I first visited Silver Falls State Park and did the 7.2 mile loop, “The Trail of Ten Falls” in the fall of 2016 with Effran D. We put a few extra miles on our boots that day as we wandered between falls and found out at the end that we had missed one. Oops! I knew that I wanted to go back as it immediately became one of my favorite Northwest hikes, and because I had a theory of how to better attempt the loop.
Here’s what I recommend if you go: drive all the way in to the Visitor Center and park there. BUT, don’t follow the crowds down to South Falls! That’s where everyone wants to go because it’s the “first one” and is so big. But then where’s the grand finale? So, after parking, walk along the road/bike path on the Canyon Rim Trail. It’ll be about a mile through trees on a well maintained path. When you get to the small parking area for Winter Falls, follow the trail down and see that waterfall first. Then, climb back up to the trail and keep following the road until you get to the North Falls parking lot. Take the right fork and head under the bridge to Upper North Falls (probably one of the most beautiful falls), then come back down and begin the full loop in a Counterclockwise direction, going to North Falls, Middle North, etc until you have wound your way back to the South Falls and visitor center.
Otherwise, enjoy the adventure of finding your favorite route to visit all ten waterfalls on the Trail of Ten Falls. No matter which way you go, you won’t be disappointed!
I recommend waterproof hiking boots as the ground can be slippery and muddy at places. Going in the off-season will give you fewer crowds and strong flow in the waterfalls. And who cares about a little rain when there’s so much beauty cascading down around you! You’ll need $5 to pay at the pay stations for day-vehicle use (envelopes from a self-serve station). Further information on fees for camping, multi-day use, etc is HERE. I recommend the Ten Essentials, or at the very least, plenty of water, a first aid kit, and a few snacks for your excursion.
Here are a few photos from the two trips.
To follow our trail: