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Cheap, free, and local-endorsed things to do in beautiful places

Silver Falls State Park

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  • The largest state park in Oregon
  • The Ten Falls hike takes you next to (and sometimes under) that many waterfalls
  • Has waterfalls as high as 178 feet

When To Visit: March-October

Climate: Warm and sunny in the summer and fall. Cool with lots of rain in the winter, milder weather in spring.

Location: Northwestern Oregon 1.5 hours south of Portland

This peaceful state park has one of the densest concentrations of waterfalls in the Northwest and is a wonderful place to relax or take a hike.

Photo: South Falls, Ten Falls Trail

What To See & Do in Silver Falls

Silver Falls Hikes

If you have the endurance for the Trail of Ten Falls, you’ll get to see just about everything the park has to offer. If you don’t have the time or energy for it, I’ve listed the best alternative hikes that show you pieces of the premier trail’s scenery.

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South Falls on the Trail of Ten Falls
  1. Trail of Ten Falls

    • 7.2 mile loop, 800 foot elevation gain, 2-4 hours, moderately strenuous
    • You’ll pass next to and sometimes under all ten of the park’s main waterfalls
    • See beautiful forest, caves, and creeks
    • One of the most scenic hikes in Oregon
    • Begin at South Falls Day Use Area
  2. Maple Ridge Loop Trail
    • 2.6 mile loop, 1-2 hours, 400 foot elevation gain, moderately strenuous
    • Takes you to South Falls and Lower South Falls, two of the grandest waterfalls in the park
    • Begin at South Falls Day Use Area
  3. South Falls Loop Trail
    • 1 mile loop, 1 hour, 280 foot elevation gain, moderately strenuous
    • You’ll see one of the park’s most majestic waterfalls: South Falls
    • The most trekked hike in the park due to its short length
    • Begin at South Falls Day Use Area
  4. Winter Falls Loop Trail
    • 5 mile loop, 2-3 hours, 300 foot elevation gain, moderately strenuous
    • You’ll pass 7 waterfalls, including Double Falls, Middle North Falls, and Winter Falls
    • Goes most of the length of the Trail of Ten Falls so it’s a good alternative
    • Begin at Winter Falls Trailhead
  5. North Falls & Upper North Falls Trails
    • 1.8 miles round trip, out & back, 1-2 hours, 200 foot elevation gain, moderately strenuous
    • See North Falls and Upper North Falls on two separate, short trails from the North Falls Trailhead
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Middle North Falls

Where To Stay & Eat in Silver Falls

There are picnic areas in the park and the Silver Falls Historic Lodge in the center of the park has a cafe with American cuisine and dessert (closed for dinner). There are more food options in the towns of Sublimity, Stayton, and Silverton (both 20 minutes away).

There is a campground in the center of the park where you can tent camp or stay in a cabin. There are both reservable and first-come, first-serve options for campsites. Click here and search for Silver Falls State Park to reserve a campsite.

If you’d rather stay in a traditional room than a cabin, there are hotels in the towns of Stayton and Silverton (20 minutes away).

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A creek along the Trail of Ten Falls

Nearby Side Trips from Silver Falls

All three of these destinations are only an hour and a half away from Silver Falls.

Portland: Known as the hipster capital of America, this city is perched on the junction of the mighty Columbia & Willamette Rivers with a panoramic view of Mt. Hood to the East. Stroll through one of its many famous gardens or venture out to see nearby forests & waterfalls. Read more.

Columbia Gorge: Craving more waterfalls?The stretch of the mighty Columbia River just east of Portland has a high concentration of falls and some of the best hiking in Oregon. Read more.

Oregon Coast: Oregon’s coastline is devoid of large cities and instead features dozens upon dozens of cute small towns and quiet beaches. Read more.

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Shepperd’s Dell Falls on the Columbia Gorge

 

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