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Silver Falls Loop

Mount Rainier Area > SE - Cayuse Pass/Stevens Canyon
46.7330, -121.5693 Map & Directions
Length
3.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
600 feet
Highest Point
2300 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Easy/Moderate
Silver Falls Loop. Photo by nwroth. Full-size image
  • Dogs not allowed
  • Rivers
  • Established campsites
  • Waterfalls

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass

The Ohanapecosh River is arguably the most beautiful in Mount Rainier National Park, with water so clear you can see all the way to the bottom in many places. Where it's not crashing over rocks, of course. The Silver Falls Loop takes you upstream along this impressive river, to a majestic waterfall and back through humbling forest, all in just three miles. Continue reading

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Hiking Silver Falls Loop

Here's a short, sweet little loop in the southeast corner of Mount Rainier National Park. Interpretive signs illuminate the past, when visitors flocked here to take advantage of the warm water that was believed to have healing properties. You can't soak in the springs anymore (and they're certainly not large enough to want to), but the rushing waters of the nearby Ohanapecosh River, and the history here make this a great visit for a leg stretch or a hike with little ones.

The name Ohanapecosh comes from the name of a Native American village that once existed along the river. The Taidnapum Indians lived in the Cowlitz Valley, indeed, their name means "Upper Cowltiz". The word Ohanapecosh is believed to mean "standing at the edge".

And that's right where you start your hike, at the northeast end of campground Loop B, next to campsite B-2, on a riverbank, right above the Ohanapecosh River. Proceed into the forest on nice wide tread, following the signs for about 0.1 miles, where the Ohanapecosh Hot Springs Trail veers off to the right. 

Continue through deep forest, climb gradually to an overlook of the Ohanapecosh River as it crashes down in a tumbling, vivid-white cataract. The trail begins to switchback down to a bridge over the river, which offers impressive perspective on the waterfall and the river rolling out beneath you. 

Past the bridge, turn left, and follow the trail through grand, open forest with a mossy carpet as it first parallels the river, then turns away from it, wending down through the trees for 1.5 miles from the bridge to the amphitheater at Ohanapecosh. Turn onto the road and hoof it back to the parking area, and the start of your hike. 

Hike Description Written by
Anna Roth, WTA Staff

Silver Falls Loop

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.7330, -121.5693 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass

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

From Packwood, drive east on Highway 12 about 8 miles to the signed junction with for Highway 123. Turn north onto Highway 123 and drive 3.5 miles to the Ohanapecosh Campground. Turn left into the campground and follow the signs to the day use parking area.

Coming from the west side, drive east from Enumclaw for 47 miles on Highway 410 to the junction with Highway 123 at Cayuse Pass. Keep right at the junction and merge onto Highway 123 (Cayuse Pass Highway). Continue south for 11.5 miles to the junction with the Stevens Canyon Road. Pass the junction and continue south to the entrance for Ohanapecosh Campground on the right. It is about three miles past the Stevens Canyon Road junction. Turn into the campground and follow the signs to the day use parking area.

If the day use area is full, stop in at the Visitor Center to ask for help. Some, but not all, of the other campground loops also have Day Use parking. The Ranger Station may also have parking a 5 minute walk away.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area > SE - Cayuse Pass/Stevens Canyon

Mount Rainier National Park

Guidebooks & Maps

Green Trails Mount Rainier East No. 270

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Silver Falls Loop

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