Is camping allowed at Opal Creek?
Camping is not allowed in Jawbone Flats, the 15 acres owned by Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. The 35,000 acres surrounding Jawbone Flats are all federally owned and camping is allowed. While there are no established campgrounds in the Opal Creek Wilderness Area, primitive camping is permitted based on usual US Forest Service policies. When backcountry camping please be mindful of your party’s impact and leave no trace.
Please see the Forest Service’s webpage for the area for more information about camping in the vicinity here.
For information on established campgrounds near the Opal Creek Wilderness, go here.
Can I bring my dog?
Dogs must be leashed while in Jawbone Flats. Dogs are not allowed in our cabins. If you are staying over night with us please leave your dog at home. Dogs do not need to be leashed in the National Forest.
Can I drive in to Jawbone Flats?
No. Jawbone Flats is accessible via an easy 3 mile hike that takes 1-1.5 hours. Cabin guests can have their gear brought in and out on our gear shuttle. The hike is on an easy gravel trail with about 200 feet of elevation gain over the 3 miles. Special shuttle arrangements can be made for OCAFC program guests who have mobility issues preventing them from making the hike.
Will my cell phone work? Do you have phone access?
Jawbone Flats is out of range of cell phone service and we do not have a phone line.
I have an emergency message to get to someone at Jawbone Flats, what do I do?
You can call our Portland office at 503-892-2782 during regular office hours and we will try to pass along the message. You can also email our firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
How do I get there?
See our directions page here.
Do I need any special permits to visit Opal Creek?
The only permit you need to explore Opal Creek is a US Forest Service parking permit if you plan on parking at the trailhead. You can pay at the gate for $5/day (bring exact change) or get an annual Northwest Forest Pass for $30; these passes are available at ranger stations and various outdoor shops.
For more information on the Northwest Forest Pass, click here.
To purchase an annual pass online, click here.
Can I have a campfire?
Campfires are not allowed at Jawbone Flats. Please refer to Forest Service regulations for current rules in the surrounding national forest. Please make sure that any fires are contained and completely snuffed out before leaving. A human-caused fire would be a very unfortunate blow to Opal Creek’s ancient forest. Be careful!
Can I bike the trails?
Biking is permitted on the main road to Jawbone Flats, and on a few of the trails past Jawbone Flats. Many of the single track trails are very steep and bikes are not encouraged.
Is fishing permitted at Opal Creek?
We do not allow fishing in Jawbone Flats. To fish in the Opal Creek Wilderness Area you must obtain a permit from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Fishing is catch and release only, with no barbed hooks.
Can I stay at Jawbone Flats during the winter?
Jawbone Flats has the potential to get snowed in every winter. During the winter of 2007-2008 the site was only accessible by an 8-9 mile snowshoe for 4 months. Due to the safety concerns that arise with weather this severe and the potential risk it could pose to our staff and guests, we do not rent cabins in the winter months. Our season closes mid-November and reopens early April.