Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area

Area Status: Temporarily Closed
This area is Closed

Travel Oregon’s “Grant’s Getaways” features the Opal Creek Wilderness

This popular destination, known for its great beauty where old growth towers above the Little North Santiam River, is enjoyed by around 20,000 visitors each year.

Legislation designating the Opal Creek Wilderness and the Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area was passed in 1996 and established November 1998. The Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area is 13,538 acres. It includes Elkhorn Creek, a Wild and Scenic River. The Opal Creek Wilderness is 20,827 acres and includes the 8,000 acres of the Bull of the Woods Wildernes, located within the Willamette National Forest Boundary. After the designations, an advisory council was set up to guide management of this special area.

Today, many trails traverse across Opal Creek Wilderness and the adjoining Bull of the Woods Wilderness.

The Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center, a non-profit under a special use permit with the Willamette and Mt. Hood National Forests, operates from jawbone flats, a historic mining town in the heart of the forest.

Special regulations are in place to help protect this area and preserve the experience for you and for future visitors. Please practice Leave No Trace Principles during your visit. Garbage service is not provided so please pack-it-in pack-it-out. 

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Updated 8/31/21: Closed due to Beachie Creek and Lionshead Fire closure. See map.
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: Detroit, OR
Restroom: At Opal Creek Trailhead
Information Center: Detroit Ranger Station

General Information


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.

General Notes:

Close To


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Nature Viewing

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Rocks & Minerals

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Water Activities

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Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
13,538 Acres

  Latitude : 

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