Today, June 16, we visited Silver Falls State Park, located 20 miles east-southeast of Salem and 1 1/2 hour drive from Eugene. The Park is the crown jewel of the Oregon State Parks system, being both Oregon’s largest State Park and boasting one of America’s most impressive waterfall day-hikes, the Trail of Ten Falls, a 7.8 mile loop trail that runs along the banks of Silver Creek and passes by 10 waterfalls. Four of the ten falls have an amphitheater-like surrounding that allows the trail to pass behind the flow of the falls. We started this hike going in a counterclockwise direction from the Silver Falls Lodge along the rim of the canyon. We entered a magnificent cathedral-like old-growth forest of towering Douglas firs and hemlocks on a beautiful maintained trail. The first waterfall we came to was the Upper North Falls, 65 feet tall, cascading off a basalt cliff formed by ancient lava flows. We’ve got nine more to go, so we continued along the trail descending a lot of stairs to view the North Falls. At 136 feet tall it is one of the tallest falls in the park, and the huge grotto behind the falls was amazing to walk under. Another mile down the trail we came to a side view of the 31-foot Twin Falls. Then we took another side trail to view the 134-foot Winter Falls which had a good flow of water still. We stopped on a bench to capture our photo in front of the falls. Returning to the main loop, we headed down the Canyon Trail to pass near the top of Middle North Falls and down the side trail that goes behind the 106-foot high falls and further along the slope to an overhang to get a dramatic view looking back at Middle North Fork Falls framed by mossy maples. So far of all the falls we have seen, this one is our favorite because the cascading water is so close to the trail when you walk behind it. The next waterfall we saw was the view from the wooden platform of the single 27-foot drop Drake Falls, named after the man who helped make this place a State Park. We took the side trail to view the two-tiered Double Falls, the tallest waterfall in the park at 178 feet. Continue reading
Yaquina Head Lighthouse
On June 3, 2021, we took our RV to the Guaranty RV paint shop to give the roof a new look. We booked into the River House Inn in Florence on the Oregon Coast for three nights. We have a nice room on the second floor looking out across the Suislaw River and Bridge and the sand dunes. Our first day trip we drove north to Coos Bay after a nice breakfast at the Little Brown Hen Cafe. We wanted to see the Cape Arago Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on the Oregon Coast, erected in 1866. When we arrived at Cape Arago State Park our first stop was the Simpson Reef Overlook and Shell Island. The barking, groaning and baying from literally thousands of pinnipeds (walruses, seals and sea lions) greeted us as we opened the car doors. The views were amazing of the many seals and sea lions on the reef and Shell Island through the binoculars. Continue reading
Salt Creek Falls
On June 1, 2021, we took RSHRPA in for repairs and a paint job at Guaranty RV in Junction City, Oregon, and went on a day trip in the Jeep to Sweet Creek Falls, one hour drive west of Eugene near Mapleton. It was a beautiful hike through dense moss covered trees for 2.2 miles, following the creek. There was a section of canyon wall “cat-walk” that made it possible to stay beside the creek without getting wet. Many other smaller falls grace the hike in, but Sweet Creek Falls is the grand finale with four tiered-plunges ranging from 10 to 30 feet cascade for a total of 70 feet, creating a multiple waterfall. The water was crystal clear and perfect for getting my feet wet, wading in the small pools. There weren’t many people there and so we had the place to ourselves most of the time. A great hike not far from Eugene. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
The Eagle Cap Wilderness was established in 1940 and lies in the heart of the Wallowa Mountains in northeastern Oregon, with a total of 359,991 acres. It was used as hunting grounds for bighorn sheep and deer, and was the summer home to the Joseph Band of the Nez Perce tribe, who moved into the Wallowa Valley in 1860.
The Eagle Cap Wilderness is characterized by high alpine lakes and meadows, bare granite peaks and ridges, and U-shaped glaciated valleys. We decided to do an overnight backpacking trip to Ice Lake (8-miles one-way, 3.400′ of climb) from the Wallowa Lake Trailhead, because it is one of the most outstanding and loved locations in the Eagle Cap. The trail climbs, unbelievably, right up a rockslide and up through sub-alpine into alpine, with meadows full of wildflowers, making the 8 mile trek both beautiful and strenuous. We passed a large waterfall, Lower Adam Creek Falls, just before we started the many switchbacks to the final accent into the large cirque that cradles Ice Lake, sitting in a multicolored basin 7,800 feet in the sky. We set up camp over looking Ice Lake under the trees, we were really tired after hiking for almost 8 hours and settled in after dinner for a comfy sleep in our tent. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
On August 3rd we left Coeur d’Alene and headed for Joseph, Oregon, with an overnight stop in Clarkston, WA, at the beautiful Granite Lake RV Park situated on the Snake River. The next morning we drove to Joseph along a very narrow, winding road over Rattlesnake Pass to the Wallowa River RV Park in Wallowa, Oregon, just north of Joseph. The town of Joseph named in honor of the famous Nez Perce Chief Joseph, is a true western town with cobblestone sidewalks, no power lines and the crowning feature is the 7 Monumental Bronze Sculptures. These larger-than-life-size sculptures represent themes common to the West. The Bronze statutes were sculpted by different artists all portraying the Western Way of Life. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
On October 26th, 2019, while staying at Seven Feathers RV Park in Canyonville, OR, we drove over to Crater Lake National Park for the day. Visiting this iconic Park for the second time was still a special treat, to see that brilliant blue color of the lake is still so impressive. There wasn’t as much snow this time but we couldn’t drive the entire Loop road around the lake yet, but we drove along the West Rim Road as far as we could. The Rim Road is a 33-mile loop that follows the caldera rim around Crater Lake, and was finally finished in 1919. We stopped at every view point there was to get different perspectives of the lake. There are eight main viewing areas with roadside parking, and it is 7,900 feet at its highest point. We stopped at the Rim Village for lunch at the restaurant that was open, before heading back. Crater Lake became the Nation’s sixth national park on May 22, 1902, by President Theodore Roosevelt. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
After leaving Bellingham on October 18th, we stopped in Portland, Oregon, where we stayed at the Columbia River RV Park situated on the Columbia River. We had not stopped in Portland before and wanted to explore the area. We visited Multnomah Falls at the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, it is the tallest waterfall in Oregon at 620 ft. in height. It was a rainy day as we left to drive to the falls, but it cleared up as we arrived to view the impressive two tiers of waterfalls cascading over basalt cliffs. Some interesting history about the waterfall; it formed around 15,000 years ago at the end of a hanging valley, and was created by the Missoula Floods. The name comes from the Multnomah tribe, and according to legend, the waterfall was formed after a young woman sacrificed herself to the Great Spirit to save Multnomah village from a plague by jumping from the cliff, and the Multnomah people were saved. After her death, water began to flow from above the cliff, creating the waterfall. If you can believe legends from long ago! The waterfalls were even noted in the journals of Lewis and Clark during their expedition down the Columbia River Gorge in October, 1805.
We finally left San Diego on June 15th heading north to the Oregon Coast where we had booked into the Sea Perch RV Resort for two nights, located near Yachats, We explored the beaches near the Park, first drove to get a beautiful view of Heceta Beach at the viewpoint looking across to the Heceta Lighthouse. After enjoying a fabulous late lunch at the Yachats Brewing + Farmstore we drove to Cape Perpetua Scenic Area and took the short hike to see the Devil’s Churn, Thor’s Well and Spouting Horn. We were there near high tide around 5:00 and we watched the turbulent ocean waves crashing through small cracks in the rocky shore, spraying straight up into the air. The next day we drove north toward Newport and stopped at the Seal Rock State Recreation Site. We hiked down through the Seal Rock State Wayside, and saw views of large off-shore rock formations that provide habitat for seals. sea lions, and other marine life. The beach has interesting tide pools as well as excellent ocean views and a sandy beach which we walked the entire length, enjoying the ocean breeze and the beautiful views. As we drove back to Yachats we pulled off the road to see these huge amazing wood carvings. It is the Brian McEneny Woodcarving Gallery and has one of the largest displays of refined chainsaw sculpture and tables on the Oregon Coast. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
Our next stop was at Bend Sisters Garden RV Resort near Sisters, Oregon. We drove to the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway past Mt Bachelor to Sparks Lake where we had great views of South Sister across the Lake. We also stopped at Devils Lake and walked around the lake, a beautiful shallow lake, with waters an exquisite turquoise color. Devils Lake provides access to the Three Sisters Wilderness where we started at the Devils Lake Trailhead, to hike up toward South Sister (10,358 ft) and Moraine Lake. The views of Moraine Lake from the snowfield was awesome , and then we hiked down to the Lake before heading back down the trail. We met three guys on their way down the mountain who had hiked to the summit, they were exhausted. It is a great hike and maybe the next time we will hike to the summit also. Our reward for this hike was a stop at Next Level Burger where we ate delicious vegan burgers. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
We left Vancouver on October 1st, and headed south to Mount St Helen’s National Volcanic Monument for a few days. We stayed at Silver Cove RV Resort, Silverlake, Washington and drove up to visit Mount St Helen’s. Prior to to the 1980 eruption, Mount St Helen’s was the fifth-highest peak in Washington, at 9,677 ft, now the summit is 8,363 ft. The first recorded sighting of Mount St Helen’s was in 1792 by George Vancouver, and he named it for British diplomat, the 1st Baron St Helen. Mount St Helen’s notorious eruption in 1980 was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the US. Killing 57 people, and 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railway, and 185 miles of highway were destroyed. We visited the beautiful Visitor Center and then went on the Harry’s Ridge Hike, 8.5 miles R/T. This trail is the best for getting a sense of the total devastation from the 1980 eruption, and we were blown away by the destruction, as the crater looked so close to us. Then the trail turned to head up to Harry’s Ridge, where we had a view of the crater and Spirit Lake, with logs from the eruption still floating on the lake. It was such a clear sunny day that we could see Mt Adams and Mt Hood in the distance from the top of the Ridge. We returned to the Visitor Center and waited until the full moon appeared in the horizon, great ending to a perfect day. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading