

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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Joined: May 29th, 2017, 10:40 pm

Opal Lake

Post by TopDuck » June 18th, 2018, 10:25 pm

I was wondering if anyone here has hiked from Opal Lake down to the Opal creek area. If you have how difficult was it and how long did it take?

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Joined: May 29th, 2018, 11:09 am

Re: Opal Lake

Post by MtnHomeBeaver » July 3rd, 2018, 10:53 am

If you search in Facebook for 'Extreme Oregon' you will find some postings of his hike down Opal Creek from Opal Lake. The post are from between June 24 and June 17th of 2018. Sounded like a very rough/daunting bushwack. But his pictures are amazing.

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Joined: November 12th, 2009, 8:06 pm

Re: Opal Lake

Post by Steve20050 » July 7th, 2018, 4:43 pm

I did this a number of times back in the early to mid 90s. Haven't been back since it became a wilderness. Figured it was going to get crowded, LOL. You basically drive over the ridge and come down within 1/2mile of the lake and a clear cut parking. Once at the lake you enter forest. What is it like 20+ years later, not sure. Going from the lake you have to drop down a cliff along side of the waterfalls. Over the years it seems that even that got more use. There is a couple of incredible Douglas firs down in there that are some of the larger I have seen still standing. Other post is correct. It used to be a brush beat but I was healthy and used to take a fully loaded pack. You need to try and stay just above the creek drainage to stay out of the worse brush.

Camping spots, forget it. Don't tell anyone, but I had to make one. About half way down, 4 miles, there was a bend in the creek and a small falls with some alder. I filled in an area with sand and gravel around the alder roots to make an area just big enough to put a small tent. Was a nice spot half way down. Used this spot for several years. Seldom saw anyone in there. It was about a mile up from Bolo? falls. I think it was called. Sorry my memory is fuzzy. Another big issue is the bathroom. Please. You need to climb out of the bottom of the creek drainage to not contaminate the water. I'll look through some old stuff and try to post some photos later this weekend.

So here's a few samples of terrain. A lot of how difficult this is depends on you. I was a tree planter in the 70s and learned how to get around in some rather unsavory terrain. Obviously from photo, I used to carry a lot of weight too. This kind of terrain is slow going. What type of wear "trail" exits now no idea. When I was doing this there wasn't many signs other than like I stated the cliff around the falls, which wasn't that bad that I recall any real difficulty.
Clear Cut_ Opal Lake 001.jpg
Clear cut used to surround lake. Forests service road seen above.
Opal Lake 002.jpg
Pretty Lake
Opal Creek 003.jpg
This is a small grove of large trees. Obviously some more level ground. I tried to avoid camping there myself. Not that I have fires anymore, it is a giant duff pile.
Opal Creek 004.jpg
Same area.
Opal Creek 005.jpg
Some great stuff down in these old creek drainages.
Opal Creek 006.jpg
problem is if you follow too close you end up with rather sharp drops. Not sure, I think this was 25- 30 feet.
Opal Creek 007.jpg
Wow. High tops. The precursor to trail shoes, LOL. Hanging out with a transpecies tree even.
Opal Creek 008.jpg
Small side creek.
Hope something here helps.
Opal Creek 009.jpg

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Joined: May 29th, 2017, 10:40 pm

Re: Opal Lake

Post by TopDuck » July 8th, 2018, 10:11 pm

Thanks for the info. We had a great trip there, decided not to hike down the creek because just hiking around the lake was hard enough. It is such a beautiful and seldom used area.

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