Silver Falls State Park and Sahalie Falls

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

Sahalie and Koosah Falls

After leaving Seven Feathers RV Park we drove north to Eugene, to get our RV serviced in Junction City, at Guaranty RV Centers. We decided to stay near the RV Center so we booked in at Life Northwest RV and Lodging in Harrisburg which they had recommended the last time we were here. It was one of the worst Parks we have stayed in as we were parked on the driveway to the main building which we found out was a church because on Sunday morning the traffic was unbelievable. We took the RV into Guaranty and left in the jeep to enjoy the day sightseeing. We drove up to Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls which we had visited before but with the huge snowfall this winter the runoff was amazing. Both falls are located along the McKenzie River. Continue reading

Sahalie Falls, Oregon

It’s a beautiful sunny day for a drive, we wanted to go over the McKenzie Pass on Rte 242, but the road was still closed. So we decided to go off the paved roads and take FS 1028 to the Skylight Cave. After some searching we finally found it only to realize that we need lights and warmer clothes to go down inside. We were in the middle of nowhere, so we were surprised when the Sheriff pulled up and got out of his truck to come over to question us. We had done nothing wrong but he was not very friendly at first, we kept talking and he gradually softened and told us about some 4-wheel drive roads that we could drive to. We drove over the Old Santiam Wagon Road, a red cinder roads through mostly burnt out forest until we came upon a sign pointing to the Pacific Crest Trail, could it be on our Bucket List! Had to take a photo and then headed on our way to Big Lake, where Bob captured a fantastic reflection of Mt Washington in the distance. Continue reading