Category Archives: Seasonal & Weather Highlights

Reasons to Celebrate

There are two great reasons to celebrate spring at Silver Falls this weekend.

Hikers can celebrate the reopening of the majority of the Trail of Ten Falls.  Just this afternoon, the work on the Canyon Trail loop from South Falls to Winter Falls was completed.  The January 17th snowstorm and the rains and winds that followed it had taken down more than two dozen trees—leaving behind gaping holes in the trail along steep canyon walls.  Trails are repaired, and visitors can now enjoy all but two of Silver Falls’ ten spectacular waterfalls.  (The section of trail that includes Twin Falls and North Falls remains closed due to storm damage.  North Falls, however, can be viewed from a vista point along Highway 214.)

Plant-lovers can celebrate the blooming of the Park’s first wildflower.  The aptly named “Snow Queen” was spotted earlier this week blossoming even as fluffy white flakes fell.  The race to spring is on.  The Pacific Wren has announced it, and what sounds like an Osprey in the South Falls Day Use Area is cheering the Red-flowering Currant on.

Who will be the next wildflower to bloom?  Head up to the park and let us know!

Winter Storm Damage: Trail of Ten Falls Temporarily CLOSED

Rangers at Silver Falls State Park are working hard to restore trails to safe conditions after last week’s heavy snow and rains.  More than fifteen large trees cross the trail, and fallen limbs litter all 8.5 miles.  A handful of railings and bridges must be repaired, and, in some places, erosion has wiped the trail away completely.

As of Monday, all trails in the park are closed due to hazardous conditions.  Work is beginning in the South Falls area, and the park hopes to open this area by the end of the week.  It might be a couple of months before the entire Trail of Ten Falls loop is reopened.  Check the park’s website for updates:  www.oregonstateparks.org/park_211.php

How Much Water Can Silver Falls’ Waterfalls Fall?

With heavy snow on Monday and Tuesday and then rain throughout the rest of the week, Silver Falls’ waterfalls are booming.  And, due to downed trees, flooding, landslides, and erosion, all trails are currently closed. 

Wondering what the falls look like?  Rangers scouting the trails for hazards snapped these photos of the falls.  See if you can figure out each fall. 

Check the park’s website to confirm your guesses:   www.oregonstateparks.org/park_211.php 

You can also check the park’s website to find out about trail and facility closures.

Expect portions of the Canyon Trail’s “Trail of Ten Falls” to be closed for the next couple of months as crews work to clear debris and rebuild trails and bridges. 

  

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!

www.oregonstateparks.org/conditions/silverfalls

Rain, Rain, Come and Play!

It’s been a crisp, dry December here in the foothills of the Cascades.  For the last few weeks, the creeks and waterfalls have looked more like they do during the summer–light and playful.  And while many of us have enjoyed the Oregon sunshine, it just hasn’t felt like winter at the Falls.  Until now.

Today, this 30th of December, the creek is higher than it has been all year and, in fact, appears to be higher than it has been in the last couple of years.  And full creeks mean raging waterfalls.  Photographs simply do not do today’s waterfalls justice.  To fully understand these falls, you must stand near them, feel the crackling thunder of the water pounding on the rocks and pools below, and get soaked from the bottom up as the swirling mist showers you from all sides. 

If you do not yet have plans for your New Years Eve Day or your New Years Day, I’d like to suggest a trek to come and play at rainy Silver Falls.