Battle Axe Creek requires 2 miles of hiking to get to the take out and another 2 miles to get to the put in.
Logistics: From Highway 22 mile 23.2 turn onto Little North Santiam Road (this turn is at a flashing light on the west side of the Highway 22 bridge across the North Santiam). Head up this road paralleling the river and at mile 16.9 where the road comes to a Y turn left onto Forest Road 2209. Follow this road to the gate at mile 21.1. From here you will hike in to Jawbone Flat which is the confluence with Battle Axe Creek. Jawbone Flat is about 3 miles up the trail and is the location of a collection of historic structures.
Battle Axe Creek joins with Opal Creek at Jawbone Flat to form the Little North Santiam River.
Put in: Hike upstream on a 4 wheel drive road till the road narrows to a trail. About 1.5 miles the stream has a major fork. One fork comes from Silver King Mountain to the east. The other fork comes from Battle Axe Mountain to the south. The trail also forks, one branch going south, while the left fork drops down to the creek. This trail makes a good put in just below the confluence of the two forks of the creek.
A permit is required to park at the trailhead at the end of Road 2209. The permits cost $5/car for a one-day pass or $30 for a full-year pass. There is a self-serve pay station at the trailhead. Full-year passes are available at Forest Service offices and many outdoor stores.
Other Information Sources: Into the Outside Oregon Kayaking.Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center is reported to be a great place to spend the night.Web Cam at Opal Creek Forest Center
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Battle Axe Falls
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This week, Oregon House Bill 2835 re-passed the Oregon House on a 52-7 vote. Having earlier cleared the Senate, the bill now awaits a signature from the Governor to be signed into law. For decades, opportunities to protect and improve the ability of the public to access and legally use waterways for recreation have seen minimal progress, while efforts to severely limit access have been a consistent threat. Oregon House Bill 2835 is a pivotal piece of legislation in Oregon, and the first proactive waterway access bill in recent history to have made it through the state legislature.
On January 15th, American Whitewater submitted comments in support of clean-up activities at two inactive mines near Battle Axe and Opal Creeks in the Willamette National Forest in Oregon. The mines operated until the late 1980's, and are located 2 miles east of Jaw Bone Flats in the Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area. Waste rock and soil from the mines has the potential to contaminate nearby rivers and streams through leaching and mass wasting events. American Whitewater provided comment to support clean up activities so long as they are protective of all uses, including whitewater boating.
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