Golden and Silver Falls 12-05-17

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 1859
Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Location: SW Portland

Golden and Silver Falls 12-05-17

Post by bobcat » December 10th, 2017, 9:20 am

I remember coming to this state park a couple of decades ago in the summer, when the falls were a disappointing trickle. Now was definitely the time to check them out again. The place is remote, 23 miles into the southern Coast Range from Coos Bay, but the road is in good shape (From 2014 to 2016, you had to park at a pullout and walk the last 1 ½ miles in to the park because of a landslide; state parks couldn’t afford the repairs, but a local dairy farmer charitably bailed them out). There are three trails here: one to Silver Falls, one to Golden Falls, and the middle one that visits both. Silver Falls (259 feet) and Golden Falls (254 feet) are the second and third tallest waterfalls in the Oregon Coast Range after Munson Creek Falls in Tillamook County.

Hiking up to Silver Falls, you’re on one of the more interesting trails in an Oregon state park. This was a pack trail that was transformed into a wagon road in 1901 by four homesteaders from the upper Glenn Creek valley above Golden Falls. The road was blasted out of the cliffs, crossing Silver Falls at their base on a wooden bridge, and then hugging the cliff to the top of Golden Falls, 250 feet above the creek. An automobile stage operated this route, barely wide enough to accommodate a Model T, between 1912 and 1916, running from Allegany to Scottsburg. Trucks also brought lumber down the cliffs from a sawmill in the Glenn Creek valley. The last homesteader left the upper valley in 1958, and the road was closed.
Trailhead in myrtle grove.jpg
Silver Falls through the maples.jpg
Below Silver Falls.jpg
Silver Falls bridge.jpg
Maples and myrtles, Golden Falls Trail.jpg
Glenn Creek.jpg
Golden Falls from below.jpg
Silver Falls plunges over a sandstone dome in spectacular fashion. Golden Falls, on Glenn Creek, is a similar height but neither can be approached to their base without a lot of slippery scrambling. The middle trail, however, does switchback close to Silver Falls, and you get an excellent side view. Then it’s up through a narrow defile on the homesteader road along the cliff to the top of Golden Falls. Don’t step too close to the edge as it’s a little crumbly: state parks can’t afford to keep idiots from plummeting to their doom here!
Douglas-fir, Upper Trail.jpg
Silver Falls, Upper Trail.jpg
Rainbow below Silver Falls.jpg
Pack trail along the cliffs.jpg
The cliff road.jpg
On the lip of Golden Falls.jpg
Upper tier of Golden Falls.jpg
Looking over Golden Falls.jpg

User avatar
Posts: 770
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: McMinnville, OR

Re: Golden and Silver Falls 12-05-17

Post by kelkev » December 10th, 2017, 10:55 am

Very Nice! One of those places I've always had on my "must see" list but I haven't made it there yet. Thanks for sharing!
"Going to the mountains is going home."
— John Muir

Post Reply