Late afternoon hike out along Opal Creek out to Cedar Flats and back. First time exploring this area. Weather in the upper 50s, low 60s, clear skies. Only a handful of cars at the trailhead. While this is a super popular swimming spot in the summer, my goal was to hit it before school let out and the crowds swarmed the area.
The first half of the trail is just a walk along a gravel forest road that leads to the mostly abandoned town of Jawbone Flats. The town has a current population of 10 people and they rent out cabins and hold educational seminars for schoolchildren. There are some interesting remnants of the old mining operations that contributed to the development of the town scattered through the area.
Took a break at the bridge above Opal Falls and had a quick snack. I didn't actually realize that ever popular Opal Pool was just downstream- as I expected some type of signage or a more obvious use trail, so I totally missed it
Continued my way up to Cedar Flats. I brought my overnight pack in the event that I decided to spend the night, but I wasn't super fond of the final campsite at the end of the trail and decided to head back instead.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.