Opal Creek Trailhead (Gate)

Area Status: Closed

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 03/25/2024: Closed due to Beachie Creek and Lionshead Fire closure. See map.
Permit Info: Wilderness Self-Issue Permit required for both day use and overnight stays from June 15 through October 15. Free permits are self-issued at the trailhead.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Special regulations are in place to help protect this area and preserve the experience for you and for future visitors including:
Closest Towns: Gates, Mill City and Mehama, Oregon
Water: No potable water. Water from streams should be filtered or treated.
Passes: Recreation Passes may be used as a form of fee payment. 
Information Center: Detroit Ranger Station

General Information


From Salem, travel East on Highway 22 to milepost 23 at the Swiss Village Restaurant. Turn left on North Fork Road, which is marked "Little North Santiam Recreation Area". Travel about 21 miles on Forest Road 2209 to the Opal Creek Trailhead parking area.

To access Kopetski / Opal Creek Trail, Hike approximately 3 miles up the road past the gate. Opal Creek Trail will begin with a foot-bridge crossing the Little North Santiam River on the right.

To access Whetstone Mountain Trail, Hike approximately ¾ of a mile up the road past the gate and the Whetstone Mountain Trailhead will be on the left.  


There is a 120 vehicle capacity. Tightly packed cars and resulting congestion can prevent emergency vehicle access; please park only in designated spots.

Parking Restrictions

Forest Road 2209

  • Parking allowed only along the south shoulder within ¼ mile of the Opal Creek Trailhead and at the designated trailhead parking areas for Henline Falls, Henline Mountain and Nasty Rock Trailheads. 
  • 15 minute parking limit at the visitor information kiosk at the 2209/2207 road junction.

Forest Road 2207

  • No parking along Road 2207 between the junction with Road 2209 and the Shady Cove Bridge.
  • No parking along the south side of Road 2207 between Shady Cove Bridge and the eastern Opal Creek SRA boundary. Parking on the north shoulder allowed. 
  • Access into existing dispersed or undeveloped campsites open for parking, camping and day use.  


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking


Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities



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