Drake Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park, Silverton, Oregon

Drake Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park, Silverton, Oregon
Drake Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park, Silverton, Oregon

Pictured here from a small wooden deck is Drake Falls. Drake Falls is a cute little watershoot, maybe 45 to 50 degrees in slope.

A sign there reads:

Drake Falls was named after Mr. J.D. Drake, a Silverton photographer. He was instrumental in the creation of Silver Falls State Park, which was dedicated on July 23, 1933.

The fall is a steep rapid rather than a vertical waterfall. The layers of rock are equally hard and erode at the same rate.


Next waterfall on trail:
Middle North Falls


Return to:
Silver Creek Falls State Park

Double Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park, Silverton, Oregon

Double Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park, Silverton, Oregon
Double Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park, Silverton, Oregon

If you need a little coaxing, let me tell you that the extra 0.1 miles you have to walk from the main trail to visit Double Falls is quite worth the little stroll around the bend.

Double Falls is the highest waterfall in Silver Creek Falls State Park. Water drops a full 178 feet before splashing into the small pool at its base. Double Falls is a combination of two individual waterfalls. The highest, and smallest, waterfall can be seen near the top right of the picture.


Next waterfall on trail:
Drake Falls


Return to:
Silver Creek Falls State Park

Lower North Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park, Silverton, Oregon

Lower North Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park, Silverton, Oregon
Lower North Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park, Silverton, Oregon

Lower North Falls is a short 1.3 mile hike from Lower South Falls.

Notice the young couple sitting out on the edge of the waterfall in this picture. This is NOT recommeneded! Although the summer water levels are relatively low, one misstep or a slippery rock could ruin your day. Don’t take chances with Mother Nature

Lower North Falls is 30 feet high.


Next waterfall on trail:
Double Falls


Return to:
Silver Creek Falls State Park

Lower South Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park, Silverton, Oregon

Silver Lower South Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park Silverton, OregonCreek Falls, Middle Falls, Silverton, Oregon
Lower South Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park Silverton, Oregon

Lower South Falls is just a little over one mile downstream from “South Falls.” The hike is quite easy, but there are some steps that must be traversed to reach the trail which goes behind the falls. Some times these steps can be wet and muddy so watch your footing.

Lower South Falls 93 feet high.


Next waterfall on trail
Lower North Falls


Return to
Silver Creek Falls State Park

South Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park, Silverton, Oregon

South Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park, Silverton, Oregon
South Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park, Silverton, Oregon

At 177 feet high, South Falls is the most popular waterfall in the park. Although it is the largest of the Silver Creek Falls, Double Falls is one foot higher at 178 feet. Some argue the point that Double Falls is just that, two falls and thus should not be counted as one for height purposes.

Located a short quarter mile from the main parking lot, South Falls has a paved trail which forms a short loop. The loop is moderately steep in places and has a few switchbacks to and from the falls. As you hike along the trail you will travel behind the waterfall for a spectactual view, be prepared to get a little damp.

When you reach the bottom you will cross the bridge from which this picture was taken. You will find a nice pool to take a dip in if you brought your swimming outfits. From here you can take the trail to Lower South Falls or make the short assent back to the picnic and headquarters area.

Dogs are not allowed on this trail.


Next waterfall on trail
Lower South Falls


Return to
Silver Creek Falls State Park

Silver Creek Falls State Park, Silverton, Oregon

South Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park, Silverton, Oregon
South Falls, Silver Creek Falls State Park, Silverton, Oregon

Nestled in the hills east of Salem, Oregon, Silver Creek Falls State Park is a favorite of both locals and out-of-towners alike. An easy half hour drive from Salem, you would be hard pressed to find a better park in which to observe so many beautiful waterfalls.

Silver Creek has two branches, the north and the south. South Falls and Lower South Falls are both formed by the southern branch of Silver Creek. The northern branch contains the large remainder of the waterfalls found in this park.

The best times of the year to view waterfalls is shortly after the spring snowmelt has begun. This will allow you to catch a view while the waterflow is at it’s maximum. April has been proven a good viewing month.

Take a hike with us as we visit the many beautiful waterfalls that Silver Creek’s two branches have developed.

Hikes vary in distance from 0.5 to 7.5 miles round trip.

Round trip
hiking distance
Trail Description – Click on link(s) for full details.
0.5
Hike from park HQ to South Falls and return. Most of the trail is paved but portions are steep and wet so use caution.
2.0
The Mini Tour – Visit South Falls and Lower South Falls
5.0
The Maxi Tour – Visit 6 of the 10 major waterfalls.
South Falls, Lower South Falls, Lower North Falls, Double Falls, Drake Falls and Middle North Falls
7.5
The Grand Tour – Visit all 10 Silver Creek waterfalls.

Oregon State Park day use fee $3.00. The automated permit system accepts $5, $1 and $0.25.

Fort Rock State Park, Oregon

Fort Rock, Fort Rock State Park, Oregon
Fort Rock, Fort Rock State Park, Oregon

Fort Rock is located in the high Oregon desert some 70 miles southeast of Bend, OR. Part of the northern Great Basin, the Fort Rock Valley is part of an ancient dried lake. Fort Rock itself is an extinct volcano. Native Americans made this place their home as early as 10,000 years ago. In 1938, archaeologist Luther Cressman found sandals made of bark and sagebrush in a nearby cave . They were carbon dated to over 9,000 years old It is reported that you can find trinkets and arrowheads in this area. (NOTE: It is a crime to remove any material from a State Park.)

The smell of sagebrush is strong in the air. Temperatures are in the extremes. In the summer it can become hotter than 100 degrees, in the winter freezing is expected. The growing season in Fort Rock Valley is very short but with modern irrigation farmers can produce up to three crops of high quality alfalfa.

The hike around the interior is about a 1 mile round trip.

Directions:

  • Hwy 97 south from Bend, OR, 31 miles to La Pine, OR.
  • On the south side of La Pine turn left on Hwy 31 towards Reno, NV.
  • Travel on Hwy 97 for about 33 miles and turn left on to a well paved county road, the sign is well marked.
  • If you haven’t spotted Fort Rock yet, give yourself a mile or two. If you miss it you need to get your prescription checked.

There are no Oregon State Park day use fees for this park

Waldo Lake, Oregon

Looking north along the eastern shore of Waldo Lake, Oregon
Looking north along the eastern shore of Waldo Lake, Oregon

Waldo Lake is definitely one of Oregon’s purest jewels. At 5,414 feet, 58 miles southeast of Eugene, OR., Waldo Lake provides a relaxing atmosphere, exciting wilderness hikes and the opportunity to engage in non-motorized watersports.

Aerial view of Waldo Lake, Oregon
Aerial view of Waldo Lake, Oregon

In the summer of 1996 a forest fire burnt over 10,000 acres of the forest surrounding the northern shore of Waldo Lake and the nearby Rigdon Butte Lakes.

Waldo Lake is the head of the historic Willamette River. Oregon’s second largest lake, it is upstaged only by Klamath Lake in the south. At 420 feet, Waldo Lake is also Oregon’s second deepest lake, fish can be seen swimming through clear, pure water 100 feet below the lakes surface. Only Crater Lake can compete with Waldo Lake’s depth.

A Waldo Lake Sunset
A Waldo Lake Sunset

The United States Forest Service maintains three campgrounds on the east side of the lake:

  • Shadow Bay
  • Islet Point
  • North Waldo Lake

The lake is popular with sailors who bring their sailboats and catamarans. All three campgrounds have boat ramps. At the North Waldo Lake campground we observed slips for boats and little alcoves which were made near the campsites in which canoes and kayaks are kept.

Although motorized boats are still allowed on the lake, speed must be kept below 10 miles per hour. We support the proposed plans to prohibit all non-emergency motorized traffic on the lake. This lake is considered one of the worlds most pure and natural water sources, and should be preserved.

Evenings, be it clear or partially cloudy, will provide you with some most spectacular sunsets looking west across the lake.

Hikes:

  • Rigdon Lakes Trail, around Rigdon Butte
  • Charlton Lake
  • Round Meadow
  • Gerdine Butte
  • The Twins
  • Mount Waldo
  • Mount Fuji
  • Betty Lake
  • Bobby Lake

Directions:

  • Take Oregon State Highway 58 east from Eugene.
  • You will pass through the town of Oakridge (if you don’t have your forest passes, stop at the ranger station here).
  • Turn left (north) at the well marked exit to Waldo Lake.
  • The road is very well maintained, watch for rocks in the road near cuts.
  • Travel to your selected campground or trailhead along the road

Drift Creek Falls, Lincoln City, Oregon

Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge, Lincoln City, Oregon
Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge, Lincoln City, Oregon

East of Lincoln City, OR, is Drift Creek Falls. This short hike will only take an afternoon. Just before crossing the gorge that Drift Creek Falls empties into you will walk across a 240 foot suspension bridge. This is longest suspension bridge in Oregon or Washington State.

Looking down 100 feet below you can see the pool created by the waterfall. After crossing the bridge it is just a short hike down to the creek. You can walk right up to the pool under the waterfall, take a dip if you dare (burrr). Here you will find a host of small animals and a large variety of ferns. Drift Creek Falls is 75 feet high.

Directions:

  • Take Highway 18 west from Salem.
  • About 4 miles before Lincoln City you will see a brown park sign for Drift Creek Falls. Turn Left onto the side road.
  • Drive 9 miles to the paved parking lot and well marked trailhead.