Thursday, March 24, 2011

Silver Falls State Park

Current Location: Tualatin, OR

Yesterday's forecast was for sun and mostly dry. What did we wake up to? SUN! And believe me, we haven't seen much of that this month. As a matter of fact, Portland is on track to break a record which has been standing since the 50's - the most days of measurable rain (at least .01 inch a day) in the month of March. The record is 27 days and the forecasters are pretty certain it will be broken. We knew it was wet here, but it's even the locals are saying so!

North Falls, 136 feet

So when we saw blue sky we knew we needed to take advantage of it. A visit to Silver Falls State Park has been on our list since we arrived. We've been waiting for the perfect day, but finally came to the conclusion that this might be as good as we get.

Lower North Falls, 30 feet

This state park is known for it's waterfalls, and they weren't overselling themselves! The Trail of Ten Falls winds through the park in an 8 mile loop, but there are several cutoffs available to allow for shorter hikes. We weren't convinced the rain would hold off long enough, nor were we sure our fitness level was up to par, but we were able do a pleasant 5 1/2 mile loop which took us by 7 of the 10 falls. I guess we'll have to make it a point to go back and see the rest.

Middle North Falls, 106 feet

The trail winds through the forests and canyons, right along the river. Most of the time, the trail takes you right to the base of the falls and on a couple of occassions, it takes you behind the falls. I imagine this is a very popular place in the heat of the summer. The first two falls were fairly close to the main parking lot and there were more people than we expected on a weekday (spring break), but once we got about 1/2 mile down the trail, it was very peaceful. I don't think we probably passed more than a total of 10 people the rest of the day.

Winter Falls, 134 feet

Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on the main trail, so Hunter had to stay home for this one. He never likes being left behind, but it's even harder when he sees the pack come out and the water bottles being filled. He's a really good pouter, but he's getting old enough now where we think he's just as happy to stay home and nap. But he still does his best to make us feel guilty!

Double Falls, 178 feet
As you've probably figured out by now, I'm kind of partial to waterfalls. I love being around water anyway, but there's just something in the way a droplet of water becomes so powerful as it succumbs to gravity. And with all the rain we've been getting, you can believe there was a lot force this time of year.
Lower South Falls, 93 feet (noticed the sunny hillside above the falls!)
This is a spectacular park and one that I would highly recommend to anyone visiting the area. Even if you are not a hiker, there are a couple of falls you can reach with very short walks and some nice overlooks. The drive to the park is through a beautiful countryside full of Christmas tree farms and vineyards. Even without the park as a destination, it would make a nice day's drive.

South Falls, 177 feet

This day was just what we needed. It was great to be able to get out and enjoy some fresh air and warm sun while doing a little physical exercise. And it was nice to give our minds a break from the craziness of the last few weeks, if even just for a few hours. The rain drops started just as we could see glimpses of the parking lot and by the time we reached the truck, it was coming down pretty hard, but all in all, it was a perfect day!


  1. Beautiful pictures of the falls. Glad you got some time outside before the rain stated.

  2. great shots of the falls today!..even with the wet weather it is nice to get outside and enjoy all the 'green the northwest has to offer'

  3. Fantastic pics of the Falls! Love all the green!!!

  4. I love Silver Falls...and yes, it is a nice place to go in the heat of the summer. You got some wonderful pictures.

  5. Oh wow, the falls are incredible!!!! What a great day.


  6. We love waterfalls too. Maybe we can check out that park in our future too. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Glad you were able to get out and enjoy Silver Falls. All the pics of the falls look really great. You're right, they didn't oversell the amount of falls.
    Sorry Hunter didn't get to go, but bet he was glad when you got home.
    Take care and I enjoy reading your blog.

  8. looks like a nice hike with all the falls... love their sound as well...

  9. Can't wait to get there, we're headed to Oregon and Washington in May and June. Hope the major rain is out of the way! Although staying in the Arizona desert for two months has just about killed me! I'd LOVE to see some rain!