From Salem, OR in the west, take North Santiam Highway 22 (follow the sign that says to Detroit Lake) for 23 miles to the town of Mehama and the second flashing yellow light at the Swiss Village Restaurant. Take a left here onto Little North Fork Road and go 14.8 miles on the paved road until it changes to gravel. Continue straight on this road until it ends at the gated Opal Creek parking area. Park at the locked gate and continue up the road a quarter mile past the Gold Creek Bridge. On your left (north) take trail 3369 that climbs up an old road towards Whetstone Mountain.
A mile up this road there is a fork. To the right is the Whetstone Mountain trail, which will take you to a secluded lookout site on top of Whetstone Mountain. This trail switchbacks MANY times as you climb up the west ridge. After the switchbacks you traverse the ridge climbing gently. Unfortunately you do lose some elevation in a saddle that you have to make up about a mile before the summit. After hiking about 4.5 miles on trail 3369, you reach a steep side trail heading to the top of Whetstone Mountain. Though the lookout is gone foundation piers and a little broken glass mark the site.
Nothing speacial needed for summer climbs. Bring plenty of water, no sources along trail.
For winter climbs, take snowshoes and maybe trekking poles with snow baskets.
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