This popular destination, known for its great beauty where old growth towers above the Little North Santiam River, is enjoyed by around 20,000 visitors each year.
Legislation designating the Opal Creek Wilderness and the Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area was passed in 1996 and established November 1998. The Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area is 13,538 acres. It includes Elkhorn Creek, a Wild and Scenic River. The Opal Creek Wilderness is 20,827 acres and includes the 8,000 acres of the Bull of the Woods Wildernes, located within the Willamette National Forest Boundary. After the designations, an advisory council was set up to guide management of this special area.
Today, many trails traverse across Opal Creek Wilderness and the adjoining Bull of the Woods Wilderness.
The Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center, a non-profit under a special use permit with the Willamette and Mt.
Hood National Forests, operates from jawbone flats, a historic mining town in the heart of the forest.
Special regulations are in place to help protect this area and preserve the experience for you and for future visitors. Please practice Leave No Trace Principles during your visit. Garbage service is not provided so please pack-it-in pack-it-out.