Jawbone Flats

Willamette Foothills, Oregon

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Jawbone Flats


  • Picnic shelter at Jawbone Flats.- Jawbone Flats
  • Abandoned vehicles at Jawbone Flats.- Jawbone Flats
  • Abandoned vehicles at Jawbone Flats.- Jawbone Flats
  • Abandoned machinery at Jawbone Flats.- Jawbone Flats
  • View from the bunkhouse at Jawbone Flats.- Jawbone Flats
  • Small hydroelectric plant at Jawbone Flats.- Jawbone Flats
  • Bridge over Battle Ax Creek.- Jawbone Flats
  • Jawbone Flats.- Jawbone Flats
  • Jawbone Flats residential cabins.- Jawbone Flats
  • Jawbone Flats general store.- Jawbone Flats
  • Rental cabins at Jawbone Flats.- Jawbone Flats
  • Jawbone Flats.- Jawbone Flats
  • Red columbine (Aquilegia formosa).- Jawbone Flats
  • View of the Opal Creek Wilderness from above Jawbone Flats.- Jawbone Flats
  • Subalpine mariposa lily (Calochortus subalpinus).- Jawbone Flats
  • - Jawbone Flats
Overview + Weather
Historic mining town. Rental Cabins. Incredible hiking and swimming.
3.6-mile hike to access.
New regulations are in effect for the area, please see details below.
Willamette Foothills, OR
Pets allowed: 
Parking Pass: 
NW Forest Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description


Set in the heart of the Opal Creek Wilderness, Jawbone Flats is an old mining town that is now a tiny, thriving community based around the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center.

Gold miners moved into the area as early as 1859, and by 1930 the Jawbone Flats mining camp had begun to take shape.  Mining continued in the valley until 1992, when the Shiny Rock Mining Company bestowed the 151 acres, including Jawbone Flats, to Friends of Opal Creek. Friends of Opal Creek, a 501(c)(3) non-profit,  now maintains the community of Jawbone Flats which includes the Ancient Forest Center (which runs a summer outdoor schools and forestry workshops), residences for staff, several vacation rentals, and its own small hydroelectric plant.

One key feature that makes Jawbone Flats so special is that it can only be accessed via a 3.1 mile one-way hike along the Opal Creek Trail, which ensures solitude and calm for all its visitors.  While you are visiting, discover all of the abandoned machinery and vehicles that have been left behind over the last century, explore the numerous swimming holes of Opal Creek, and enjoy additional hikes to Cedar Flats, Henline Falls, Henline Mountain, or climb 3,000 feet to the top of Whetstone Mountain to enjoy views of the entire wilderness, Mount Jefferson, and numerous other peaks of the Cascade Range.

Note: Significant crowding, vandalism, and disruptive behavior have resulted in several new regulations. The implementation of these regulations follows an extensive public comment period. Effective May 26, 2017:

  • Cars will be turned away once the 90-space parking lot for Three Pools is full, and parking will no longer be allowed outside of the parking lot.
  • Significantly, alcohol is now prohibited at the Three Pools Recreation Site.
  • Campfires are now prohibited along the route from the Opal Creek Gate Trailhead to Jawbone Flats. Parking will only be allowed within a quarter mile of the trailhead.
  • Camping is prohibited for 5 miles up Road 46 along the Breitenbush River 500 feet from the roadway.
  • Camping is prohibited at Elk Lake outside of the official Elk Lake Campground.
  • Dispersed camping is prohibited for the first 2 miles up French Creek Road and 8 miles on Blowout Creek Road.
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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Map

Field Guide + Map

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(45 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(73 within a 30 mile radius)

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