Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024
Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Friday, May 30, 2014

Silver Falls State Park - Thurs., May 29

At 10:00 a.m. my sister, Jan, arrived to spend the day with us. Our first stop was Sweet Story Bakery in Sherwood, Oregon. All of us got a coconut bon-bon bar. In addition, Mom ordered a strawberry-rhubarb bar, I got a slice of chocolate chip coffee cake, and Jan took home a slice of lemon ricotta cake with sliced almonds on top.

Then we whooshed down I-5 and U.S. 22 east to Hwy 214 which took us to Silver Falls State Park. The day started out cloudy and it threatened to rain. But Mother Nature was kind - no rain, a nice breeze, temperature of 59 degrees - perfect for hiking. 

Trail of Ten Falls - map of Silver Falls State Park
On our first pass by the Day Use Area, we did not stop to buy a Day Use Pass, thinking because we weren't in the picnic area we wouldn't need the $5 pass yet. Wrong! Our first viewpoint at Winter Falls had a sign saying "Day Use Permit Required." We retraced our route two miles to the machine where we could buy our Day Use Pass for the windshield and headed back.

The decision was made to hike to Upper North Falls first. What an easy, gorgeous hike! It was 2/10 mile one way to the falls on a fairly level trail. 

Mom and Jan
Susan and Jan
Beautiful rapids.
Trail to Upper North Falls
Upper North Falls
Mom and Jan at Upper North Falls
Mom and I at Upper North Falls
Trees were covered in moss, giving the forest an otherworldly look and feel. Douglas fir trees gave off the most delicious butterscotch scent that made the woods smell wonderful. Salmonberries were blooming, along with bleeding heart, monkeyflowers, wild iris, wild rose, and wild rhododendrons. A few salmonberries were growing on the plants and it looked like a few had ripened and been eaten already. 

From Upper North Falls, we hiked a short distance in the other direction to an overlook for North Falls. Some intrepid hikers were down at river level balance-beaming it across a fallen log. We didn't hike to the bottom since we could see the waterfall from the upper trail.

Trail to North Falls
Adventurers at river level.
North Falls.
Wild rose
Rapids on the river
Once we were back in the car, we headed to the Day Use Area to have our picnic lunch. On the way, we stopped at the overlook for North Falls, took some photos, then stopped at Winter Falls trailhead. We started down the trail, looked back and saw Winter Falls, then decided we didn't need to hike to the bottom of that trail either.

North Falls from viewpoint.
A primer on waterfall/canyon formation
Trail at Winter Falls
For our picnic lunch, Mom wanted a picnic table overlooking the water. We chose a table overlooking the swimming area, but it was too cold for swimming today. It was a great place to eat lunch, though.
Jan and Mom picnicking

View from our picnic table.
We took off hiking after lunch. Our route was the South Falls Loop Trail. On Memorial Day Mom and I did not go behind South Falls, but today all of us went. There's a natural grotto behind the falls and the trail follows all the way around behind the waterfall, you can then continue on to Lower South Falls or cross the bridge and go back up to the top. We chose the latter path. 

Bridge in picnic area near lodge
Stellar's jay
South Falls from trail behind falls.
Mom and I
Mom and Jan on trail behind South Falls.
South Falls
I'm behind again...too much picture taking!
Salmonberry blossom
A rest on the uphill trail.
The park was nowhere near as crowded as Memorial Day! We saw a few families and solitary photographers. What an awesome day. 

On the way home from Silver Falls, we decided to return to Sweet Story Bakery for three more strawberry-rhubarb bars, since those were the hands-down favorite. (Mom shared her bar with us at lunch and it was very tasty.)

We made it home at dinner time. Dinner was easy tonight...pop a chicken and rice casserole from Costco into the oven, steam some asparagus and, voila, dinner! Strawberry-rhubarb bars for dessert.

Friday, I headed to the Tigard Library to get online. Now my past four days have photos. Yay!

Travel Bug out.


  1. Wow.. what a bunch of lovely places to explore, and even better to do it with your mom!

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

    1. Yep, my mom is a real go-getter. We have lots of fun together.

  2. One of my favorite state parks! Glad you got to go and visit.

    1. Definitely high on the list! When Susan and I come through in mid-June, we plan to do the Volksmarch in the park which goes past all the waterfalls. Can't wait!

  3. We like waterfalls, added these to our list.

    1. If you like waterfalls like we do, we HIGHLY recommend you purchase the book, "Waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest." We bought the first edition about 25 years ago when the kids were young. Then we bought the updated second edition. It is now in it 5th edition! The book has waterfalls by region. It works really well because you can look at all the waterfalls near where you are, see if you'd like to go to them, and the directions are right there along with descriptions of the waterfalls and the trail length and difficulty.

  4. We love Silver Falls and the nice thing is, it's so close it makes a wonderful day trip!! Glad you are enjoying your time with family. My sister's name is Jan also. (Janice)

  5. Yes, we went again today (Sunday) and hiked to two more falls. So beautiful at this time of year!


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