A long dirt road in and nice hike, once you get there it's all worth while with tons of cliffs to jump off and creeks to cool off by. It's all back pack in for the best spots and first come first serve. It can get pretty busy at the trail head so get there early.
Took my kids, some of my friends, and my best friend to go hiking and backpacking. We stayed in a dispersed site near the river past the meadow. Absolutely gorgeous! The staff at Jawbone Flats are helpful and nice. Can't wait to do the Whetstone Loop!
If you want to test the waters fort backpacking this is a great trail to do it on. Only 3ish miles to the camp sites. All are first come, near water. It's pretty socked in with trees so don't expect Much sun. Highly traveled sites unfortunately. The water is some of the most beautiful I've seen and there is a cute little mining town to explore close by.
This review is for the cabins at the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center, which are in Jawbone Flats, an old abandoned mining town on Opal Creek. You hike a few miles in on a road (cars aren't allowed, though they'll bring your gear in for you). You rent out one of their somewhat rustic cabins, and can also eat food in the group area. Feels like a summer camp, in a good way. Nice for families and friends. Incredible surroundings. There is also primitive camping nearby not associated with the cabins.
Love this place. Great hiking, swimming, camping, and family friendly.
We went on the weekend so the pools were a bit crowded. There weren't many official places to camp so people seemed to be staking out their own territory. I'd go again but during the week.
Worth seeing. Absolutely beautiful. There is so much history here it is nuts.
The beauty of the pools at Opal Creek are pretty well known, but it also makes for a nice introductory backpacking experience that ends up being about 4.5 miles each way/day (9 total). The trail starts as a road along the creek and turns into a lollipop hike. One side (that continues as a gravel road) goes to an old mining town, Jawbone Flats, which is now a nature/history learning center with some mining relics. Past a meadow and about a half mile further are the Opal Pools, also popular for taking a dip. The other side is a trail through the woods. We did the woods side the first day and, after camping at Cedar Flats (a mile or so beyond the pools), returned along the road. The majority of the camping spots are about a mile past the pools, although the trail gets a little rougher for this mile. The trail, village, and pools are incredibly popular and very busy, but the backpacking trail beyond was much more what you associate with backpacking. There are no bathrooms or potable water, and fires were not allowed while we were there.