Directions To Opal Creek

Full driving directions are below, but you may also follow Google Maps as far as “North Fork Rd., Lyons, OR.” At this point you will lose cell service; continue by following the second half of the directions below. GPS coordinates for the Opal Creek trailhead are: 44.859856, -122.264394.

Please be aware that the final 6-7 miles on Forest Service Road 2209 are gravel and maintained on an irregular basis by the US Forest Service. Expect to go no faster than 15-20 mph on this stretch of road.

Driving times

  • From Salem: 1.5 hour
  • From Portland or Eugene: 2.5 hours
  • From Bend: 2.5 – 3 hours

From I-5

  • Take Exit 253 for Hwy 22 (Stayton/Detroit).
  • At the end of the ramp turn east on Hwy. 22.  Continue for approximately 22 miles.
  • Turn left/north at the second flashing yellow light onto North Fork Rd. On the right-hand side of Hwy. 22 you will see the North Fork Crossing Restaurant. The Opal Creek trailhead is at the very end of this road, approximately 20 miles and 1 hour of driving time.
  • 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 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 Flats parking area and trailhead.

From Bend via Hwy 97 or Hwy 20

  • From either of these highways, follow Hwy 20 West to Hwy 22 West.
  • Follow Hwy 22 West to Lyons, OR. It is approximately 107 miles from Sisters to Lyons.
  • You will come to a flashing yellow light intersection with the North Fork Road, with the North Fork Crossing Restaurant on the left-hand side of Hwy. 22.
  • Turn right (north) onto the North Fork Rd. The Opal Creek trailhead is at the very end of this road, approximately 20 miles and 1 hour of driving time.
  • 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 Flats parking area and trail head.

Alternate Directions from Bend During Summer Months Only:

  • Approximately 96 miles from Sisters you’ll enter the town of Gates on Hwy. 22.
  • Turn North (right) onto Gates Hill Road, which is located across from the Gates General Store in Gates, OR.
  • Gates Hill Rd is a paved, approximately 3-mile road that lets out on North Fork Road, 9 miles up from Hwy. 22 (near Elkhorn Golf Course).
  • Turn right onto the North Fork Road and continue to the end of the road as listed above.
  • Please note: Gates Hill road is 16% grade both up and down, and is not maintained in the winter. Please drive with extra caution when using this road.

Permits/Fees

All visitors to Opal Creek need a Forest Service parking permit to park at the trailhead. The permit costs $5 per car for a one-day pass or $30 for a full-year pass (the Northwest Forest Pass). Annual and interagency passes are available at most Forest Service offices and outdoor stores, or you can pay per day from a self-serve pay station (cash or check only) at the trailhead. You can purchase annual and interagency passes from the Forest Service online here.

Maps

The Opal Creek Wilderness and Scenic Recreation Areas are covered by the US Forest Service’s Mt. Hood and Willamette National Forest map, which also includes the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness and the Bull of the Woods Wilderness.  These maps are sold at most Forest Service locations and outdoor stores, and can be purchased from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center here, by calling 503-892-2782, visiting our office at 721 NW 9th Ave., Suite 236, or from our staff on-site at the Jawbone Company Store from April through October.

Google Maps has this aerial view of the area around the trail head and Jawbone Flats.

This topographic map is centered on Jawbone Flats.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] trip 93.8 miles from Portland. Here is the route from the Google site. I recommend following the directions on the Opal Creek website. Google says the trip will be about 2.5 hours, but it’s closer to 2 hours if you don’t […]

  2. By Anety on September 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Visitor recommendations…

    […]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[…]……

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