Silver Falls Hike
The Silver Falls hike is a 4.8 km family-friendly hike in the southeastern portion of Mount Rainier National Park that takes you to a cascading waterfall and that can be easily linked with the popular Grove of the Patriarchs trail. The hike requires little elevation gain and the trail is wide, making it a nice choice for families.
Years ago, visitors flocked to the waterfalls to soak in the springs, which were believed to have healing properties. You’re not allowed to swim in them anymore, but you can read the collection of interpretive signs along the trail that highlight the history of this spot.
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Route Description for Silver Falls Hike
The Silver Falls hike is a family-friendly, pretty hike to a waterfall in Mount Rainier National Park. With wide trails, little elevation gain, and signage to follow, it’s an easy, quick outing for visitors to the southeastern portion of the park. The parking for the trail can fill, so we recommend coming earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon.
The Silver Falls hike begins at the northeastern end of Loop B in the Ohanapecosh background, right next to campsite B2. Follow the riverbank and walk into the forest along a wide path. At 0.2 km, the Ohanapecosh Hot Springs Trail splits off to the right, so follow the signage for Silver Falls.
Walking through the forest, you’ll gain gentle elevation to a viewpoint over the river and the falls. Watch the white water cascade over the rocks, the mist nice and refreshing on a hot day. As you switchback down a bridge over the river, you’ll earn a nice view of the waterfall and river below you. Enjoy this portion of the hike before departing the falls area.
Once you’re past the bridge, go left along the trail as it leads through the forest. You’ll walk alongside the river for a bit, then turn away from it. Walk through the trees for a mile and a half to the amphitheater at Ohanapecosh. Here, you’ll join the road and walk back to the parking area where you began.
The nearby Grove of the Patriarchs trail is an easy family-friendly addition to this hike.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there hot springs on the Silver Falls hike?
The hot springs that used to attract visitors to the park have been allowed to revert back to their natural state. There are no longer soaking pools to use, but you can take a swim in the river if you feel so inclined.
Can I camp near Silver Falls?
The trailhead for the Silver Falls hike is in the Ohanapecosh Campground. You’ll need to book your site ahead of time.
Insider Hints for Silver Falls Hike
- Although tempting to walk on for little ones, the rocks around the falls are very wet and slippery. Supervise kids closely!
- This trail is susceptible to washout in certain parts. Check conditions online before visiting, especially in the spring or after significant rains.
- This is a perfect hike to enjoy if you’re staying in the Ohanapecosh Campground.
Getting to the Silver Falls Hike Trailhead
To get to the Silver Falls trailhead from Packwood, drive east on Highway 12 for about 12.9 km to the junction with Highway 123. Turn north onto Highway 123, driving 5.6 km to the Ohanapecosh Campground. Turn left into the grounds and follow the signage for the day use area. If the day use area is full, you can stop at the Visitor Center and see if there is open day use parking nearby.
Silver Falls Hike Elevation Graph
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Silver Falls Hike Reviews
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