Silver Falls

Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area / Coos County, Oregon, USA

Rating: 2.5     Difficulty: 1.5
Silver Falls
Silver Falls near Coos Bay seemed to us to be a waterfall that ought to get more love than what it appeared to get during our rain-heavy Oregon trip in March 2009. I could totally see how a waterfall like this would have been a major draw in Southern California, for example). But since it was within the waterfall-laden state of Oregon, it seemed like it was treated as just another average waterfall.

We actually didn't anticipate visiting this waterfall on that March 2009 trip, but bad weather and snow closures made us retreat away from the inland mountains and towards the Oregon Coast. I'd have to say that we were quite glad to have made the last-minute change of plans. So as we were headed to a place like Bandon Beach, we had to go through Coos Bay and that was when we noticed some signage and literature that led us on this spontaneous detour.

Not to be confused with the Silver Falls State Park east of Salem (which strangely enough didn't even have a waterfall there named Silver Falls), this one plunged some 100ft with a rock protruding near its top essentially splitting the waterfall. Now since we were there in the midst of unseasonably late Winter storms and days upon days of rain, perhaps the high flow of the falls wasn't the norm. Thus, we'd imagine that under more average conditions in late Spring and Summer, perhaps this falls would probably have lower flow conditions most of the time. As a result, the photos you see on this page might reflect higher flow than average.

In addition to seeing the falls from the short 15-minute return walk from the car park, there was a 60-minute round trip Upper Trail that passed by the side of this waterfall near its base on the other side of the creek before continuing to climb towards the top of Golden Falls.

Given the continued foul weather on our visit, we didn't linger here for too long. We were merely content to take what photos we could while limiting water exposure to our electronics. Perhaps under calmer conditions, I could envision a little more exploration in the area as well as a picnic.

Directions: From the town of Coos Bay along the Hwy 101 on the Southern Oregon Coast, we headed east on Coos River Hwy (note: the Hwy 101 is more like any other busy city street at this point). We followed the Coos River Hwy for about 24 miles all the way to the end of the road at the trailhead for both Silver Falls and Golden Falls.

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Bandon Beach, which was further south along the Oregon Coast from Coos Bay, was the reason we stumbled upon Silver Falls
Sign at the trailheadSign at the trailhead

Julie on the muddy trailJulie on the muddy trail

Approaching the waterfall viewpointApproaching the waterfall viewpoint

Silver Falls in context amidst the rainThe falls in context amidst the rain

A short spur to the base of Silver Falls from the upper trail leading to the top of Golden FallsA short spur to the base of Silver Falls from the upper trail leading to the top of Golden Falls

Silver Falls from the Upper TrailSilver Falls from the Upper Trail

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Bottom up sweep of the falls

Sweep of the falls from a spur branching off the Upper Trail

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For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.

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