Are you ready for arguably the best waterfall trail in Oregon? The Trail of Ten Falls is an incredible trail with ten or more waterfalls that will dazzle you. From walking behind towering waterfalls to lovely cascading ones and those surrounded by basalt columns, I know you’ll love your trip to Silver Falls State Park!
Everything you need for a beautiful trip is below, so let’s dive in and have a great time!
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Oregon’s Best Waterfall Hike: Complete Guide to the Trail of Ten Falls
What makes the Trail of Ten Falls so cool?
It’s an elaborate trail full of lots and lots of waterfalls. 10 (or more), in fact, that comes roaring out of every nook and cranny as it tumbles down towards the ground. Plus, the 7.5-mile hike isn’t too strenuous (only 1,100 feet of gain), so it’s super doable.
If you love walking in forests, seeing waterfalls, and enjoying a serene scene, this hike is for you!
This is a great way to get your waterfall fix while exploring Oregon!
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Is the Trail of Ten Falls worth it?
100% yes, the Trail of Ten Falls is worth visiting. It might be the best display of waterfalls in all of Oregon (Columbia River Gorge is a good rival), and it’s so good for the entire family. You will have the best time here and leave with good memories.
Everything you need to know before visiting Silver Falls State Park
How do I get to the Trail of Ten Falls?
You’ll want to head southeast of Salem, Oregon, to reach Silver Falls State Park and the Trail of Ten Falls. It’s about half an hour’s drive from the state capital. From Portland, it’s around 75 minutes.
Once you enter the state park, the main parking area is just a few minutes ahead.
What is the best time to visit the Trail of Ten Falls?
The spring and summer is the most optimal time to visit. While spring is the rainy season in Oregon, it’s also when the waterfalls are flowing at their max. I visited when it was pouring but still enjoyed exploring the park.
When it’s raining, the crowds are limited, which makes for a more enjoyable experience.
In the Fall and Winter, you’ll have much fewer crowds, but the days will be colder, shorter, and probably rainy (definitely cloudy). But this might be your cup of tea to enjoy the views without swarms of people around.
Lastly, and this goes for all seasons, visiting during the week will drastically reduce how many people are on the trail with you.
Essential items to pack for the Trail of Ten Falls.
Here’s what I would recommend for hiking the Trail of Ten Falls. The heavier rain gear may not be needed if it’s sunny! You can find all you need at REI.
- Waterproof Hiking Boots
- Hiking Pants
- Wool Socks
Photography Gear I Brought on the Hike
Lodging options for visitors exploring the Trail of Ten Falls.
Silver Falls State Park Campground
There’s a lovely campground inside Silver Falls State Park. It’s about half a mile from the Trail of Ten Falls Trailhead, making it easy to access. I only slept here one night on my trip – and it rained cats and dogs – but I enjoyed it, and the facilities were well-kept!
Does Silver Falls State Park have full hookups?
Yes, the campground has ten full RV hookups on Loop A.
How many campsites does it have? (Via Oregon State Parks website)
- 48 electrical sites with water (18+ sites open year-round)
- 43 tent sites with water nearby (seasonal May–Oct.)
- 14 cabins (7 pet-friendly, open year-round)
- Flush toilets and showers
- Universal Access: Campsites B2 and B4, four cabins, and campground restrooms/showers are accessible.
Cabins Near Silver Falls State Park
There are a few cabins and smaller glamping arrangments near Silver Fall State Park. However, I might just go with staying in Salem and having more amenities.
Best Hotel Options Close to Trail of Ten Falls
The nearest hotels are around Salem and will be the best bang for your buck. It’s a 35-minute drive to the park. None that I particularly recommend, but I’m sure you’ll be able to find something that works.
On the Trail – Hiking the Trail of Ten Falls
Quick Trail of Ten Falls Trail Details:
- Length: 7.5 miles
- Elevation Gain: 1,100 feet
- Estimated Time to Complete: 3-6 hours
- Difficulty: Moderate
The Trail of Ten Falls is a 7.5-mile loop that takes you in front, behind, and up close to an incredible array of gorgeous waterfalls. You’ll be blown away at every turn.
The roaring cascades, ranging from gentle trickles to thundering torrents, create a symphony of sounds harmonizing with the rustling leaves and birdsong.
The trail meanders through rugged canyons, moss-covered cliffs, and wooden footbridges, adding a touch of magic to the experience. Be prepared to get up close and personal with some falls, allowing you to feel the refreshing spray on your face and reconnect with nature on an intimate level.
As you progress along the path, don’t miss the magnificent South Falls, where an awe-inspiring cavern allows you to walk behind the thundering cascade, a thrilling experience that remains etched in memory.
Photographers and nature enthusiasts will find a paradise here, as the Trail of Ten Falls offers countless opportunities to capture the essence of Oregon’s natural beauty. Whether you’re an avid hiker or a casual nature lover, this trail is well-marked and accessible, making it suitable for all skill levels.
With its unparalleled charm, the Trail of Ten Falls in Oregon beckons adventurers, dreamers, and explorers alike to immerse themselves in its enchanting embrace, leaving a lasting impression that will forever draw them back to this scenic haven.
Come and experience the magic of nature’s wonders, where the symphony of falls will echo in your heart long after you’ve bid farewell to this hidden gem.
Waterfalls You’ll See on the Trail of Ten Falls
- South Falls (Parking Area Nearby)
- Lower South Falls
- Lower North Falls
- Double Falls
- Drake Falls
- Middle North Falls
- Twin Falls
- North Falls (Parking Area Nearby)
- Upper North Falls
- Winter Falls (Parking Area Nearby)
What is my favorite waterfall on the Trail of Ten Falls?
South Falls, the first one you come to, is the best, in my opinion. They didn’t think building up would be good, haha! Moments after leaving the trailhead/parking lot, you’ll head down and behind the waterfall. To say it’s stunning is an understatement.
I also really enjoyed North Falls, which has similar vibes as South Falls, by being able to walk behind it. Younger kids would LOVE these two.
Which way should I hike the loop in Silver Falls State Park?
Most people start by walking under the South Falls, which means you will complete the hike clockwise. However, it doesn’t matter too much. If you go counterclockwise, you won’t get your first waterfall for over a mile.
How long does it take to hike the Trail of Ten Falls?
You won’t be speed hiking this, that’s for sure. Give yourself 3-5 hours on this trail to enjoy it and snap all the photos you can imagine.
I only have 90 minutes to explore. What should I do?
I would drive, park at South Falls, and do the short loop around there. It should only take you about 30 minutes to hike it. Then, go to North Falls and do that short hike to walk under the falls.
If you have more time, you could do a 5-mile day and see Lower North Falls, Drake, and Double Falls. This would be only going halfway clockwise and then turning around.
Recreate Responsibly on the Trail of Ten Falls
As you hike around the Trail of Ten Falls, remember to stay on the trail, don’t cut switchbacks, and leave it as you found it. Creating atmospheres where the people who visit after you enjoy just as much as you did is vital to welcoming more people into the outdoors and environmental movement.
FAQ: Trail of Ten Falls in Silver Falls State Park
Let’s answer some lingering questions!
Are there bears in Silver Falls State Park?
I’m sure some bears are in the area, but with how crowded the park and area are, they will stay away. But if you are camping, store your food appropriately and remember NEVER to feed the wildlife.
Wrapping Up – Hiking the Trail of Ten Falls
The Trail of Ten Falls in Oregon offers a breathtaking and unique opportunity for hiking photography enthusiasts. With its lush greenery, stunning waterfalls, and diverse wildlife, this trail provides ample opportunities to capture awe-inspiring moments in nature.
From long exposure shots of cascading waterfalls to close-ups of vibrant flora and fauna, photographers can truly immerse themselves in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Whether you are a professional photographer or enjoy capturing memories on your smartphone, the Trail of Ten Falls is a must-visit destination that will leave you with unforgettable images and lasting memories.
So grab your camera gear and embark on an adventure through this picturesque trail – you won’t be disappointed!
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
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