Silver Falls State Park Travel Guide

  • 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

Silver Falls State Park Things to Do

  • UPPER SOUTH FALLS

    The area around the Upper South Falls is the heart of the Park. Here are large picnic grounds, campgrounds, a conference center, café and gift shop as well as large parking areas. The South Fork of Silver Creek ambles through the grounds en route to its dramatic leap over the Upper South Falls. This is the most emblematic fall of the Ten within the...

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  • LOWER NORTH FALLS

    0.3 miles in the opposite direction from the parking lot on OR 214 - which is not a very large lot and will probably be filled on the weekends - going downstream along the North Fork of Silver Creek, you come to the glorious Lower North Falls. This waterfall is the most dramatic on the North Fork. It tumbles over basaltic cliffs and you can see the...

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  • Upper North Falls - 65 feet (20 meters)

    Upper North Falls is 65 feet (20 meters) tall and is the farthest west of the major waterfalls in Silver Falls State Park. The trail leading to it is almost completely level, and is only about 0.25 miles (less than half a kilometer) long.Despite the name, Upper North Falls is not the furthest north water fall in Silver Falls State Park. The name...

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  • Perimeter Trail: completing the loop...

    Not completed until approximately 2008, the Perimeter Trail completes a forest loop around the borders of Silver Falls State Park. This allows visitors to pass through a vast area of the park that before was relatively unknown to visitors.Most likely, it will still be relatively unknown to visitors. The trail has no water falls right now (though if...

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  • Go for a Hike! Enjoy the Waterfalls and...

    This is, after all, why you probably came all the way out to Silver Falls State Park to begin with. If you wanted to picnic, you could have done that in town! (Though the park has a really nice set of picnic facilities that are very popular in the summer months.)There are quite a number of different trails in the park, and several different loops...

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  • Trail of Ten Falls

    The trail of ten falls is the most popular draw of this park. It is a seven mile loop trail which passes 10 different waterfalls. The trail starts near the South Falls Lodge- which is a historic building and not a hotel- and descends in a series of steps to the bottom of the canyon.The first of the falls, Lower South Falls, is about a mile from the...

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  • Middle North Falls - 106 feet (32...

    Middle North Falls is set fairly far back from the Canyon Trail, and therefore a spur trail has been built over to the falls. However, this spur trail does not allow a very good view of this 106 foot (32 meter) tall drop in the North Fork of Silver Creek.The Canyon Trail (the main trail that runs along the North Fork of Silver Creek) really offers...

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  • North Falls

    Testament to the Trail of the Ten Waterfalls great design, it finishes with one of its best at the North Falls at the polar opposite end of where you began at South Falls. Though not quite as impressive from above as South Falls, North Falls biggest charm is in the cavernous cutout trail that goes not only behind it but forms a half circle in its...

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  • Upper & Lower South Falls

    While there are many waterfalls on the Trail of the Ten Waterfalls, the best are at polar ends of the loop hike. Some of the falls in between are more like cascades and surely others are a lot more impressive in times of high water. We did the hike in early July and undoubtedly the water level was not at its best. That said, the South Falls were...

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  • The Trail of the Ten Waterfalls

    There are 24 miles of trails in Silver Falls State Park but the big attraction here is The Trail of the Ten Waterfalls. This 8.7 mile trail has been designated a National Recreation Trail for good reason. It not only passes by ten very pretty waterfalls, it goes through a beautiful section of lush temperate rain forest that will leave you falling...

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  • Picnic Areas

    While you can picnic just about anywhere, Silver Falls State Park is located in an area that is sort of a suburb of state forest and national forest land. So, there is the potential of this being a bit of a wilderness experience during the right time of year.However, the sad thing is that the park has become so popular that it is very difficult to...

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  • Lower North Falls - 30 Feet (9 meters)

    Many of the falls in Silver Falls State Park have undercut rock ledges. This is not the case with Lower North Falls. Instead, it is a bit like a very steep ramp with water flowing down it.The largest of the logs that you see stuck in the falls has been there for many years. You can see this old log stuck in the falls from a photo I took in November...

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Silver Falls State Park Restaurants

  • nwmountaingirl's Profile Photo

    by nwmountaingirl Updated Nov 15, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    After a long hike you may want to have a sandwich, hot soup or coffee at the lodge. Nice rustic ambiance. Has indoor seating and makes for a nice rest stop/lunch break.

    Favorite Dish: The sandwichs were fresh and delicious!

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Silver Falls State Park Transportation

  • Parking

    Their is a day use fee of $3 for parking in Silver Falls State park. It is good for 24 hours so you could possible use it for a portion of the next day as well. The ticket if you are caught without a pass is supposedly $45 so it is probably worth paying the fee.Their is also a Annual and 2 year Annual pass that go for $25 and $40. Inquire at the...

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  • worth the detour

    It is unlikely there is bus service to Silver Falls State Park so you'll need a car to get here. It is located 70 miles and 90 minutes south of Portland and a whopping 110 miles and 2.5 hours from the popular coast. But it is a short 25 mile and 45 minutes if you are driving I-5 in Oregon. Whatever the distance you are looking at, it's well worth...

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  • Park Fees, Parking, and Other State Park...

    See the Silver Falls Map for a better idea of how the park is laid out. The U shaped black line on the far right side represents the curve where highway 214 curves around the North Falls Parking Area. Winter Falls is at the center of the map where the "you are here" mark is. South Falls (the main activity area of the park, and the location of flush...

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Silver Falls State Park Local Customs

  • Recycling Goes to Benefit Charity

    Recycling has been going on at Silver Falls State Park for quite a number of years, and you will find recycling bins in a number of locations.Money from the sale of recycled materials goes to benefit a work program for individuals with developmental disabilities.So, please put your trash where it belongs, and put your recyclable materials where...

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  • June D. Drake Photography Collection

    June Drake was a photographer and Silverton resident. His campaign in the 1920s and 1930 led to the establishment of Silver Falls State Park in 1931.A key feature of his pamphlets were his own photographs.Today, many of his photographs are owned and preserved by the University of Oregon Library, Special Collections. See the web site...

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  • Al Faussett's Running of the Falls

    On July 1, 1926 a northwest Daredevil named Al Faussett (1879-1948) ran the falls in a canoe. Local businessmen tried to prevent Al from taking on this challenge but he was savvy and decided to buy the land around the falls. Publicity for the event brought thousands of spectators and was covered by papers and news crews.The canoe was filled with...

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Silver Falls State Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Steep Walls, Rough Narrow Slippery...

    Silver Falls state park is FAR from the worst when it comes to narrow trails that hang out over the edge of cliffs. In fact, many trails in Oregon are more hazardous. However, inexperienced walkers or hikers are also far more likely to come to this park due to its fame and general popularity among the general population over some of the other...

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  • Trail Hazards

    As is the case with hiking their are almost always dangers. In many places along this trail system it would be fairly easy to find a steep cliff to fall over. That would not be a fun way to spend your vacation so pay careful attention to slope conditions. When hiking beneath the undercuts also look for any falling debris it is not common but could...

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  • A LONG WAYS DOWN

    Take care and heed the signs at the top of the waterfalls. People fall off every so often regardless of the warnings here. Atop the South Falls, a father and child just went over the top not too long ago. After heavy rains, the creeks can gain a lot of momentum. Also, in the winter and early spring, the trail in the canyon can be frosted or due to...

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Silver Falls State Park Tourist Traps

  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo

    by GuthrieColin Written Jul 28, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As is common in many State and National Parks it is easy to get caught in one place and enjoy that feature for a long time. South Falls is typically what people find at this park. It is close to the most accessible parking and arguably the most impressive waterfall in the park.

    Unique Suggestions: Enjoy the Falls to the fullest but realize that their are so many other excellent waterfalls and trails to tour while you are there.

    Fun Alternatives: Check out the 'trail of ten falls' and hike around for a while to see the rest of the beauty of the park. You will find that many of the other waterfalls, even though they are smaller, are just as if not more appealing.

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

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Silver Falls State Park What to Pack

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    by richiecdisc Updated Oct 22, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Silver Falls State Park is the realm of the day hiker so a small day pack will suffice. You'll want to bring plenty of water to drink and at least a snack for a ten mile hike.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good sturdy hiking boots should be worn for the Trail of the Ten Waterfalls. It is ten miles with lots of ups and downs so you need ankle support. We saw people doing it in flip flops...not good for your feet.

    Photo Equipment: A wide angle gets lots of lush green in your waterfall shots.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: By all means bring a tent. This park has one of the best campgrounds in Oregon and it would be a shame to come just for the day or to leave for a motel when you can camp in a temperate rain forest.

    D enjoys hiking in the temperate rain forest
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Photography

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Silver Falls State Park Off The Beaten Path

  • be sure to cross the road and under the...

    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...

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  • McKay Falls

    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...

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  • Stasel Falls

    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...

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Silver Falls State Park Favorites

  • listening to the locals

    The campground was as my cousin had foretold, a real beauty and a bargain at $16. We opted for two nights to wait out the heatwave in the lush forest that provided much relief from it as well as a spiritual uplift. The trail was the real bonus. After spending the previous four months hiking some of the nation's best, this one did not falter or...

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  • we finally got our minds working

    It felt so good to be back on a trail again, it could have been one far less pretty and it wouldn't have mattered. As it was, it was one of surprising scenic beauty. Sure, we had heard about the falls but no one quite prepared us for the lush forest we now walked in wonder through. Up and down would be a better description, but that felt great...

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  • Trail of Ten Falls

    Probably 99% of the people out on the park trails will be encountered somewhere along this trail - maybe 80% of these will be between Upper and Lower South Falls. There are many more miles of trails extending back into the forests behind the canyons. You can find the trail map at:...

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