Silver Falls, Oregon
Silver Falls! What a beautiful place! I can’t stress that enough!
Last Monday morning at 6:30AM, I found myself at the Winter Falls Trail Head of Silver Falls State Park. OMG! What a great place to be at that moment. My intent that morning was to walk the entire 8 mile Trail of Ten Falls and take as many pictures as I can along the way. I took over 200 pictures that day. Below are just 10 of my favorites. The morning shots are beautiful, but, while the sun in the afternoon was welcome, it began messing with my lighting. I’m looking forward to going back soon for an evening hike to catch the different lighting.
The Silver Falls area features 10 major waterfalls ranging in heights from 27 ft. – 178 ft. The falls run the course of the North and South Forks of the Silver Creek just before they converge into each other. The two creeks converge just after the South Fork passes Lower South Falls. Geologically, the area was formed from lava layers millions of years ago. Several different passages of lava created several different layers of varying sizes, shapes and thicknesses. The result being a beautiful canyon, with high walls with nooks and crannies all over. Mysterious trees dot the canyon and I even found some old growth trees on the top rim of the canyon.
The area became a State Park in the 1930s, with it’s current total acreage accumulated over the years since. The CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps built the trail system that takes hikers near all the waterfalls in the area. As stated earlier my hike started at the Winter Falls Trail Head, I headed toward the North Falls. Walking through groves of old growth trees, littered with Winter Wrens making their morning calls from the tops of branches sticking out of the underbrush. None of them felt photogenic that morning for me anyway.
Before getting to North Falls I detoured up the the Upper North Falls just a little further up the trail. That’s the first image, on the left, below. The two images on the right are at North Falls.
My morning trek took me West from North Falls where the trail eventually meandered down alongside the North Fork of the Silver Creek and I got to walk along the creek for the next couple miles. I picked a beautiful spot along the creek for my morning meditation since I hadn’t done that yet. What a great place to meditate! There are lot’s of little nooks along the trail to stop and rest a while. After meditation & light snack, Twin Falls was next up. Unfortunately Twin Falls wasn’t looking very photogenic that morning either. I couldn’t get any good images as there weren’t any good view points. So I just kept walking to the next falls, Middle North Falls, pictured on the left below. Followed by the tallest waterfall in the park, Double Falls, below in the center, and Drake Falls (probably the shortest major waterfall in the collection) appears below the rails of a wood platform built, supposedly, for ease of viewing.
Lower North Falls rounds out the set of falls here in what feels like the middle of the park.
After another mile and a half hike, I came across Lower South Falls. And the start of the trail out of the canyon. By this time the sun was getting to a place where the lighting wasn’t very conducive to photography. But I still do the best I can. Plus, I guess I hiked the trail backwards? I wonder if it matters? I walked the direction I felt like walking that morning. So, bare with me. Finally, the South Fork, Silver Creek.
Lower South Falls is below, on the left. And, almost finally, an image peering out from behind South Falls. The second highest waterfall in the park coming in at only 1 foot shorter than the 178 foot tall Double Falls.
Finally, an image that I took along the way. Kind of an abstract waterfall image.
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