The Most Wonderful (and Dangerous) Time of the Year

It has been snowing on and off for days at Silver Falls State Park, transforming the lush temperate rainforest into a precarious winter wonderland.  Tuesday morning, rangers were greeted by 8 to 12 inches of snow in the South Falls area along with a morning power outage and fallen branches and trees littering the roadways.  And the weather showed no signs of letting up, causing trail and road closures throughout the park.

If you choose to venture out to any snow-struck Oregon woods, bear in mind that, like Sirens luring sailors to shipwrecks, winter weather can be as perilous as it can be enchanting–making it the most wonderful (and dangerous) time of the year.

Drivers Take Care: Silver Falls State Park’s roads are above 1000 feet and are not a major thoroughfare.  Rain in the Valley can mean snow at the park.  The road can be 100% snow-covered or ice-covered during a winter storm, making maneuvering corners and negotiating slopes extremely dangerous.  Additionally, heavy snow causes trees and branches to fall, at times blocking roads and taking down power lines.  Chains, traction tires, and/or 4-wheel drive as well as winter driving skills are recommended.

Hikers Be Aware: Temperatures below freezing will cause freezing on the Silver Falls trail network.  Water seeping from the hillsides and mists spraying from waterfalls will freeze and make the trails dangerously slippery.  Passage around or near waterfalls is not recommended during freezing temperatures.  Additionally, heavy snow can cause overhead hazards as snow-laden branches and trees snap under the extra weight and icicles clinging to rocky overhangs let go.

Want to see South Falls without making a risky journey?  Take a look at our webcam!

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