Silver Falls State Park

Salem, Oregon 97306

Silver Falls State Park

Silver Falls State Park Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This gorgeous hike weaves through Silver Creek Canyon past many spectacular waterfalls in Silver Falls State Park. The trail starts next to South Falls Lodge and descends steeply into the canyon. Immediately you’ll have a grand view of 177-foot South Falls—one of the park’s most well-known waterfalls. Before you know it, the trail takes you behind the falls in a unique basalt cave.

The cooling spray from the sweeping cascade is a welcome relief on a hot summer’s day. The trail continues to travel along the South Fork of Silver Creek through a forest of big-leaf maple, sword fern, and Douglas fir. After passing several more waterfalls, the trail follows the North Fork of Silver Creek, continuing past more gorgeous canyon scenery. You’ll finish the loop high up on the rim on the Ridge Trail, which takes you back to South Falls Lodge."

More Silver Falls State Park Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Classic Hikes in Oregon (The Mountaineers Books)
Douglas Lorain
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"It’s hardly surprising that the trails in Silver Falls State Park, in a beautiful forested canyon hosting ten spectacular waterfalls, are popular. In fact, this 8700-acre crown jewel of one of the finest state park systems in the country is visited by thousands of hikers and car-bound tourists every year. But don’t be put off by the crowds, because the popularity is well deserved. Just try to visit on a weekday. There are two possible starting points for this loop. South Falls is the more popular, with a campground, a picnic area, a gift shop, and an enormous parking lot, but as described here, begin at quieter North Falls, where a much smaller parking lot provides access to the northeast part of the loop. At either location, you must have a day-use parking permit, which you can buy either at the South Falls entrance station or the self-serve pay station at North Falls." Read more
Best Easy Day Hikes: Portland, Oregon (Falcon Guides)
Lizann Dunegan
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"This gorgeous singletrack path weaves through Silver Creek Canyon past many spectacular waterfalls in Silver Falls State Park. The trail starts next to South Falls Lodge and descends steeply into the canyon. Immediately you’ll have a grand view of 177-foot South Falls—one of the park’s best known waterfalls. Before you know it, the trail takes you behind the falls into a unique basalt cave. The cooling spray from the sweeping cascade is a welcome relief on a hot summer’s day. The trail continues to travel along the South Fork of Silver Creek through a forest of bigleaf maple, sword fern, and Douglas fir. After passing several more waterfalls, the trail follows the North Fork of Silver Creek, continuing past more gorgeous canyon scenery. You’ll finish the loop high on the rim on the Ridge Trail, which takes you through more shady pine forest." Read more
Best Trail Runs: Portland, Oregon (Falcon Guides)
Adam Chase and Nancy Hobbs
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"The trails that run through this stunning state park, considered one of Oregon’s prize jewels, are a combination of gravel, dirt singletracks (some with rocky sections and plenty with mud), and some pavement. From the parking lot, follow the Rim Trail as it heads east, ascending and crossing a couple of park roads in the first mile. Keep following Rim Trail in an easterly direction, with Silver Falls Drive SE to your right. Ignore Canyon Trail on your left, just after a steep descent, unless you want a shortcut that will cut off a mile. Just past the 2.0-mile mark, you’ll take a sharp turn to the left on Canyon Trail, continuing down to Silver Creek. Canyon Trail runs next to Silver Creek and eventually loops back to the parking lot to finish in just over 6 miles." Read more

Silver Falls State Park Reviews

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11/2/2018
The hike is not challenging. It is good for all levels. It is a beautiful walk during the fall as the colors accentuate the foliage. There is more and more moisture in the air as you approach the falls. There are many nice photos to be taken along the hike.
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7/24/2018
Even if you are a bit new to hiking, the constant gratification of beautiful falls is enough to push you through the more challenging parts.
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6/4/2018
Totally lives up to the hype! The park is huge so even when it’s busy, it’s possible to find a secluded path. We had planned a different hike and decided to do this instead at the last min, so we had our dog with us and didn’t realize that the majority of the trail isn’t dog friendly. The Upper North Falls and Lower Falls allow dogs, but the rest of the trail doesn’t. Because of this, we only explored part of it. If you bring kids, definitely check out the natural play areas near the north falls. Very cute and not crowded, because most people park in the south falls area.
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2/28/2014
Ditto to trekking. A hike I am sure I will do many times. It is also an awesome geological story
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5/7/2011
I loved it even though it rained and was wet, slick, muddy -- I loved this area. It's easy and relatively flat except in areas that I had to get great pictures but otherwise a great trail for kids and families of all ages. Just be super careful when you get to one of the falls. The ledge is quite high and slick. A dog had fallen off the ledge and died. Was on KATU news. :( You must go in SPRING to get the full waterfall effect. Otherwise, the waterfall display is minimal and not so grandeur! Like most waterfalls in Oregon. Check out my blog on how to get there and for more pictures. I took the pictures on my camera phone. Next time it will be with a "real camera" http://jennshike.blogspot.com/2011/05/santiam-state-forest-lower-and-upper.html
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9/6/2009
Excellent trail for the beginner-expert trail runner. Well paved and stunning natural beauty every where. Should be on every bodys visit list! Its also very easy to find...
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9/28/2008
This is one of the best hikes in the Portland area -- starting at the most visited tourist spot in Oregon and lunch enjoying 5 peaks. If you get to the trailhead @ 9 a.m., you'll have the hike up to the top of the falls mostly to yourself. And once past the the Wahkeena Falls trail junction, continuing on up Larch Mtn, the waterfalls and stream are very nice scenery, and even a place to soak your feet on the way back. The part through Old Growth is enchanting, soon you are up on the rim of the old crater, almost at Sherrad Point -- and the view is of 5 mountains. Yes, it is long, and there is some elevation gain, but it is steady, so no great climbs. It would be a good one-way hike if you can arrange a shuttle. You are in the canopy the whole way, making it a good hike even on a hot day. Time up for me - 3.25 hours; time down - 3 hours.
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Trail Information

Salem
Nearby City
6.9
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
2 to 3 hours
Duration
June through Oct
Season
Biking, Horseback Riding
Additional Use
Waterfalls, Views
Features
Silver Falls State Park
Local Contacts
Maptech CD: Newport/Portland/Mount Hood/The Dalles, OR; USGS: Drake Crossing. A trail map is available by calling Oregon State Parks at (800) 551-6949 or visiting oregonstateparks.org/images/pdf/silverfalls_ trailmap.pdf.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018