Tag Archives: Silver Falls State Park

Silver Falls State Park- Trail Of Ten Falls (Winter)

Directions: Take I-205 to exit 10 and drive South on Highway 213. Follow signs to Silverton, once in Silverton get on Highway 214. Take Highway 214 for about 14 miles to the South Falls Lodge parking area.

We did this hike on a very rainy weekend. All of the waterfalls were very full which was great to see! There are park maps at the pay station area, they are nice to have so you know which waterfalls are coming up. You can do the large loop that takes you to all 10 waterfalls, or you can do just a few. There are three trailhead areas, each have multiple waterfalls within just a few miles.

All of the trails are very well marked with easy to read signs. The trails are all fairly wide, with packed dirt and rocky in areas. There are a few bridges and two areas with long and pretty steep staircases. You can walk behind multiple waterfalls as well, so there’s a good chance you will get a little wet in the warmer months, or soaked in the wet months.

      

Since this is such a straightforward hike we’ll just post some pictures of the highlights. We have done this hike in other season, winter is definitely our favorite so far. The waterfalls and creek were so full and it was a lot less crowded.

      

      

      

Distance: 7.5 miles (if you want to see all of the waterfalls)

Elevation: 1,200 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Pet Friendly: Dogs are not allowed on MOST of the trails.

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: $5 entrance fee

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes

Overall: This is one of Oregon’s best State Parks!

Winter Hikes

Winter

Winter can be a great time to get out and hike. The trails aren’t very busy, water levels are nice and full, and the crisp air is refreshing. 

Here are a few of our favorite hikes that are great for the winter season. Clicking on the links will take you to a more detailed post with directions.

Mt. Tabor: This well maintained city park is a great choice on those chilly days where you want to get out for a quick hike.

Wahclella Falls: This waterfall is at it’s best when it’s nice and full. Just be careful, the trail can get a little icy if we’ve had low temps.

Bayocean Spit: Located in the Tillamook area, this hike is a nice option on those cold but clear winter days. It would also be a great beachcombing hike after a winter storm.

Silver Falls State Park: This trail of 10 waterfalls is a State Park so the trails are always well maintained. You won’t have to worry about running into trail damage after a winter storm.

Little Zigzag Falls: This short hike is a nice addition to any snowshoeing or skiing activities you have planned this winter.

Powell Butte: Great year-round hike that’s in SE Portland.

Hug Point Falls: Good option for those rainy days. It’s a quick walk to a small beach waterfall.

**Frozen Gorge Waterfalls: If we end up having an extended period of freezing weather, you should definitely check out some of the waterfalls that are just off the Old Highway. Here are some frozen waterfalls we saw in 2013 and 2014.

We hope everyone has a great time enjoying winter in Oregon!

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Silver Falls State Park (Trail Of Ten Falls) (Autumn)

Directions: Take I-205 to exit 10 and drive South on Highway 213. Follow signs to Silverton, once in Silverton get on Highway 214. Take Highway 214 for about 14 miles to the South Falls Lodge parking area.

To see our first post click here.

We got here right when the park opened this time (8:00am) which was a really good idea. There was only a few other cars and we didn’t have to fight through crowds at all of the waterfalls. We started the loop at South Falls this time which is near the lodge and bathrooms.

To start this hike take the paved path past the bathroom and around the lodge. You will soon come to an intersection. Go left and downhill switching back once and you will reach South Falls. This is probably the most popular waterfall in the park and with good reason. The trail continues on as you walk behind the waterfall and downhill to a bridge. Crossing the bridge will take you back up to the parking area, so instead stay straight on the trail as you hike along the South Fork of Silver Creek. Soon you will come to a long staircase that switches back down to Lower South Falls. This is the second of four waterfalls that you’ll be walking behind. Continue on the trail and you will soon switch to following along the North Fork of Silver Creek, this is probably the prettiest section of the creek. The fall colors were beautiful in this area.

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Soon you’ll reach a few stairs that take you down to a bridge over the creek. Just a short distance later you’ll come to Lower North Falls. It’s a shorter waterfall but still very pretty. The next waterfall, Double Falls, comes quickly and you need to take a short side trail off to your left. Unfortunately with the unseasonably warm weather we’ve had lately this waterfall was barely trickling. Head back out to the main trail and cross a small bridge, a short distance later you’ll come to a viewing platform for Drake Falls. It’s not the most spectacular compared to all the others and you can’t get a very good look at it from the platform.

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Continuing on another quarter mile will bring you to Middle North Falls. This waterfall looked so different from our last trip, it’s usually a wide curtain waterfall, this time it was maybe a quarter of it’s normal width. There is a side trail that will take you behind this waterfall but dead ends. It’s definitely worth the minimal effort. Soon after this waterfall you’ll come to a trail intersection. Stay straight towards Twin Falls which you’ll reach in a little less than a half mile. Twin Falls is the other waterfall that isn’t much to look at, if you can even get a good look. It does mark the roughly halfway point in the loop though.

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From Twin Falls continue on, making sure you stay on the lower trail (canyon trail) towards North Falls. You’ll be hiking for a little over a mile, the first half isn’t very spectacular but the trail does get better and before you know it you’ll be at North Falls. This is another tall waterfall that has a great walk-behind trail. We actually decided to sit at one of the benches behind the waterfall and eat lunch, we definitely recommend this- you can’t beat the view! Continue on past North Falls and you’ll come to your last set of stairs as you climb up to a great view of North Falls below!

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A short distance later you’ll come to the North Falls parking area, go straight and under the bridge you’ll see a sign for Upper North Falls. This is the waterfall we missed last time, we’re SO glad we saw it this time. It’s our favorite out of all ten waterfalls! The side trail is a little over a quarter mile and ends at two stairs that take you down to the wide open creek area with a beautiful view of Upper North Falls. Make sure you look downstream too it’s very pretty! When you’re finished head back out to the main trail and go uphill towards Winter Falls.

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In about a mile you will reach a parking area and the side trail down to Winter Falls. We were a little bummed that the last waterfall on our loop was also barely flowing, more like dripping. This weather hasn’t been good on the waterfalls! Head back up to the main trail and in about a mile you’ll be back to the Lodge and parking area.

The most noticeable change was the water levels. Even though it’s mid-October the waterfalls were almost lower than summer level. We definitely recommend late fall through spring as a good time to visit.

All of the fall colors were amazing though and make sure you get there as early as possible. It’s a much nicer experience without a million people around.

Click here to see the Silver Falls State Park website for more information.

Distance: 7.5 miles

Elevation: 1,200 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Pet Friendly: Dogs are NOT allowed on most trails.

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: $5 entrance fee

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes, especially summer weekends.

Overall: Can’t beat seeing 10 waterfalls on one hike!

Fall Hikes

Happy Fall!

Fall is our favorite season to hike. The weather is great (rain included), the colors are beautiful, and there are no mosquitoes!

We made a list of some of our favorite fall hikes. If you click on the links they will take you to the post and give you more detail and directions.

Hoyt Arboretum: This hike is all about the fall colors! With all the different trees you definitely get quite the show. 

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Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden: This is a great option for families. Lots of ducks that will entertain kids and nice well maintained trails. It’s also free during the off season which is Labor Day through February!

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Milo McIver State Park: All the different trail options on this hike are nice because you can get back to your car relatively quickly if it starts raining too hard.

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Angels Rest: We love hiking up to Angels Rest in the Fall. It’s a fairly steep hike so the cooler weather makes in a little easier. It’s also much less crowded!

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Rooster Rock Loop: Another great option for fall colors. Plus with gloomier weather we were able to see a Pygmy Owl!

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Beacon Rock: We have been to Beacon Rock many times but last year we decided to try it out on a foggy day. It was actually pretty fun! The fog gave the trail a slightly spooky vibe and there were barely any people.

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Silver Falls State Park: Fall colors are the only thing that can make a trail with 10 waterfalls even better!

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Pup Creek Falls: This hike should be done in mild weather.

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Kiyokawa Family Orchards: Fall apple picking!

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 Have fun hiking in the wonderful fall weather!

Silver Falls State Park (Spring)

Directions: Take  205 to exit 10 and drive south on Oregon 213. Turn left on to Highway 214 and drive 14 miles to the Silver Falls State Park. Park in the South Falls Lodge area.

Silver Falls is a very popular year-round hiking destination, so pack your patience.

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We chose to hike this trail “backwards” so we could save the most popular waterfall for last. Some of the trails were undergoing maintenance and we completely missed one waterfall on accident, so we were able to see 8 of the 10 waterfalls. We were on a bit of a time crunch which led us to not pay as close attention. From the parking area we headed towards Winter Falls and followed the loop from there.  This is pretty much a park-and-go hike that doesn’t need much explanation. You follow along Silver Creek almost the whole way, crossing the creek a few times over nice bridges. The trails area loaded with huge trees and there are two areas with pretty steep staircases. All of the trails are well maintained and clearly marked. Make sure you get a trail map before you head out, it’s a really good map and has pictures.

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Here’s a few highlights from the hike…

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Distance: 6 miles

Elevation: 1,200 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Pet Friendly: No. Dogs are not allowed on most trails.

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: $5 entrance fee.

Seasons: All

Popular: Very

Overall: This place is great…even with the crowds.