FAQs


Is camping allowed at Opal Creek?
Where can I get a map?
Can I bring my dog?
Can I drive in to Jawbone Flats?
Will my cell phone work? Do you have phone access?
Do you have wireless internet?
I have an emergency message to get to someone at Jawbone Flats–what do I do?
How do I get to Opal Creek?
Do I need any special permits to visit Opal Creek?
Can I have a campfire?
Can I bike the trails?
Is fishing permitted at Opal Creek?
Can I stay at Jawbone Flats during the winter?


Is camping allowed at Opal Creek?

There is no camping on the 15 acres of Opal Creek property at Jawbone Flats. The closest official campgrounds are at Shady Cove (Forest Service, located within the Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area) and Elkhorn Valley (Bureau of Land Management, located within the Little North Santiam Recreation Area). Dispersed camping is allowed in the Opal Creek Wilderness and Scenic Recreation Areas.

With the increased popularity of Opal Creek, it is crucial that dispersed campers follow Willamette National Forest policy and Leave No Trace practices.

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Where can I get a map?

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 can be purchased on our website, from our office, or from our staff on-site at the Jawbone Company Store from April through October. They are also sold at most Forest Service locations and outdoor retailers.

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

This topographic map is centered on Jawbone Flats.

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Can I bring my dog?

Dogs must be leashed while in Jawbone Flats. Dogs are not allowed in our cabins and public buildings, or on our property for overnight stays. Dogs are not required to be leashed in the National Forest, Scenic Recreation Area or Wilderness Area, but it is a popular and crowded hike in the summertime. Know your dog, and use discretion.

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Can I drive in to Jawbone Flats?

Jawbone Flats is hike-in only, accessible via a moderate 3.1 miles that will take 1-1.5 hours without detours. The hike is on a wide gravel trail with about 300 feet of elevation gain. Cabin and workshop guests can arrange to have their luggage brought in and out on our gear shuttle. Special shuttle arrangements can be made for program guests who have mobility issues preventing them from making the hike.

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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. You will lose cell reception shortly after turning on to the North Fork Road.

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Do you have wireless internet?

We do not have public internet. Be prepared to be unplugged during your time at Opal Creek.

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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 pass along the message through emergency channels. Program participants will receive emergency contact email addresses that can be shared with family and friends for use outside business hours.

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How do I get to Opal Creek?

See our directions page. We highly recommend that guests carpool if at all possible. The trailhead has become very crowded, especially on summer weekends.

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Do I need any special permits to visit Opal Creek?

You will need a US Forest Service parking permit to park at the trailhead. A self-issue wilderness permit is required between Memorial Day and October 31 in the wilderness boundary (this does not include the Opal Creek trail to Jawbone Flats, Kopetski trail to Opal Pool, or Kopetski trail to Cedar Flats).

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Can I have a campfire?

Campfires are not allowed in Jawbone Flats, within 200 feet of the road from the Three Pools junction to the Opal Creek trailhead, or within 200 feet of the Opal Creek and Kopetski trails as far as Opal Pool. Please refer to Forest Service regulations for current rules in the surrounding wilderness area. Please make sure that any fires are contained and completely snuffed out before leaving.

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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. Biking is not permitted outside of the Scenic Recreation Area boundary.

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Is fishing permitted at Opal Creek?

Fishing is not permitted in Jawbone Flats. Catch-and-release fishing, with no barbed hooks, is permitted in the Opal Creek Wilderness and Scenic Recreation Areas. You must obtain a permit from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Find recreation reports and purchase a license here.

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Can I stay at Jawbone Flats during the winter?

Jawbone Flats has the potential to get snowed in every winter, and our staff who live there year-round have supplies to prepare them for this possibility. 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 in mid-November and reopens in early April. The trail is open year-round as long as the road is clear.

The Forest Service road is not maintained during the winter and the topography can result in areas of very deep snow. Trees and boulders come down on the road every winter. Come prepared with a high clearance vehicle, chains, a shovel, and a saw. Abandoned vehicles on the road pose a serious threat to our winter staff in the event of emergency.

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