Silver Falls

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

About Silver Falls


Hiking Distance: 1/4- to 1/2-mile round trip
Suggested Time: 15-30 minutes

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

Waterfall Latitude: 43.48779
Waterfall Longitude: -123.9343

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).

Silver_Falls_009_04022009 - Silver Falls in high flow during a rain storm
Silver Falls in high flow during a rain storm

However, since it was within the waterfall-laden state of Oregon, it seemed like it was treated as just another average waterfall.

A Happy Accident

We actually didn’t anticipate visiting this waterfall on that April 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 because Silver Falls (and Golden Falls) provided our waterfalling excuses to explore the Oregon Coast.

In fact, we happened to notice signs for this waterfall near Coos Bay as we were headed to Bandon Beach.

Silver_Falls_002_jx_04022009 - Julie walking closer to Silver Falls during a rain storm
Julie walking closer to Silver Falls during a rain storm

Thus, we wound up on this fruitful spontaneous detour that eventually led us to the Silver Falls.

Bad Weather and High Flow

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 waterfall plunged some 100ft.

The rock protruding near its top essentially split the waterfall making it appear somewhat segmented.

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.

Silver_Falls_008_jx_04022009 - Context of the base of the Silver Falls before the trail ascended to the top of Golden Falls
Context of the base of the Silver Falls before the trail ascended to the top of Golden Falls

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.

It passed by the base of Silver Falls on the other side of the creek before continuing to climb towards the top of Golden Falls.

Golden_Falls_005_04022009 - Golden Falls shared the same reserve and trail with the Silver Falls
Golden Falls shared the same reserve and trail with the Silver 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.

Authorities

Silver 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 at the trailhead within the Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area
Silver_Falls_005_jx_04022009 - Julie on the muddy trail (given the high rainfall during our early April 2009 visit) approaching the Silver Falls viewpoint
Silver_Falls_006_04022009 - Focused look at the Silver Falls in high flow
Silver_Falls_006_jx_04022009 - Similar view of the Silver Falls as the prior photo but this time in fast exposure to show how much water was coming down the waterfall under such high flow from all the rains we had been getting
Silver_Falls_010_jx_04022009 - Profile view of Silver Falls from the Upper Trail

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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.

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.

Bottom up sweep of the falls


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

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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 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.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.