Operated by Oregon State Parks, Silver Falls State Park is 9,000 acres of Oregon paradise. There are over 25 miles for hiking, biking and horses. (Restrictions apply to Silver Creek Canyon). The South Falls area includes the South Falls Lodge & Café and the Nature Store operated by the Friends of Silver Falls.
The famous Trail of Ten Falls provides plenty of opportunity for hiking, exploration and meditation. There are three distinctive trailheads: South Falls, Winter Falls, North Falls. The entire trail loop is 8.7 miles. The falls range in height from 27 feet to 178 feet. There are plenty of places to stop for a break or take pictures. It is truly a must-see park when visiting Oregon.
Directions: Drive South on I-5. Take Exit 253, turning East on Highway 22. Go east from Salem a few miles and take the Exit 7 off-ramp. At the stop sign turn left and go under Highway 22, then follow the signs. The park is located on Highway 214. Approx. 24 miles from Salem, Oregon.
Day Use Fee: $5.00 or Free with Camping Receipt
Courtesy of Oregon State Parks
Nestled in the lower elevation of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains lies a temperate rain forest. It is here that the can be found. The Canyon Trail and the falls descend to a forest floor covered with ferns, mosses, and wildflowers. You will also find stands of Douglas fir, hemlock, and cedar. While thousands visit the park every year, it is large enough for you to find quiet places to sit and watch for birds.
At Silver Falls, you will find unique group camping areas like the Old and New Ranch buildings, Silver Creek Youth Camp, North Falls trailer and tent areas, RV, cabin and tent camping in the overnight campground.
Photo Credit: SkiAnything.com 2011
We have been trying to get back to travelling the country. Unfortunately, we are still here in Oregon for a little while longer. In the meantime we have decided to explore the beautiful country in our backyard. Today we made the trip south to Silver Falls State Park.
At first I was worried it would be a miserable day. Cloudy, overcast, light mist…typical Oregon. However the further we drove up the mountain, the less “wet” it became. By the time we parked at the North Falls Trailhead the mist was pretty much done. I was still worried about my camera getting wet, so we found a plastic bag to keep it dry.
3/10 mile from the parking lot the trail goes descends 77 steps. The final descent takes you behind the North Falls where you can rest in a large cutout in the rocks. The noise is roaring. AMAZING. Definitely amazing. It measures 136 feet barreling down onto a pile of boulders before joining North Silver Fall Creek.
The view looking at the falls.
The view from behind the falls.
The lower part of the North Falls
After the North Falls we walked almost a mile. There we stumbled upon the Twin Falls. Here the creek tumbles 31 feet over rocks and trees, splitting into two beautiful cascades.
The simple and beautiful Twin Falls.
Continuing along the trail another 3/10 mile we reached the Winter Falls Trail. We did not opt to visit these falls today as it would add an extra mile to our hike.
Another 2/10 mile later we stopped to see the Middle North Falls. The water drops here 106 feet to a hazardous pool below. There is a small trail that will take you behind the falls. It CAN be very slippery, and WET. The water splashes onto the trail as it falls. The power and noise is exhilarating. I took too many photos here of the water falling. So BEAUTIFUL!
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the back of the falls.
See to the left, that is where the water splashes.
After stopping for a break, we headed for the smallest falls, Drake Falls; it tumbles 27 feet. There is a small deck platform to observe the falls. Because I was using my larger lens today and the angle was funky, I could not record the full length of the falls.
We were surprised to discover a small path winding along Hullt Creek to Double Falls. This was my favorite from today. Double Falls is the largest in the park, dropping 178 feet.
About 1/10 mile from there we reached Lower North Falls. Dropping 30 feet into the North Silver Falls Creek, I was unable to get a good picture (again due to my lens and the angle from the path).
At this point the kids were done and we were ready to head back to the car. For some strange reason it was more work to hike back to the car. Something about going up hill…up 77 stairs…just made my buns hurt! I remarked to my sister that at least I completed my 30 minutes of exercise for the day. That’s a good thing because on the way home we stopped for Subway. And I rewarded my 2 weeks of good eating with a chocolate muffin. I’ll pay for it tonight!
Hope you enjoyed the pictures. If you’re in the area, stop by the park!