Silver Falls State Park

This park has wonderful descriptors.  It is known as the 'crown jewel' of Oregon's State Parks.  It is also called the Trail of Ten Falls. With some 9,000 acres and located just 45 minutes from Salem in Oregon's Cascade Mountains it has all the ingredients to make an incredible destination get-away. 

This is South Falls, the first waterfall most people see when they start the trail.  It is 177 feet tall and offers hikers an opportunity to walk behind the fall as part of the trail to the next fall.

Not surprisingly, where you stand, the focal length and other camera setting can radically change the look of any of the waterfalls.

The pool at the bottom was much smaller than I would have imagined.  It ran off into a rather tame stream.  By July, we were told, the falls are already running short of water.  "You should have been here in April!", one of the locals told me.  He then shook his head and addressed the waterfall.  "You are just not what you once were!"

Tom is taking you for a walk behind the fall.  Promise we won't do that with every one!

About this green color. . . The falls are located in a lush heavily forested environment.  There are streams everywhere, everything is damp or wet and the overhead canopy keeps the falls in the shade most of the day.  This is ideal for photography because the white waterfalls do not get blown out. When sun does shine through the foliage there are opportunities to catch back-lighting of just about anything.  I felt as though someone had dropped me onto another planet!

Along the path to another waterfall.

This is Lower South Falls at just 93 feet.  It falls from the top onto basalt.

Cory told me that she loved the verdant green but after processing it for a while she was tired of it.  I am with her on that one.  Tom looked over at her photo and said, "Nice.  I did not think of using black and white."

Walking further up the path and the look changes.

A little more than a mile hike to the next fall.  The total hike is said to be 6.4 miles and is rated as moderate to strenuous.  Since we stop and shoot, stop and shoot . . . we were not really terribly challenged until we were done with the photography, a bit on the tired side and then read the sign that said it was 1.6 miles to the parking lot.

This is Lower North Falls at just 30 feet.  Notice how casually I can say 30 feet!  I can remember a waterfall on the Rim that was maybe 12 feet and I was excited to photograph it!  This fall does not lend itself to photography.  Access is poor and those huge logs sort of spoil the shot.

On we march to the next waterfall.  We are not exactly 'dawdling'.  There are just so many opportunities to get distracted.  Cory has a real gift for seeing the unusual.

This is Double Falls.  When water is plentiful there are two falls that come over the second ledge.  If you look carefully, there is an upper fall and then a lower fall.  The second, or double part of the fall would be to the right of the fall you see.

The pool at the base of this fall is a popular wading pool and it took forever for me to get a crowd-free photo.  This is also selfie-photo paradise as you can walk right up to the base of the fall and take a photo of yourself with waterfall all around you.  Good place to soak your gear!

 The paths are quite nice, even though some parts are steep.  Access to good clear shooting was sometimes problematic because of the crowds and foliage.

The paths are quite nice, even though some parts are steep.  Access to good clear shooting was sometimes problematic because of the crowds and foliage.

Close up of the lower part of the fall.

On to another waterfall.  A bit winded at 10,000 feet + and my gear was getting heavy.  However, we were too far away from the parking lot to go back.  Might as well finish the loop and get in a few more waterfalls.

This is Drake Falls (27 feet).  To get a photograph of this falls you have to lean way over a wooden railing and hand hold your camera and just guess where you are pointing!  This is the only one I kept . . . just to prove I was there.  Cory wisely declined to try this one. Tom politely pointed out that this may just about be my worst shot ever.  Nothing is in focus.  I know.

This is Middle North Falls at 106 feet.  Must have had a brief moment of sunlight coming through the clouds for this one.

Tom will walk us under the waterfall and to the other side.

Winter Falls?  A waterfall?  A trickle that was roaring in April.  Our last fall.  A long trek through this marvelous dense forest to get to our car.

It takes about two and a half hours to drive to Silver Falls State Park from Redland.  The morning drive was magical.  The ride home not so much.  Here are some photos taken by Tom and Cory from the car or from a very short stop along the road.

This is Five Fingered Jack.

We stopped at Rosie's to get coffee and muffins.  Wonderful Morning Glory muffins.  Unfortunately they were closed on our return.  I would have picked up another muffin.  Tom was drawn to the coffee cups pattern in the lace.

There are Christmas tree farms in the area.

We hope you enjoyed the hike!