Silver Falls: a State Park in Oregon – – – a National Park in any other State

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Silver Falls State Park

In mid-September I journeyed to Silver Falls State Park, about 44 crow-flying miles southeast of Portland. It was a beautiful day with plenty of sunshine. The Park is truly a gem, and a geological wonder too.

In any other state in the continental U.S., the 14 square-miles would surely have been designated a National Park long ago. But, it has to compete with the world-class waterfalls residing in the Columbia River Gorge.

An eight-mile loop trail with 900 feet of elevation gain begins at an interesting lodge constructed originally by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s. The Trail passes 10 waterfalls, five of them dropping over 100 feet.

After walking a short distance I reached the top of South Falls at 177 feet. The Trail then descended down the cliffs and passed behind the Falls.

Over the ages Silver Creek and its tributaries have eroded through the basalt layers, forming natural pathways behind several of the waterfalls and creating spectacular canyons of classic rain forest.

A truly wonderful Park to visit, and close to home too.

South Falls

The Park is a draw for many photographers

South Falls

Pleasant stretch of Silver Creek

93-foot Lower South Falls (the trail goes behind the falls)

High canyon walls of Silver Creek

30-foot Lower North Falls

136-foot North Falls

Rim Trail

65-foot Upper North Falls

Your humble scribe and his favorite model (on a previous visit to the Park)

Categories: Portland Area HikesTags: ,


  1. I so enjoyed this visit to Silver Falls State Park, John. My goodness, the waterfalls you have in Oregon are truly magnificent. That you have any excess water flowing in mid-September is a marvel in itself to this Californian. And here you have an eight-mile trail that passes ten waterfalls! Fantastic photos of the waterfalls, and a wonderful concluding photo of our “humble scribe and his favorite model.” Brought a smile to my face. Thank you.


  2. What a treasure! Beautiful. It’s going on my bucket list.


  3. This is beautiful! Let’s keep this one in mind for the next time we visit! I love those waterfalls and the lush green of everything around it. 🙂


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