Golden Falls

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

About Golden Falls


Hiking Distance: 1 mile round trip (to top)
Suggested Time: 45-60 minutes (to top)

Date first visited: 2009-04-02
Date last visited: 2009-04-02

Waterfall Latitude: 43.48515
Waterfall Longitude: -123.92893

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Golden Falls shared the same reserve with Silver Falls at the namesake Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area near Coos Bay, Oregon.

In order to get a view of it, we only had to do a 20-minute return walk to its misty (at least when we were there) base.

Golden_Falls_006_04022009 - Golden Falls in high flow during a rain storm
Golden Falls in high flow during a rain storm

However, we also took the time to do the 60-minute return hike on the Upper Trail to get right up to the top of the Golden Falls where we could appreciate its 140ft cumulative drop.

From what we could tell, both waterfalls in the state park seemed very similar to us.

It was almost as if we could’ve easily confused the two if we were given unlabeled pictures of each of them.

Anyways, the muddy (when we were there) Upper Trail crossed a bridge then went up some long switchbacks passing by a short spur that led right to the base of Silver Falls.

Silver_Falls_010_jx_04022009 - Profile view of Silver Falls near its base as seen on Upper Trail to the top of Golden Falls
Profile view of Silver Falls near its base as seen on Upper Trail to the top of Golden Falls

The trail continued its climb until it reached a ledge near the top of Golden Falls.

From up at this vantage point, the trees, creeks, and angled views of the falls were below us.

We had to be very careful around the cliff edges because there were no guardrails.

So even though we wanted to get as close to the cliff edge as possible to see the most we could, we knew that the rain made the surface slick.

Silver_Falls_upper_trail_004_jx_04022009 - Julie going up the slippery Upper Trail to the top of the Golden Falls during a rain storm
Julie going up the slippery Upper Trail to the top of the Golden Falls during a rain storm

The stability of the cliffs could not be taken for granted either.

As you can see from the photos on this page, we thought the views we had gotten were good enough and the risk/reward for getting closer to the edge didn’t seem like a good trade.

Given that our visit was inundated with heavy rains (and lots of it), hiking here was damp and muddy almost throughout the trail.

I’m sure it also grew the size of the waterfall so I’d imagine under more nominal conditions, the waterfall’s flow would probably be less than what’s pictured on this page.

Golden_Falls_006_jx_04022009 - This was as much of the Golden Falls that I could comfortably photograph given the treacherous conditions of our visit during a rain storm
This was as much of the Golden Falls that I could comfortably photograph given the treacherous conditions of our visit during a rain storm

Nonetheless, it’s a worthwhile half-day detour if you’re touring this part of the Oregon Coast.

Authorities

Golden Falls resides in Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area near Coos Bay in Coos County, Oregon. It is administered by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Silver_Falls_001_jx_04022009 - Sign indicating what we were signing up for when we partake in the hikes to experience the Silver Falls and Golden Falls
Silver_Falls_002_jx_04022009 - Julie starting on the muddy trail leading to the Golden Falls (as well as the Silver Falls)
Golden_Falls_005_04022009 - Looking ahead at the Golden Falls before ascending the Upper Trail to get up to its top
Silver_Falls_upper_trail_002_jx_04022009 - Julie negotiating the muddy upper trail to the top of the Golden Falls
Silver_Falls_008_jx_04022009 - The Upper Trail skirting past the base of the Silver Falls en route to the top of the Golden Falls
Silver_Falls_upper_trail_004_jx_04022009 - Walking back from the top of the Golden Falls
Golden_Falls_003_jx_04022009 - Final look at the Golden Falls after having been to its top

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This waterfall shares the same trailhead as Silver Falls (where the nearest town was Coos Bay).

See that page for driving directions.

Just to give you an idea of the geographical context of the area, Coos Bay was about 24 miles (30 minutes drive) north of Bandon, 116 miles (over 2 hours drive) southwest of Eugene, 165 miles (3 hours drive) northwest of Medford, and 224 miles (nearly 4 hours drive) south of Portland.

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Bottom up sweep from the end of the trail in the pouring rain


Precarious right to left sweep of the scenery ending at the falls captured from the edge of a cliff edge

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Tagged with: coos bay, natural area, golden and silver falls, oregon coast, bandon, oregon, waterfall



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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