2009 Alaska travel blog

Silver Falls State Park, OR - Site B-13

Countryside on way to Salem, OR

More countryside

And more countryside

Doesn't this look a little like Ireland

Down the hill we go

A Douglas Fir with a mossy like growth on the lower branches

You can see some of these old growth firs are really large

Stellar's Jay

The clouds are beginning to break!

Winter Falls

Middle North Falls

Another view of Middle North Falls

Drake Falls

Lower North Falls

Double Falls

Twin Falls

North Branch of Silver Creek

North Falls from the overlook

North Falls from the trail below

Upper North Falls from downstream a bit

Upper North Falls at the base

South Falls

South Falls from ground level

Lower South Falls

Lower South Falls from a little higher up

More of the firs with mossy growths

Wildflowers along the trail in the rain

More wildflowers along the trail in the rain

The trip from Myrtle Creek to Salem was again through some wonderful hillside scenery. You would have thought we were in Ireland with all of the shades of green. We arrived here at Silver Falls State Park a little after noon and got settled in pretty quick. I was able to find the satellite around the trees but we have absolutely no cell service whatsoever. The closest reliable coverage is about 12 miles away. This portion of the blog will be written real time but will have to wait for posting until Thursday when we get better reception. The camp site itself is very nice. The campground is almost full, even on a weekday, but the sites are large enough you don’t feel crowded and there is enough trees and shrubbery to still give you privacy. It was raining when we got here and is expected to rain the entirety of our stay. Oregon is wet in May!

Silver Falls’ claim to fame is it Trail of Ten Falls. This is an eight mile trail that visits ten different falls. The trail goes around the rim of a canyon and then down into the canyon to see all of the falls and then back up top to finish the loop. As of right now, there doesn’t appear to be any way to do part of the trail without backtracking. It is raining as I write this so it will probably be tomorrow (there is only a 60% chance of rain tomorrow, while it’s 100% today) before we try the trail and see how much we can do. If it’s a moderate or higher trail, there is no way we are in good enough shape to do the whole eight miles at once.

It rained all day Monday so we were not able to try any of the trails yet. Monday night, an old Navy buddy, Gerry Ignatowski, his wife, Patti, and daughter, Crystal, invited us over for a delightful dinner. They live in Keizer which is just north of Salem. We had never met Patti or Crystal and hadn’t seen “Ski” in almost 30 years. It was really good to see them and reminisce about old times.

Tuesday we hiked to six of the falls – Winter Falls @ 134 feet; Middle North Falls @ 106 feet; Drake Falls @ 27 feet; Lower North Falls @ 30 feet; Double Falls @ 178 feet; and Twin Falls @ 31 feet. They were all beautiful but Middle North falls was the most spectacular. It had the whole North Branch Silver Creek falling 106 feet – a tremendous amount of water falling a good distance. The trail even went behind the falls. We hiked a total of a little over three miles with rain falling intermittently heavy and light but it was well worth it. Tomorrow we hope to hike about the same distance to see the remaining four falls.

Wednesday we hiked to the rest of the falls – North Falls @ 136 feet; Upper North Falls @ 65 feet; South Falls @ 177 feet; and Lower South Falls @ 93 feet. All four were tremendous falls with the two North Falls being more upstream than the falls we saw yesterday. The two south falls are on the South Fork of the Silver creek. The south fork appears to have more water running, at least at this time of year. It was another three-mile hike up and down the canyon walls through the rain. We’re ready for a little sun as we have only seen glimpses of the orange orb in the last week. Otherwise it has been very gray and drab.

Tomorrow we head for Tacoma, WA where we hope to stay at the McChord AFB FamCamp but don’t have reservations.

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