A couple of weeks ago, when my sis was visiting, we hiked up to the waterslides on Opal Creek.
These are natural waterslides carved out of years of water running through the steep ravines that make up the watershed of the creek.
The water is clear and gorgeous, set among old growth fir trees that were put into federal protection mode in 1996. The fir trees tower above you, shading you as you walk a gravel road in an almost 8-mile easy hike. Not too much change in elevation.
When we pulled up to the parking area, it was obvious, this is a popular spot to the locals who know. Once we entered the walking trail, it was also obvious that there are many shallow spots along this creek to play.
Nature has rounded off the rock bed under the creek and snow melts have created shallow pools, deeper pools, and of course, the waterslides.
Even though the water was low in August, there was still enough water to propel you down.
The most crowded area was the trail.
Each of my videos are only 3 - 8 seconds. Fun to watch. Wish you had been here with us.
A really nice video by our Grant McOmie tells you more.
A lumber company back in depression years tried to log some of the old growth but went bankrupt when two of their trucks fell off the road. The road up has been much improved since then. It easy to appreciate the steep ravines as you drive up.
I think I saw also that this creek is one of the few undammed creeks in Oregon and there are native cutthroat running up to the sawmill pool (two miles in on the trail). We saw lots of little fingerlings up at the waterslide as well as some larger fish.
Coming back out, (our feet recall the gravel trail well), we watched a young man and his girlfriend do a 30' high dive off a rock protruding over a deep pool. Somersault and everything. Beautiful day.
Almost forgot the stills:
|High diving pool from atop big rock|
|See it from this bridge. Nice trail.|
|Big as a house tree roots|
|Jawbone Flats. yes.|
|Another waterslide blocked by washed down trees.|
|This pool is the one in above photo. Another deep pool to dive into from center right.|