The eagle creek fire in 2017 was devastating to anyone that loves the Columbia River Gorge, loves waterfalls or lives anywhere near the area. Since the fire, the gorge has been almost completely closed to hiking. The waterfalls are off limits (except a couple), so this is a great time to explore Oregon’s other waterfall haven, Silver Falls State Park. It’s not free ($5 day use) like the gorge but it has almost as many waterfalls in a small area. (Not counting off trail waterfalls in the gorge.)
Silver Falls State Park has the trail of ten waterfalls. In just over seven miles you can hike around to 10 waterfalls. The trail is a loop so you can start anywhere on the trail and still get back to your car or if you don’t feel like hiking the whole 7 miles there are three parking areas (South, Middle and North) that you can park in to make the trail a bit shorter. Two of the parking areas are pretty small so going early or in the off season is key if you opt for the latter method.
- The south parking lot (the big parking area) gives you pretty quick access to South Falls and Lower South Falls
- Middle parking is closest to Winter Falls, Twin Falls, Middle North Falls, Drake Falls, Double Falls and Lower North Falls.
- North parking gives you access to Upper North Falls and North Falls
The different seasons also make this a really special place. Spring and summer bring some vibrant greens. Fall shows off with all its golden shades and winter can bring a sheet of fresh snow.
If you are anywhere near Salem, Oregon or plan to be in Oregon I highly recommend a visit to Silver Falls even if you only see a couple of the waterfalls. If you love waterfalls this is not the only set of waterfalls to see in the area, there are many more! You could also check out Upper and Lower Butte Creek or Shellburg. Pretty much any city along the I5 corridor has some waterfalls near it. They aren’t all world famous like Multnomah Falls but they are still pretty and unique in their own way.
Waterfalls aren’t the only thing to see and do in Oregon, you could also check out some of the other seven wonders of Oregon.
South Falls is also shown in the header image. They are taken in different seasons at different points on the trail.
Check out the map of the waterfalls before you go to plan your day. And remember to share this post if you think it could help others.