Silver Falls State Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Upper North Falls has a great plunge pool
    Upper North Falls has a great plunge...
    by richiecdisc
  • Area  Below the Falls Swimming hole?
    Area Below the Falls Swimming hole?
    by GuthrieColin
  • Lower Shellburg Falls
    Lower Shellburg Falls
    by GuthrieColin

Best Rated Off The Beaten Path in Silver Falls State Park

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    be sure to cross the road and under the bridge

    by richiecdisc Written Oct 21, 2009

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    Upper North Falls has a great plunge pool

    Though not really on the path of the main Trail of the Ten Waterfalls, Upper North Falls is part of the ten and well worth the short detour to get to them. They are often overlooked since you have to cross the road and go under a bridge to reach them. But for those who do, they are met not only with one of the more thunderous waterfalls on the trail but a nice 65 foot curtain of water rushing into one of the better and certainly most accessible plunge pools. When we were there, a family was enjoying taking a dip and we were jealous we hadn't brought or worn our swim suits.

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    Shellburg Falls

    by GuthrieColin Updated Jul 27, 2008

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    Shellburg Falls Base
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    Shellburg Falls is a very scenic 100 foot (30 meter) plunge into a deeply undercut gorge. Like many waterfalls in the area the harder volcanic layers above volcanic ash and other deposits has created the much lauded cavern behind the falls. There are also signs which suggest that the area is used for educational purposes, likely for geology or plant studies.
    This waterfall is a very easy and short hike but driving to the trailhead can be a very confusing mess. There are no less than 8 signs that point the direction to the falls but the return trip could easily get even more confusing. Another set back is the quality of the road which is very poor I believe that this road has some of the worst washboard that I have ever traveled on.

    Directions:
    From Salem take Hwy 22 for about 22 miles to the town of Mehama. Turn left on Wagner road and follow for about 2 miles and the turn left on a road marked with a brown sign. Continue on that road following the brown signs for about 3 more miles to the point where the gate prevents further access. The trail to the falls is on the right side and is about 1/4 mile

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    Upper Butte Creek Falls

    by GuthrieColin Updated Jul 27, 2008

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    Upper Butte Creek Falls
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    Upper Butte Creek Falls is one very photogenic waterfall. At about 22 feet (7 meters) tall it is certainly a much smaller waterfall than many in the area. It is however very interesting.
    The falls have a large undercut cave that includes the pool beneath the falls. The rock face that the falls goes over is also very flat which creates a very well defined wall of water as it is viewed from the side and underneath.

    Directions:
    From Scotts Mill, OR (East of Silverton) drive south on Crooked finger Rd for 9.6 miles to the end of the pavement and then go 2 miles to a road on the left. Go another two miles on that road and follow the signs to the easily recognizable trailhead. The hike is less than 1 mile round trip.

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    Butte Creek Falls

    by GuthrieColin Updated Jul 27, 2008

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    Butte Creek Falls
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    Butte Creek Falls is certainly the tallest waterfall along the Butte Creek system. At 85 feet (26 meters) the falls is quite impressive. A large tree has fallen across the front of the falls which creates an interesting view.
    More so than many waterfalls I have seen this waterfall is extremely easy to view. A ridge runs opposite the falls and the trail follows this line. From there you may descend the rest of the way to the base of the falls and the pool below.
    I have some suspicions that the lower sections of this fall and the main part may be a good place to go swimming and maybe even cliff jumping in the summer. I would wait till the depth of the pools was known and a very warm day however since the water is very cold.

    Directions:
    From Scotts Mill, OR (East of Silverton) drive south on Crooked finger Rd for 9.6 miles to the end of the pavement and then go 2 miles to a road on the left. Go another two miles on that road and follow the signs to the easily recognizable trailhead. The hike is less than 1 mile round trip.

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    McKay Falls

    by GuthrieColin Updated Sep 17, 2008

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    McKay Falls
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    McKay Falls is only about 14 feet (4 meters) tall and is more of a pit stop than a final destination. It is located in a small park and has also been altered by a dam which was constructed above its crest.
    Visiting the falls and park would be good to do on a more cloudy day since the beauty is lost in the sun. It does also have a grassy area and a playground for the younger ones.

    Directions:
    From Silverton, OR drive north on SR 213 for 5 miles to Mt. Angel Scotts Mill Rd. Turn right and follow for about 2.5 miles to Crooked finger Rd then go Right and about two blocks further turn left into the park.

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    Stasel Falls

    by GuthrieColin Written Jul 27, 2008

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    Stasel Falls
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    At 125 feet (38 meters) Stasel Falls is likely the tallest waterfall in the Shellburg falls area. It is however the most difficult to view. The falls have undercut the rock face and created a large boulder that is detached from the face by appx. 10 feet (3 meters) and looks to be very unstable. If the falls were more accessible I’m sure it would be more popular but the access to the bottom seems fairly difficult.
    There are no less than 8 signs that point the direction to Shellburg falls but the return trip could easily get even more confusing. Another set back is the quality of the road which is very poor I believe that this road has some of the worst washboard that I have ever traveled on.

    Directions:
    From Salem take Hwy 22 for about 22 miles to the town of Mehama. Turn left on Wagner road and follow for about 2 miles and the turn left on a road marked with a brown sign. Continue on that road following the brown signs for about 3 more miles to the last sharp turn in the road before reaching the gate that prevents further access. From there hike along an overgrown road for about 1/4 mile.

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    Lower Shellburg Falls

    by GuthrieColin Written Jul 27, 2008

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    Lower Shellburg Falls
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    Lower Shellburg Falls is more of a reference point than a point of interest. The falls are about 40 feet (12 meters) tall but the way the canyon is oriented good views take effort to find. The falls also suffer a very severe problem with sunlight hitting them directly during the day so visit the falls on an overcast day.
    There are no less than 8 signs that point the direction to the falls but the return trip could easily get even more confusing. Another set back is the quality of the road which is very poor I believe that this road has some of the worst washboard that I have ever traveled on.

    Directions:
    From Salem take Hwy 22 for about 22 miles to the town of Mehama. Turn left on Wagner road and follow for about 2 miles and the turn left on a road marked with a brown sign. Continue on that road following the brown signs for about 3 more miles to the point where the gate prevents further access. From that point the falls are heard just beyond the gate.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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Silver Falls State Park Off The Beaten Path

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