Yesterday I had the awesome opportunity to go hiking with some coworkers and family. Opal Creek is one of my favorite hikes in Oregon, and I try to get out there every year. I especially love going with people when it’s their first time, and for my coworkers, this was their introduction to the Opal Creek Wilderness area and Jawbone Flats.
The main trail follows the pristine waters of Opal Creek to Jawbone Flats, which was once a bustling mining town in 1859 when gold was discovered. Not much gold was found, but the area was mined for and produced quite a bit of lead, zinc, copper and silver before the mining company ceased operation in 1992.
The area is now protected, but there are reminders of what once was with a smattering of old mining equipment, rusty old jalopies, mine shafts and buildings.
On my way home from the Opal Creek hike, I stopped to get a photo of this place. I’ve passed it on the freeway so many times, and yesterday decided to finally stop.