A Five Falls Loop at Silver Falls State Park
I hadn’t been to Silver Falls State Park in almost 20 years, somewhat pathetic considering it is Oregon’s largest state park at 9000 acres. The park boasts many waterfalls, and one hike connects most of the big ones. I headed there this afternoon to see some of these falls. I didn’t have time for the entire Trail of Ten Falls, but I created a loop hike of my own that visited 5 falls. In the early afternoon I parked at the North Falls Trailhead. The small lot was close to full, so I felt lucky to get a spot.
My first waterfall was Upper North Falls. It is less than a quarter mile up a spur trail that is virtually flat. The falls are 65 feet high in broad punchbowl formation. It’s not the most dramatic waterfall, but it is very pretty setting, and the large pool below was surely tempting for the swimming-inclined.
Downhill the trail splits, and I opted for the Canyon Trail rather than the Rim Trail, on which I would later return. Shortly there was a view from above of the North Falls. It is a good sized beast at 136 feet, and the trail starts higher than the top Thus I found myself descending a considerable set of stairs a switchback before sliding behind the falls. Way behind. Approximately 50-60 feet of horizontal rock extend overhead from the trail as I gawked at the falls. Not too shabby. That’s when my camera died. Brilliant. I took only mediocre cell phone shots from there to the end.
I spend some time at North falls, then motored onward. There is a junction a bit over a mile down the fern and fir coated canyon. For now, I moved past, barely spying the relatively diminutive Twin Falls around a rocky corner. I opted to continue to Middle North Falls and was pleased with the choice. The main trail did not go behind the falls, but a side trail did, and only a few people wandered down there, making it a very peaceful setting. After relaxing and enjoying the views for a while, I retraced my steps to the last junction from there. The side trail climbed a side drainage to the barely-there Winter Falls. A short distance above that, Above that, I veered left on the Rim Trail, which headed to the North Falls Trailhead through a beautiful forest with a couple of great views toward North Falls. Another great afternoon in the woods.
Posted on June 14, 2015, in Flora and Fauna, General Hiking, Waterfalls and tagged Easy hikes near Portland, Northwest Oregon hikes, Oregon State Parks, Silver Falls State Park. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.