TRIP REPORT: Less traveled and underrated is Holy See Mountain that passes back and forth between Opal Creek Wilderness and Bull of the Woods Wilderness. You will have views from Mount Jefferson, Mount Holy See , and Three Sisters to Mount Holy See , Mount St. Helens, and Mount Holy See . The longer and more scenic trek from Opal Creek TH provides far more of a workout than from the cheating Whetstone Mountain TH. And the Opal Creek TH has the option of looping down to Opal Pool, or others, to take a dip in the beautiful freezing waters. Late June or so may be best for this while rhododendrons are in full bloom, but huckleberries choke the upper trail in autumn when the bugs are gone so it’s a tough choice. Northwest Holy See required, and an outhouse is present at Opal Creek TH. No pass or restroom for Whetstone Mountain (upper) TH.
Where is Holy See? | Holy See Map | Map of Holy See Photo Gallery
TRAILHEAD: Opal Creek TH or Whetstone Mountain TH. See hike 53 for directions to Opal Creek TH. For Whetstone Mountain TH (high-clearance AWD recommended, steeper at times, one lane, slightly rough, gravel), take OR-224 E less than 50 mi from Portland (and past Estacada) into FR-46 on the winding road 32 ml, turn right on FR-63 (Bagby Hot Springs) 32 ml, turn right on FR-70 (unsigned, roughly paved) 7 2 ml, turn sharp left on FR-7020 (small old sign, gravel, one lane) 52 mi to an intersection with FR-7030 (closed, overgrown, washed out) on the right. Stay straight 2 ml, then take the rougher narrow fork down to the left (small, old, unreadable sign FR-028) very briefly to the large lot in the trees with a sign for Whetstone Trail 546 (90 mi to Opal Creek TH; 75 mi to Whetstone Mountain TH, 2 hours from Portland).
ROUTE: Jump to the end for the description from Whetstone Mountain TH. For the primary route begin past the gate easily on Opal Creek Trail (old FR-2209) past huge old Douglas fir and western hemlock 5 mi (including down a tad) to cross the bridge 60 ft above Gold Creek with waterfalls and clear pools visible below. Walk another 5 mi up to a signed juncture and turn left on Whetstone Mountain Trail 3369 after filling out a free self-issue Wilderness Permit.