Silver Falls State Park in Oregon is an idyllic volcanic wonder. A short drive East from Oregon’s capitol, Salem will land you in this waterfall lover’s paradise. There are ten falls total on the loop hike through unparalleled botanical displays.
We started at the South Falls parking at the 7 AM opening of the park, beginning the loop with South Falls. The parking lot was empty except for one other car, so we questioned what we read online about how busy it would be. 5 hours later, when we left, the parking area was full.
South Falls is an easy hike from the parking lot and is a great beginning for the 10 falls hike. The trail begins with a vista from above, and a trail descending and around the backside of the falls. Once around the backside of the falls, you are on the Canyon Trail. There are several options to return to the South Falls Parking Lot if the hike proves to be too much.
Silver Falls State Park’s ancient lava flow was millions of years in the making. Deposition of multiple lava flows, sedimentation, and eons of erosion has left us with waterfall magic..
Waterfalls are the major attraction to this area. But the plant life has its own unique draw. On display are ferns, large trees of all types, grasses, and moss fill the area. If there were such a thing as Ferries, they would call a place like this home.
Hiking the entire 7.2-mile loop takes around 3 hours, depending on the time spent at each fall. For folks who are not up to the hike, it is possible to park close to the South and North Falls.https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=main.loadFile&load=_siteFiles%2Fpublications%2F%2FSilver_Falls_Map_WEB111239.pdf