Opal Creek Loop

Salem, Oregon 97306

Opal Creek Loop

Opal Creek Loop Professional Review and Guide

"Although this hike follows a clear stream, passes several small waterfalls, and visits an interesting old mining settlement, the real stars of the show are the trees. But not just any trees. These are big trees, old trees, magnificent trees! The kind of trees that make hikers look up in awe and loggers look up and drool.

It was those competing views that led to one of Oregon’s fiercest environmental battles during the 1980s and 1990s. The issue was resolved in 1996, when parts of the Opal Creek drainage were designated as wilderness and others as a scenic area. Both classifications provided enough protection to save the trees for future generations."

Opal Creek Loop Reviews

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This trail is super packed on weekends because it's so popular, with good reason. It is beautiful. If you are bugged by crowds go during the week. I love cooling off in the water next to the waterfall on a summer day. The hike is not too demanding but it still makes you work from time to time.
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We were planning to hike the loop but ended up just hiking to serene lake and back. There was still a little snow on parts of the trail which made the trail hard to follow. The hike is relatively flat and easy the first 2 miles and then gets more steep as you head down towards serene lake. This hike was beautiful with lush green meadows and blue-green lakes. Our campground was right next to serene lake with a beautiful view. There was only one other group camping at the lake and they were on the other side. The mosquitos were bad at times but not unbearable -- just make sure to take plenty of bug repelent. We saw some people swimming and others fishing. It was a great hike I would definately do again!

Opal Creek Loop Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
5 hours (day hike or backpack)
March to December
Green Trails No. 524 Battle Ax
Local Maps