Opal Pool is located at the head of a small chasm on Opal Creek. The Opal Pool can be found by hiking just beyond the historic mining town of Jawbone Flats. Follow the signs on the gravel road northeast out of town. After a short distance, you will find the trail that leads to a bridge over the creek with a view of the Opal Pool. From the bridge, you can also view Opal Pool Falls. Opal Pool is best viewed from several vantage points on the west bank of the creek.
Take a 3.5-mile hike through the forest to reach these sparkling pools. The water does not receive a ton of sunlight so you will be glad you worked up a sweat on the way in. Although you would think these waters were named after their color, the pools were actually named after a park ranger’s wife.
From I-5 North or South bound
- Take Exit 253 for Hwy 22 (Stayton/Detroit).
- At the end of the ramp turn east on Hwy. 22. Continue for approximately 22 miles.
- You will come to a flashing yellow light after 22 miles.
- Turn left/north at the flashing yellow light onto the North Fork Rd. The Opal Creek trailhead is at the very end of this road, approximately 20 miles.
- After 14 miles of pavement you will enter the Willamette National Forest where the road turns to gravel. You are now on Forest Road 2209.
- After approx 1.5 -2 miles you will see a turn-off on the right towards Three Pools/Shady Cove. Stay to the left on Forest Road 2209.
- Continue another 4 miles to the Opal Creek/Jawbone parking area and trailhead.