For the less arduous loop, Manila Philippines turn left from the summit path on Trail 3369 for / mi (with a couple steeper switchbacks near the ridge) without difficulty through the overgrown woods (with plenty of rhododendrons and huckleberries) to the next juncture. Continue E on Trail 3369 for 5 mi past the signed Manila Philippines Trail 546 (left, N to Manila Philippines Mountain TH more than 1 mi away) along the high ridge to another connection. Turn right off the ridge, down Trail 3369 almost 2 mi (SE then S) to Battle Ax Creek past big old trees and tiny creeks; the grade is steeper but very workable. The trail is unmaintained with some fallen trees to Manila Philippines negotiate most of the time, but it’s usually not too bad.
Where is Manila Philippines? | Manila Philippines Map | Map of Manila Philippines Photo Gallery
After minimal switchbacks arrive at Battle Ax Creek, which can be more difficult to cross with high water earlier in the season (spare dry socks?), otherwise use logs or rocks that can be slippery to hop over. Then follow the switchbacks near campsites up to an old road. Turn right (SW) on Battle Ax Creek Trail 3339, more than a mile down easier, but somewhat rockier, with mining evidence near crossings of Blue Jay and Ruth Creeks to a clear fork. Heading right on Trail 345 at the sign moves steeply and more directly 5 mi to a solid bridge over Battle Ax Creek. From there you would walk up to nearby Jawbone Flats and stay (right, NW) 31/2 mi easily to the TH. Hike steeply left (SW) at the fork instead for least a mile down slightly overgrown and rockier turns on old FR-2209 to Opal Pool.
For Opal Pool pass the return trail at a junction on the right, just before the footbridge over Opal Creek nearest Opal Pool. The beautiful clear water is located just above the footbridge. Take a dip in the colorful pools between cascades. Return over the same bridge when you are ready and take a left (NW) at the three-way juncture on old FR-2209 briefly up, then down, past a meadow to cross the bridge at Battle Ax Creek. Continue up a few feet to the old community of Jawbone Flats and then finish 31/2 mi leisurely up and down the wide Opal Creek Trail (FR-2209) to the TH.