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Silver Falls Loop

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The Ohanapecosh River may be the most picturesque stream in the park, with its crystal-clear waters, moss-laden banks, and tall forests above. One of the prettiest sections of this most attractive river is Silver Falls. This sparkling cascade tumbles over a jagged, rocky ledge, creating a noisy splash full of silver streamers and frothy white water. The trail to the falls draws lots of hikers of all ages and abilities since it is relatively flat, well graded, and easily accessible. Don't let the masses get you down, though, since even on the busiest Saturday afternoons, this hike is well worth the effort.


The hike starts from the visitor center on an interpretive trail, but at 0.2 mile, you veer right onto the Silver Falls Trail to continue up the east side of the Ohanapecosh River. The trail is relatively flat and well maintained as it ambles north through the moss-laden forests flanking the river. The path stays above the river most of the way, with only occasional views of the pretty stream.

At about 1.7 miles, the trail reaches a junction with the Laughingwater Creek Trail. Stay left (straight) and in just a few moments the trail curves toward the river, dropping onto a sturdy footbridge that spans the narrow, rocky gorge of the river just below the falls. From the bridge deck, you have fantastic views of the cascade. Stop for pictures--then hold tight to your camera as you peer straight down into the depths of the clear pool below the falls.

After crossing the river, the trail climbs a few yards to join the Eastside Trail. Turn left to follow the river back downstream (to the right, the Eastside Trail reaches the Stevens Canyon Road trailhead in about 0.5 mile). In a mile, you pop out of the forest onto the back loop of Ohanapecosh Campground. Walk the road back across the river (the road bridge spans a beautiful, deep pool in a rocky bowl) to reach the visitor center parking lot after 3 miles of walking.
Driving Directions:

From Enumclaw, drive east about 47 miles on State Route 410 to the junction with SR 123 at Cayuse Pass. Stay right (straight ahead) to merge onto SR 123-Cayuse Pass Highway. Drive south about 11.5 miles to the junction with the Stevens Canyon Road. Continue south on SR 123 past the Stevens Canyon Road to the Ohanapecosh Campground on the right in about 3 miles. Turn in to the campground and park in front of the visitor center. The trailhead is found behind the visitor center.
From the south, drive US 12 about 8 miles east of Packwood to the junction with SR 123. Turn north onto SR 123 and continue 3.5 miles to Ohanapecosh Campground. Turn left (west) into the campground and park as described above. Note: SR 123 was severely damaged by the November 2006 floods. Although the road has been reopened, call to check on road conditions.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 25 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Silver Falls Loop, Eastside Trail — Sep 29, 2013 — Bob and Barb
Day hike
Issues: Water on trail
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We parked at the TH for The Grove of the Patriarchs and hiked 0.5 miles on the Eastside Trail south ...
We parked at the TH for The Grove of the Patriarchs and hiked 0.5 miles on the Eastside Trail south to the Silver Falls Loop Trail hiking the loop trail clockwise. Rain was a constant companion! The Ohanapecosh River and Silver Falls were raging from the recent rains! We met only one other couple who had started from Ohanapecosh CG which closed today. The trail is in excellent condition except for standing water in some areas from the recent rains.
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Silver Falls Loop — Sep 29, 2013 — Bob and Barb
Day hike
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This report is for those who might be interested in the progression of the red juice tooth fungus. I...
This report is for those who might be interested in the progression of the red juice tooth fungus. I had been hoping to see one of these for several years so it was fun to follow its progression since we were hiking in the area 2 different week-ends!
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Silver Falls Loop — Sep 15, 2013 — Bob and Barb
Day hike
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We had to go home today but before we left we hiked the trail about 0.8 mile to where we had seen th...
We had to go home today but before we left we hiked the trail about 0.8 mile to where we had seen the Red Juice Tooth Fungus on 9-12 as we wanted to see the change in the fungi. The fungus in our picture in our Thursday report no longer had as many red juice areas and looked like pictures of the older stage that we saw pictured online when we searched for info on the fungi after returning home. Many people were hiking this beautiful trail today.
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Silver Falls Loop — Sep 14, 2013 — erok2020
Day hike
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Great hike today.. trail was well maintained and fun. Our route began at Ohanapecosh Campground (eas...
Great hike today.. trail was well maintained and fun. Our route began at Ohanapecosh Campground (east side of the river) and continued to the falls (1.3m?). We returned back the same path - we did not complete the loop.
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Silver Falls Loop — Sep 12, 2013 — Bob and Barb
Day hike
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After setting up camp at Ohanapecosh CG, we hiked this easy loop trail along the Ohanapecosh River t...
After setting up camp at Ohanapecosh CG, we hiked this easy loop trail along the Ohanapecosh River through a beautiful virgin forest with a moss covered understory. There were several varieties of fungi along the trail. The highlight of the hike was seeing our first red juice tooth fungus!
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silver falls loop - sarah kirkconnel.jpg
Silver Falls Loop. Photo by Sarah Kirkconnell.
Location
Mt. Rainier -- SW - Cayuse Pass / Steven's Canyon
Longmire Wilderness Information Center
Statistics
Roundtrip 3.0 miles
Elevation Gain 200 ft
Highest Point 3200 ft
Features
Rivers
Waterfalls
Established campsites
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Mt. Rainier National Park Trails (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)
Green Trails Mount Rainier East
No. 270; Contact: Longmire Wilderness Information Center
(360) 569-4453

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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Red MarkerSilver Falls Loop
46.73305 -121.569283333
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