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Silver Falls - Grove of the Patriarchs Snowshoe

Mount Rainier Area > SE - Cayuse Pass/Stevens Canyon
46.7184, -121.5776 Map & Directions
Length
9.9 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
400 feet
Highest Point
2500 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Moderate

The bridge over the river to Grove of the Patriarchs is closed

A snowy suspension bridge to the Grove of the Patriarch. Photo by Must Hike Must Eat. Full-size image
  • Old growth
  • Rivers
  • Dogs not allowed
  • Established campsites
  • Waterfalls

This snowshoe route may be relatively flat, but it's a hard one to get to, since the highway to this part of Mount Rainer National Park is closed in the winter. It takes a 3 mile road walk both ways in addition to the loop itself. Continue reading

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Hiking Silver Falls - Grove of the Patriarchs Snowshoe

This snowshoe route may be relatively flat, but it's a hard one to get to, since the highway to this part of Mount Rainer National Park is closed in the winter. It takes a 3 mile road walk both ways in addition to the loop itself. 

At about 1.5 miles in, hikers pass the entrance to the Ohanapecosh campground. Another 1.6 miles in, look for a turn for Stevens Canyon. Head for the guard station. There is a bridge over the Ohanapecosh River 0.2 miles later. It's a dramatic sight, so make sure to stop and enjoy it before continuing on.

Climb through quiet forest with the river on your right until you reach a suspension bridge, 4 miles from the trailhead. This bridge can have snow on it and be hazardous to cross -- evaluate your comfort level and the snow levels before heading across it.

Once on the "island" of the Grove of the Patriarchs, follow the loop around and through huge giants. It helps to visit in summer first, but having a map to follow in winter works as well.

Recross the bridge and head back to the road. Cross it, and get onto the Silver Falls Trail, heading gently downhill from an unsigned trail. Be careful here, too -- the river is to your left and in sections this trail can be exposed. Especially if there is snow or ice here, watch your step.

5.8 miles into the hike, arrive at a junction. The left fork goes towards the falls; the right heads downhill through forest. You can take a side trip to a view of the falls (it's just 0.1 miles to an overlook), or head all the way back to the Ohanapecosh campground that way. Otherwise, take the right fork and walk through quiet forest to the campground.

If you choose to go left, you'll cross the bridge over the Ohanapecosh River at 6.1 miles, and the tiny hot springs 7.8 miles in. Arrive at the campground at 8 miles, then pass the visitor center and head back up to Highway 123 at 8.5 miles.

From here, it's another 3 miles to your car along the road.

Hike Description Written by
Multiple authors contributed to this report, WTA Community

Silver Falls - Grove of the Patriarchs Snowshoe

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.7184, -121.5776 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

The bridge over the river to Grove of the Patriarchs is closed

See weather forecast

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

Drive Highway 12 to its intersection with Highway 123, then turn north onto 123. 7 miles from the junction with 123, the highway is gated for the winter. You'll need to park here and walk the road for 3 miles to the trailhead for this hike.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area > SE - Cayuse Pass/Stevens Canyon

Mount Rainier National Park

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Silver Falls - Grove of the Patriarchs Snowshoe

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