Silver Falls State Park
About a week ago, my friends and I went on an adventure to Silver Falls State Park, where we did a shorter version of the Trail of Ten Loops Hike called the Winter Falls Trail. Since I am not much of an outdoorsy person and hadn’t been hiking in Oregon before this, I was amazed by how beautiful this place is. This 5-mile trail includes views of seven gorgeous waterfalls — three of which you can walk behind. It’s also only about an hour from Portland, making Silver Falls State Park a great place to check out if you’re looking for an activity to fill up your day.
The Hike Itself
Although you can enter the loop through the various trailheads, my friends and I started our journey from the South Falls trailhead. From here, it’s only a matter of time before you come across the gorgeous and Instagram famous South Falls. This part of the trail curbs back and forth so you get to appreciate this beautiful sight from many angles. After you walk behind the waterfall, there is bridge in front of it where you can take in the entire scene.
Of course, South Falls is just one of the many gorgeous views you’ll encounter on this hike. Other noteworthy waterfalls include Lower South Falls, Winter Falls and Middle North Falls. It was also fun to see a few baby waterfalls pop up here and there because of the recent rain.
A Few Tips:
- Bring a rain jacket: There is a thick mist around the waterfalls and you’re more than likely to get splashed when you walk behind them. Wearing some type of waterproof layer will help keep you dry and comfortable during your hike. This is especially important in the winter months when it can be quite chilly outside.
- Wear Layers: Make sure you wear layers that you can easily take off and put back on. You will experience various temperatures throughout the hike, so it’s good to dress appropriately.
- Pack lunch and/or snacks: Completing the loop takes about three hours, so I would say that it’s a good idea to stop at some point in time to refuel with a snack. I would recommend stopping by Middle North Falls for lunch, where there is a nice shady area where you can stop for a bite. If you do happen to make it through the entire loop without eating lunch, you can eat at the picnic tables as well as The South Falls Lodge, both of which are located near the parking lot.
- Make time to appreciate the views: Take your time as you’re hiking this trail and make sure to pause before and after walking by or behind the waterfalls to view these sights from various angles. Waterfalls are not the only thing to see on this hike, there are plenty of beautiful green spaces to take in as you’re looping around.
I hope you all enjoyed this post and hopefully I can be better about sharing some more fun sights and activities in and around Portland in the near future. Let me know if there is anything in particular that you’d like to see more of on the blog.
I still remember the first time I saw snow a few years ago on my first day of studying abroad in Madrid. My flight had been delayed and I arrived 3 days late to my program, so I was worried about not being as familiar with the city as some of my peers. A friend that lived in the same neighborhood agreed to meet up that evening to show me around so that I could feel a little bit less lost and overwhelmed. As we were walking around exploring our home for the next few months, it suddenly started to snow. That was all it took to replace my feeling of anxiousness with excitement, and I remember simply being in awe of this very rare sight.
As many of you can imagine, my friend was a bit perplexed about how excited I was about seeing snow, and that it took me almost 21 years to ever see any at all. Well, I think that’s the case for many natives of Southern California, where we’re lucky if we even get enough rainy days in a year. That is why I was filled with the same excitement this past week when Portland got the most snow it’s seen since 2008. We’ve had a few snow days this year, but nothing compared to this winter wonderland. I hope that the pictures below convince you that it was as amazing as I claim it was.
My first attempt to get out of the house during this snow storm was to purchase groceries, only to find out that the Trader Joe’s nearby was closed due to the inclement weather. I nearly slipped and fell a few times on my way there, probably because the snow on the sidewalks was quick to turn into ice and I could do with more appropriate shoes for this weather. However, it was definitely worth the trip because I got to see some beautiful sights. As you can see from the photo above, even the Trader Joe’s parking lot looked magical.
This type of weather is rare to Portland from what I hear, and the city shut down whenever it gets just a little bit of snow. Things have been moving pretty slowly for the past few days, which can be perceived as a nuisance for some people. However, I personally like having an excuse to take time to slow down and take it easy. Maybe I should pretend to have snow days more often.
In an effort to escape our apartment a few weekends back, my roommate Candace and I went out for brunch and then decided to drive up to Joseph Woodhill Park, a nice little spot hidden at the top of Rocky Butte. If you’ve never heard of this place before, I would recommend making your way over here if you’re in Portland. The park is enclosed and looks like some sort of gothic castle from the outside. Once inside, you get some of the most amazing views of the city. Candace and I drove up hear on a pretty dreary day, so the city had a very cool and dark vibe to it. However, I’ll be coming back at some point in time because I’d also love to see what type of view I get on a bright and cheerful day.
If you’re looking to make up your way to this vista point, I would recommend driving or biking up, because it is not very pedestrian friendly. I tried hiking up here when I first moved to Portland, and ended up giving up and turning back because I felt unsafe walking on the side of a very windy road all by myself. I hope that little piece of advice makes your visit a bit more enjoyable. Until next time!