Oregon has only one national park (that is unforgettable though: Crater Lake), but that doesn’t mean it lacks natural beauties. It has a breathtaking wild ocean coast and numerous mountains and state parks – a paradise for outdoor lovers. And if you are fond of waterfalls as much as we do you would fall in love with Silver Falls State Park at first glance.
Trail of Ten Falls
Even the name of Silver Falls State Park sounded tempting (it contains the world waterfall, right?), but as soon as I read that there’s a trail with 10 waterfalls in this park, it was decided that we should hike there. It’s not very common to see so many waterfalls during a relatively short hike neither walking behind a waterfall and guess what, Silver Falls State Park offers both!
I think the biggest waterfall is South Falls with its 177 feet (54 meters) and it’s one of those you can walk behind – right at the South Falls Lodge Trailhead.
How to access the trailhead
There’s two entrances to the park and both of them are good starting points for the Trail of Ten Falls which is the main attraction of the park. We started our hike at South Falls Lodge Trailhead and this entrance offers a significantly bigger parking lot than the north one. So our end point was Upper North Falls where we turned back to walk by all the waterfalls again.
You can choose a different trail on the way back if you want, but we had no objections against seeing the lovely waterfalls again. I would estimate it as a moderate half day hike, but it’s not hard to make it a day hike including some longer rest stops and picnic (at one of the lovely waterfalls which I can’t shut up about).
The best time to visit
The best time to visit is definitely spring, because the waterfalls are supposed to have a lot of water that time. We visited in July though and still most of the falls had water, only the twin falls were dried out
Where to stay
The park is really close to Portland (about 1,5 hour drive), so it’s a perfect candidate for a Portland day trip. We stayed in a motel in the small town of Silverton which was only 30 minutes drive from the trailhead. Anyway, finding cheap accommodation in any of the nearby towns or in Portland shouldn’t be hard. But be prepared that Silver Falls State Park is busier than you think (those lovely waterfalls should have something to do with it, I guess…).
Summary of all the details
- Trailhead: South Falls Lodge Trailhead
- Length: about 8-9 miles roundtrip
- Difficulty: moderate
Do you like waterfall hikes? Which is your favorite?