If you love waterfalls and nature, Silver Falls is the perfect place for you. With plenty of waterfalls, and forest-like scenery, it’s hard to imagine a prettier state park. Honestly, I am disappointed in myself for making it all this time WITHOUT visiting Silver Falls State Park, as I have lived in Oregon my whole life! Silver Falls is the largest state park in Oregon, at 9200 acres. And now that we’ve visited Silver Falls in person, we think it has some of the best waterfalls that we’ve ever seen! This park is one of the prettiest places we’ve ever seen! If you come to Oregon, you must make a trip to Salem to see these falls for yourself!
Like many places in Oregon, Silver Falls is a great place for a hike! There are many different hikes that you can do throughout the park. With lots of variety of distance, you can decide just how far you want to hike. It’s really easy to forget that you are actually hiking for a couple miles, when there are so many beautiful waterfalls and lush Oregon forests to distract you.
We highly recommend the Trail of Ten Falls hike, as you can see 10 waterfalls along 7.2 miles. It’s a moderate hike, with an overall elevation change of under 1000 feet. The largest falls along this trail, the Double Falls, cascades from 178 feet high. It is just gorgeous! There are even a couple waterfalls that allow you to walk behind them and see the falls from a different view.
If you only want to hike 5 miles, you can cut through at the Winter Trail back to the Rim Trail and back to the car. If you want to continue along, you will run into North Falls and Upper North Falls. For a detailed map of the Trail of Ten Falls, click here. South Falls is one of four waterfalls in Silver Falls State Park which features a trail passing behind the falls. Just like South Falls, the North Falls allows you to see the waterfall from behind the water, which is so awesome to experience! South Falls rates as one of the most photographed waterfalls in Oregon, along with Multnomah Falls and Punchbowl Falls, as you can see why in the photographs!
We recommend starting at the bigger of the two lots: the South Falls entrance. Pay the entrance fee here and use the restroom before you start along the trail. It’s also closer to the lodge, where you can enjoy some food and drinks when you are done. Not long after you start along the trail, you will hear South Falls! Once you arrive at the falls it is truly incredible to see!
Fun fact: The Hunted (2003), and the blockbuster film Twilight (2008) have both been filmed in Silver Falls.
Cost: $5 to park your car at either parking lot
Distance: 1 hour 20 minutes from downtown Portland
Shoes: Bring shoes that will get muddy and wet, even if it’s summer
Tourist attraction: This is a popular hike, so if you are coming in the summer or on the weekend, prepare for a lot of people. Come early before it gets too busy!
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What are some of the prettiest waterfalls you have ever seen?
For more great posts about Oregon, check these out:
- The Oregon Coast
- Awesome day trips from Portland
- Crater Lake
- Exploring Tualatin Valley
- Things to Do in Bend