Opal Wilderness A-frame Cabin | Oregon

Just east of Salem in a forest of old growth trees, flows the Santiam River. Clear turquoise waters , grey mossy boulders & fern covered grounds. It’s kind of a secret, perhaps, because we hardly saw any people the week we were there. It’s serene and one of the most beautiful rivers I have ever seen.

This Airbnb has been on my wish list for a few years, so it was a dream come true and we cannot wait to return! The a-frame cabin was perfectly located on the little north fork road with so many areas to explore. There were a few campgrounds as well, right on the river.

Lyons, the nearest town, doesn’t have much, not even a grocery store. So bring everything you could possibly need, coffee, ketchup, all those little things are more difficult to come by so stop in Salem before you head east. Mill city is a bit closer to Lyons than Salem, about 15 minutes away and there is a Select Market there & a few restaurants, but plan on settling into this cozy cabin and making all your meals.

The more we travel with Ivy, the more I realize how important home base is for us. When the rental has a view, room to play and just feels good, like we could just hang out there all day and still feel like we’re having fun, then I know it will be a good trip. Before kids we never spent much time at the rentals, just to sleep basically, always exploring, so I didn’t put a lot of time into finding that just right place…a bed and mini fridge was good enough. Now that we need to take things slower, have a nap, make meals and have time to rest and be together, Im finding that putting an emphasis on the rental and it’s proximity to the areas we want to explore is the most important because it sets the tone for me (when mama’s happy everyones happy) and we can all relax and have a good time even if we are not out and about.

The most memorable parts of this trip were in the cabin. Even though it was August I couldn’t help but keep the wood stove burning. We were always swimming, so the warmth felt good and there’s just nothing like the smell and feel of a wood fire. We star gazed in the hot tub with the sounds of the river below, it was truly magic. I couldn’t even remember the last time I actually took time to look up at the stars.

We stayed here Ivy is still talking about the ‘treehouse’!

Our favorite swimming spots were Three Pools and Salmon Falls. We swam in three pools after everyone had left and the sun was barely there. We felt like mermaids and it will be something I never forget.

There is town called Jawbone Flats at the Opal Wilderness TH, you can hike three miles to the town, population 10. 10! And stay in these cute cabins there as well. Maybe when Ivy can handle a longer hike we will get to explore more of the wilderness. The forest there was really beautiful.

If you’re visiting Oregon, Silver Falls is only 40ish minutes away!


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