This post will be short and sweet… on words anyway. While planning my route back to my home state of Washington I discovered a place in Oregon that I was amazed I’d never heard of, especially since I grew up only a few hours away. Silver Falls State Park is a waterfall lovers paradise! It is located about 25 miles east of Salem, only an hour drive from Portland.
The entire park is lovely, but the main attraction is the Trail of Ten Falls. You can hike all or part of it, but in order to see all ten of these magnificent falls you’ll cover 8.7 miles of easy to moderate hiking on a series of several trails.
Unfortunately my arrival at Silver Falls coincided with a heavy rain that is typical to the northwest in the spring. I set up camp in the mud and rain and hunkered down for the night hoping the weather would clear by morning. It didn’t. If anything it was raining even harder and was predicted to do so far days.
So… after a quick wet walk with the dogs I tucked them back in the motorhome and drove to the trailhead. There I donned rain pants, rain jacket, backpack, and… to protect my gear… a big poncho. With camera in one hand and tripod in the other I set out down the soggy wet trail.
This is what I found…
South Falls- 177′ (The trail takes you behind this waterfall)
The entire trail system follows along both the north and south fork of Silver Creek. There’s an obvious reason the forest is so lush and green, and I was walking in it! The rain that is, in addition to the forest.
I came upon very few people and this one little Rough-skinned Newt during my entire hike. All other creatures were seemingly wise enough to stay someplace warm and dry.
Lower South Falls, 93′ (again the trail leads behind the fall)
Lower North Falls, 30′
Double Falls, (upper barely showing) the two combined are a total of 178′
Drake Falls, 27′
Middle North Falls, 106′ (there is a short separate trail that takes you behind this fall as well)
Winter Falls, 134′
Upper North Falls, 65′
North Falls, 136′. Of all of the falls I think this was my favorite. The trail leads to a large cavernous space behind the falls and beyond to a wonderfully climactic view of my final fall.
Even in the pouring rain hiking these trails was a rewarding experience, and one I would recommend to anyone who lives in the northwest or has plans of traveling there. Personally, I hope to find my way back to enjoy it all over again… on a warm sunny day.
From Silver Falls I continued my trek to Washington for some down time with family and friends. While there I left Jazzy and Sadie in the loving care of my mother and step-father and hopped a plane to Texas to visit Elissa and many friends. Together Elissa and I did a three day road trip to my 48th and final continental US state since my journey began! That story is up next!!!!