Silver Falls State Park: Trail of Ten Falls

Icy South Falls at Silver Falls State Park
 Silver Falls State Park is Oregon's largest state park with over 9,000 acres to explore. The early American history of the area included private ownership of South Falls. The owner pushed old cars over and charged 10 cents to see the falls. Thankfully that insane use of such an incredible area has ended. Early logging removed much of the massive trees that once surrounded the incredible falls in the area. The history of Silver Falls since settlers have been in the area is interesting and some more information can be found here. Silver Falls State Park is a place I often take for granted.

Lower South Falls at Silver Falls State Park

Ice all around Lower South Falls at Silver Falls State Park
Because Silver Falls is the crown jewel of Oregon State Parks, I always assume anyone living in Oregon has been there. Though I know this is not the case because my girlfriend who has lived in the Willamette Valley her entire life had never been. It's truly an incredible place that everyone in Oregon should visit. The centerpiece of Silver Falls State Park is the Trail of Ten Falls. If one is looking to enjoy this area without many people, winter is the best time to visit. This is also great because the flow of water is more impressive and the falls are shrouded in ice.

Behind Lower South Falls

Walking behind many of the cascades is my favorite part of the Trail of Ten Falls. During the winter this can be a somewhat dangerous task though. There are massive ice sickles that you must travel under, which tend to fall as the temperature increases. Behind the falls the ice melts much later than else where providing an incredible, albeit slippery path.

Edward and Caitlin making there way over the ice and under the ice sickles at Silver Falls State Park

Behind Middle North Falls at Silver Falls State Park
As we made our way under my favorite cascade, North Falls, I couldn't help but linger in the chilly afternoon air and admire the power of falling water. The remainder of the Trail of Ten Falls meanders high above Silver Creek through some fairly impressive forest. Silver Falls State Park is definitely a must see for any Oregonian or anyone passing through Oregon.

Low hanging fog near North Falls at Silver Falls State Park
Lush Cascade Foothills forest at Silver Falls State Park

Directions from Eugene: Follow Interstate 5 north for 60 miles, turn right onto Highway 22 East follow for 4.9 miles, take exit 7 towards Highway 214 follow for 12 miles, turn left into the South Falls parking lot.

Trailhead Elevation:
Approximately 1,310 feet

Hike Distance: 8.7 miles according to Oregon State Parks

Hike Type: Loop 

Elevation Gain: 1,300 feet

Moderate in winter, but heavy in summer.

Difficulty: 2 out of 5

Fees: 3 dollar day use fee. 

Map: Found on the Oregon State Parks Website.

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