Silver Falls State Park Things to Do

  • Pano view from behind the Falls with the cavern
    Pano view from behind the Falls with the...
    by mtncorg
  • November rains fill the creek and the falls
    November rains fill the creek and the...
    by mtncorg
  • View from behind the waterfall
    View from behind the waterfall
    by mtncorg

Most Recent Things to Do in Silver Falls State Park

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Twin Falls - 31 feet (9.5 meters) drop

    by glabah Updated Feb 10, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While Twin Falls is certainly not a true twin side-by-side waterfall, it is reasonably close to being one. The channel on the north side of the stream is usually the primary channel, and usually has a bit more water flowing through it. Sometimes, if logs get caught in the stream, this may be reversed.

    From North Falls, simply go downstream on the Canyon Trail. Twin Falls is before you get to the junction with the trail to Winter Falls. From Winter Falls, take the trail to the base of Winter Falls, and continue until it joins the Canyon Trail, then head upstream (right) on the Canyon Trail. From South Falls, take the Canyon Trail, or the Maple Ridge Trail to the Canyon Trail.

    From the Group Camping Area on the north side of Silver Falls State Park, take the only trail downhill to the Canyon Trail, as this trail joins the Canyon Trail right at Twin Falls.

    Twin Falls from Canyon Trail, November of 2004 Twin Falls from Canyon Trail, February 2, 2009 Twin Falls seen through the trees February 2, 2009 Twin Falls seen through the trees February 2, 2009 Double Falls in October 2004, when full of water
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    South Falls - 177 feet high (54 meters high)

    by glabah Written Feb 10, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Of the water falls in Silver Falls State Park, South Falls is probably the most visited. This is because it is in the main picnic and recreational center of the park, and therefore there are more people around to see it.

    The trail between the observation area and the parking lot is paved and fairly smooth, but if you try to get closer to the falls the trail does become a bit rough.

    The Canyon Trail continues behind the falls, and eventually goes into the canyon created by the South Fork of Silver Creek. Eventually you will come to Lower South Falls, which in the winter may be closed at a common washout area, just before the falls.

    If the Canyon Trail is open all the way through, you have several options:

    You can continue on this trail to Winter Falls or North Falls, and pass several other major and minor water falls in the process.

    You can also take the Maple Ridge Trail directly back to the South Falls parking area.

    South Falls is popular photo spot in Silver Falls
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Rim Trail: walk along the top edge of canyon

    by glabah Updated Feb 9, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As the name suggests, the Rim Trail runs along the top of the canyon created by the North Fork of Silver Creek. It thus forms a walking connection between South Falls and North Falls that requires little elevation gain. The entire length of the trail, however, does not run along the edge of the canyon. The trail runs along the edge of the canyon between Winter Falls and North Falls. Between Winter Falls and South Falls, the trail is in dense forest.

    There are a number of places where this trail could be a bit hazardous as it truly does run along the edge of the canyon rim.

    Unfortunately, the trail also runs very close to Highway 214, which is quite busy and noisy. While quite a bit longer in length, a much more pleasant route between North Falls and South Falls would be to use the Perimeter Trail. However, doing this also avoids the great view of North Falls visible between the trees along the trail.

    view deep into North Fork of Silver Creek from rim North Falls from Rim Trail: note steep trail edge the Rim Trail is close to the edge of the canyon Almost all of the Rim Trail is within dense forest
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Jungle and Rain Forest

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Canyon Trail - trail along the stream by falls

    by glabah Updated Feb 9, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Walking along the Canyon Trail is the only way to see a number of the falls in Silver Falls State Park. The canyon is deep and sunlight seldom reaches the canyon. Many places never see sunlight at all.

    The trail runs east-west along the North Fork of Silver Creek, and north-south along the South Fork of Silver Creek. The north end of the trail is at North Falls and the south end of the trail is at South Falls, forming an approximate upside down L shape. The total length of the trail is about 4 miles from one end to the other.

    It is possible to make a loop, approximately 7 to 10 miles or more in length, depending on what other alternative trails are used to create the loop. Most people who walk the entire loop use the shortest path to complete the loop, which is the Rim Trail along the top of the canyon, which creates an approximately 7 mile long trail loop, depending on how many branch trails and the Winter Trail cutoff is done. It is also possible to use the Perimeter Trail or Maple Ridge Trail or one of the several unmarked fire roads to create variations of this loop.

    In the summer, the canyon offers a failry cool environment, but this is also when the park is at its peak in terms of summer visitors. Also, the views of the falls are somewhat more limited due to the amount of vegetation being greater in the summer months.

    The Photos:

    Photo 1 shows a typical location of the trail along the North Fork of Silver Creek. The canyon is deep and steep, and runs east to west. Therefore, sunlight rarely gets a chance to shine into the canyon. This is particularly the case in winter. However, the bare trees allow for better viewing of the waterfalls and creeks, and there is more water in the falls. Therefore, there are many advantages to visiting the park in winter.

    Photo 2 shows the North Fork of Silver Creek near approximately 1/4 of a mile (half a km) from the base of North Falls.

    Photo 3 shows a bridge over the North Fork of Silver Creek, with a deep but clear pool downstream from the bridge. This is about 1 mile from the base of Lower South Falls.

    As you can see in Photo 4, in some locations winter sunlight does enter the canyon. It is, however, only in a very few locations.

    Along with the 10 major waterfalls, most of which you can see from the Canyon Trail, there are several dozen unnamed waterfalls in the park. Photo 5 shows just one such waterfall on the North Fork of Silver Creek.

    Canyon Trail along the North Fork of Silver Creek Canyon Trail: North Fork of Silver Creek in Winter bridge over North Fork of Silver Creek, north end Sunlight! North Fork of Silver Creek, Canyon Trail unnamed Silver Creek water fall and Canyon Trail
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Lower South Falls - 93 feet high (28 meters)

    by glabah Written Feb 7, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As one of the highest falls in Silver Falls State Park, Lower South Falls is a place people want to visit. Unfortunately, the results of a few bad apples have made this a little more difficult in recent years. At Lower South Falls, the Canyon Trail must switchback down the side of a cliff in order to get to the falls. Some people have shortcut through these areas, creating an erosion problem along this very steep cliff. The result of this erosion is a problem with frequent landslides which has made the entire trail segment subject to occasional closure.

    Despite these access problems, Lower South Falls is still a desirable place to visit if going to all of the water falls in the park is your goal.

    From South Falls, you can get there using the Canyon Trail, or if that is closed at the Lower South Falls staircase it is possible to take the Maple Ridge Trail from South Falls to a point on the Canyon Trail below Lower South Falls, and then take the Canyon Trail upstream to Lower South Falls.

    From North Falls, just continue on the Canyon Trail to the base of Lower South Falls.

    Lower South Falls from east side of canyon approaching Lower South Falls on Canyon Trail Canyon Trail going behind Lower South Falls Lower South Falls, July 2007: much less water here
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    North Falls - 136 feet (41.5 meters) high

    by glabah Updated Feb 7, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Immediately down stream from the North Falls parking lot, and somewhat further downstream from Upper North Falls, the North Fork of Silver Creek tumbles over another bassalt rock formation. North Falls, at 136 feet (41.5 meters) is over twice the height of Upper North Falls.

    This is the only falls in Silver Falls State Park that can be seen from a road. If you are heading south on Highway 214, just after passing the North Falls parking lot, there is a wide spot to the road with 15 minute time limits on it. This is the highway view point for North Falls.

    Another place to view the falls is the Canyon Trail. From the North Falls Parking Lot, follow the signs to the Canyon Trail, which winds down the side of the canyon, and eventually crosses to the other side of the stream by passing behind the water fall. This trail provides the closest view of the falls, but getting this close to the falls doesn't provide much of an overall scenery and waterfall view. Furthermore, in any time of year other than winter the view is a little harder due to the leaves on the trees.

    The Rim Trail provides another viewing opportunity that is much further away from the falls, and provides an excellent view of the falls and the surrounding forest as well. To get to this point from the North Falls parking lot, it is necessary to follow the Rim Trail (left fork in trail, then left fork in trail) and stay on the trail about 1/4 of a mile (less than half a km). You will come to an unmarked area where there are no trees blocking the view of North Falls.

    North Falls from Canyon Trail, approaching falls North Falls from Rim Trail, February 2, 2009 North Falls from Canyon Trail, behind the falls North Falls view from downstream on Canyon Trail under and north of North Falls, from Canyon Trail
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo

    South Falls Lodge

    by GuthrieColin Updated Jul 28, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The South Falls Lodge is one of the only developed areas of the park. It consists of a snack bar, gift shop, information booth, and meeting place. Most of the parking and visitors are located in the area directly surrounding the lodge.
    The Lodge was built by the famed Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930’s. South Falls Lodge was built using local materials like hand-cut stone, and cedar and fir peeled logs. Since then it has served as a restaurant and is now the center of park information and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Inside the South Falls Lodge South Falls Lodge South Falls Lodge Inside the South Falls Lodge South Falls Lodge
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo

    South Falls

    by GuthrieColin Updated Jul 28, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    South Falls is the signature piece of the park. Certainly it is the most impressive at a vertical 177 foot (54 meter) drop. The falls are most commonly photographed from the bottom on the opposing side of a very scenic looking bridge that in conjunction with several deciduous trees frame the falls nicely.
    This fall is very easy to get good views of and one can walk completely around the falls including behind and above them. In times when the park is busy this amphitheater will be completely crowded and it will be difficult to even get a photo of the falls without people in the shot.
    To get a more intimate experience arrive late in the day when the crowds have moved on or continue along the trail or through the park to one of the 9 other excellent falls in the park.

    South Falls South Falls Base South Falls Undercut South Falls and Gorge South Falls
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Adventure Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo

    Frenchie Falls

    by GuthrieColin Written Jul 27, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Frenchie falls is yet another piece of evidence that Americans hate French People. Why else would they name this extremely seasonal and quite boring stream “Frenchie Falls?” had it not been labeled I wouldn’t have given this waterfall a second look.
    It claims to be 48 feet (15 meters) tall but caries such a low volume it’s hardly even worth the 50 yard trail to the falls. I might consider taking a peek if the other falls were really flowing but any other time of the year I would suggest disregarding the sign and continuing along the trail to the base of South Falls.

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

    Was this review helpful?

  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo

    Lower South Falls

    by GuthrieColin Written Jul 27, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lower South Falls is one of the other highly visited waterfalls in the park. Its proximity to South falls no doubt has given it that appeal. At 93 feet (28 meters) the fall is one of the taller in the park but what makes this one interesting is that is it falls over a wide cliff face and you can walk behind it.
    I believe this may be one of the very excellent falls of the park and I would have enjoyed it much more had I visited at a time when it wasn’t completely bleached out in direct sunlight. Certainly visit this falls on an overcast day or in the evening after the sun has fell beneath the trees.

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

    Was this review helpful?

  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo

    Double Falls

    by GuthrieColin Written Jul 27, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Double Falls is the tallest waterfall in the park but you wouldn’t know it with how little known this fall is. At 178 feet (54 meters) it is just slightly taller than South Falls but does it in two drops.
    The falls is called Double Falls for the obvious reason there are 2 falls. The tallest of which is about 140 feet (43 meters) and ends by crashing into a talus of rocks.
    This waterfall is located on a tributary stream not on either fork or Silver Creek. The creek does suffer smaller volume than the main system but it does take on a fair amount of water especially in the spring.

    Double Falls Base of Double Falls
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Adventure Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo

    Lower North Falls

    by GuthrieColin Written Jul 27, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As a nice change from the plummeting waterfalls that the park is so well known for, this waterfall is a long cascading 30 foot (9 meter) waterfall which certainly gains more appeal in the periods of lower water. It is also located far enough down the trails that many of the crowds will not make it this far.
    It seems like many waterfalls end up gaining the nuisance logs that become lodged in their path. But after a while these logs become signature pieces. The log that has become stuck at this fall certainly adds to the overall scene.

    Lower north Falls Above Lower north Falls Lower North Falls
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo

    Drake Falls

    by GuthrieColin Written Jul 27, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Drake Falls is the shortest of the 6 falls along the North Fork of Silver Creek. At 27 feet (9 meters) it does have an interesting shape though. It is a double fall. The main thing to note about this fall is that it is likely the most difficult to get a good view of.
    There is a viewing platform which has been constructed but that platform does little to assist you in seeing it. Traversing down the hillside below the platform is the only to get a decent view and in that location there is a lot of exposure to an over 100 foot (30 meter) fall.
    The most interesting thing about the fall is who it was named after. June Drake was a local photographer that in the late 1800’s helped to bring publicity to the area with his photos of the falls that currently reside in the park.

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

    Was this review helpful?

  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo

    Middle North Falls

    by GuthrieColin Written Jul 27, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Middle North Falls is another one of my favorites from this park. It is much shorter, at 106 feet (32 meters), than the signature South Falls but what is lacks in height it more than makes up for in scenery.
    The trail down to the falls passes behind the cascade itself and then tumbles down a cascade into a very nice looking pool. From there making your way down to the streambed is a little tricky but certainly possible. I suspect that when it is very hot it may be a good place for a swim as well.
    This waterfall changes form dramatically from high to low water periods. In low water it is a delicate column and cascade but when the water levels rise it turns into a sheet of water which runs over a much wider breadth of the cliff top above. During that period it much more closely resembles Lower South Falls.

    Middle North Falls Middle North Falls Side Middle North Falls
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo

    Winter Falls

    by GuthrieColin Written Jul 27, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I found Winter Falls to be the least impressive of the 10 falls along the trail of 10 falls. It looses so much volume in the summer that it is essentially a trickling fall more than one that is impressive. Even late in the summer this may be a destination to see since it is on the way to Middle North Falls and many others on the Trail of 10 Falls.
    If you are visiting early in the summer when the water levels are higher you may find this to be a much more interesting waterfall. It has a decent height of 134 feet (41 meters) and takes on the familiar form where the water free falls for most of its descent then cascades down a talus at the base.

    Winter Falls with not much water
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Silver Falls State Park

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

30 travelers online now

Comments

Silver Falls State Park Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Silver Falls State Park things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Silver Falls State Park sightseeing.

View all Silver Falls State Park hotels