Adventure at Silver Falls

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Marked another adventure off our fall bucket list this weekend, Silver Falls State Park.  We were so happy to share this hike with M, even though he is too young to remember it. My husband and I will always remember. I love Silver Falls because it is so beautiful, no matter what season you go. But autumn is definitely my favorite because it is especially beautiful!

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We typically start at the South Falls, which is a 177-foot waterfall you can walk behind. There are 10 waterfalls you can see during the 7.2-miles. We usually see 9 out of 10 and the hike is about 6 miles. We don’t usually go and see the last waterfall because it adds quite a little jaunt to the hike, and you can drive right to it.

We’ve done Silver Falls a handful of times and it is such a beautiful place. I mean the waterfalls are breathtaking by themselves but the park has so many other sights to enjoy. The trail weaves through a densely forested landscape along a rocky canyon and takes you along a winding creek. On top of all this beauty, during the fall, everywhere you turn you’ll see all those amazing fall colors. I would argue that during the fall there is no place prettier.

One drawback to this hike…it is always busy! I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a time when the park isn’t full of other people. However, after the South Falls, the crowd typically thins out, because the trail does increase in difficulty. My calves still hurt and the hike was three days ago. Of course, if you’re like me, the beauty of the hike really helps take your mind off all the other people.

The Silver Falls hike is about 6 miles, making this the longest hike we’ve done with M, but he did amazingly. He napped two little cat naps in the Baby Bjorn, and we stopped once to feed him along the trail. (Sidenote: I love feeding him out in nature. There is something so magical about breastfeeding in the forest.) My husband did the carrying and I was thankful he did because there are parts of the trail that are pretty uphill and the ground is pretty uneven. M was much safer with my husband than he would have been with accident-prone me. We are going to need to purchase a Baby Back Pack Cross Country Carrier soon.

Road Trip to Silver Falls:

Getting to Silver Falls from Bend, take US-20 to US-22 towards Salem. The Silver Falls State Park is just outside the small town of Sublimity.  It takes about two and a half hours from Bend. But the drive itself is also beautiful. Just remember if you’re traveling with a baby pack bottles so you don’t have to pull over to feed. See my other road trip tips for ideas to make road trips easier. We left around 9ish and arrived at 12:30ish. I highly recommend packing snacks and water for the hike. In addition to snacks and water for the trail, we always pack a picnic–after 6ish miles we’re always starving when we get back to the parking lot. There are tons of picnic tables around to enjoy before you get back in the car. They also have a lodge that sells snacks and drinks if you’d rather buy it while you’re there.

PS. If you have enough time try the Silver Falls Vineyard, we say we are going to stop every time, but we always run out of time. There is a campsite at Silver Falls and I think we are going to add camping here to our summer bucket list next year. Then maybe we will be able to stop at the Silver Falls Vineyard. Another cool aspect of Silver Falls State Park is the bike paths, which I think would be a different and amazing way to experience the park.

This is definitely one of my favorite hikes in Oregon. What is your favorite place to hike or adventure in the fall? If you live in Oregon, have you been to Silver Falls State Park?

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