Opal Creek (Opal Proper), Oregon, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV-V(V+) (for normal flows)|
|LITTLE NORTH SANTIAM RIVER NEAR MEHAMA, OR|
|usgs-14182500||1100 - 4000 cfs||IV-V(V+)||01h15m||390 cfs (too low)|
Note that this is the run upstream of Jawbone Flat. The standard "Opal Creek" run is downstream on the Little North Fork of the Santiam.
It is a three~ish mile hike to Jawbone, then another 1 mile up the Kopetski trail to a good put in on Opal. Take the time to scout the Narrows on the way up, it would be possible to unbeknowingly get swept into this usually mandatory portage if you did not know it was coming.
The run has a number of unique bedrock rapids that are pretty low stress, but oh so fun. There are two small waterfalls as well, both visible on the hike up.
1,500-2,000 cfs in the LNF Santiam @ Mehama is ideal. If there is snow on the trail the whole trip will be less enjoyable than a dry banks trip.