Trail of Ten Falls : Silver Falls State Park
This past weekend Alex and I went on a semi-impromptu hiking adventure about an hour and a half south to Silver Falls State Park to hike the 8.7-mile loop of the Canyon Trail or Trail of Ten Falls, which as you can guess by the name, is a waterfall hike.
There’s not much I can say about this hike except HOLY GORGEOUS! The Silver Falls State Park is the largest state park in Oregon located just east of Salem. It’s consider a temperate rainforest with miles of hiking, horse, and bike trails as well as picnic grounds and other recreation sites.
I’ve been having a bit of a hard time with Camino withdrawals lately, so Alex and I decided to break out our Camino gear for the first time since August and go on a random adventure. We laced up our boots (old friends), stocked up on water and trail mix, and started amusing ourselves with Camino analogies (even stopping at a cafe along the way for our first “cafe con leche”).
The trail starts at the South Falls Lodge which is an excellent area for picnicking. There were a lot of families there that day. As such, the beginning of the trail can be a bit crowded. Many people hike to the first waterfall and a little bit beyond, but there are plenty of places to cut the waterfall short, so a few miles in the hiking was much more peaceful.
From the brief research we did of the trails before we decided this was the one, most guides recommend this trail in the springtime. Obviously we haven’t hiked it in the summer or fall, but I would imagine these guides were spot-on. The weather was gorgeous, but not too hot and the forest was green but not all the leaves had come in yet, so our views of the canyon weren’t too obstructed.
The final waterfall of the trail is an absolute showstopper. Alex and I kept comparing the waterfalls, arguing about which ones were more impressive until we arrived at this one (North Falls) and we were stunned into silence. It’s difficult to capture the size of this monster or the roar of the water as it absolutely crushes the rocks below, but at this point the trail actually goes behind the waterfall in the the deep crevice of the rock, which is absolutely terrifying because it seems like it could collapse on you at any moment. But the views from under there are extremely worth it.
I might seriously hike this trail every day if I could. Unfortunately, this trail is a bit out of the way for us, but I have a feeling this will be our go-to “hiking treat” after we’ve finished exploring all the other trails Oregon has to offer.