At The Independence Hotel, we love Oregon Wine Country and you could spend years exploring new wineries and vineyards, but there is so much beauty in the Pacific Northwest, and The Independence is a perfect jumping off point to explore. So why not stay an extra night and venture on an epic day-trip? In this post we are highlighting one of several unforgettable day-trip options: Silverton. Soak in the spectacular scenery of Silver Falls State Park, and add a new memory to your Wine Country getaway.
Often called the “crown jewel” of the Oregon State Parks system, Silver Falls State Park never disappoints. With trails and view points that invite you to explore a forested canyon with 10 waterfalls, three that you can walk behind!
Day-trip to Silverton and Silver Falls State Park
Silverton is only a one-hour drive each way from The Independence Hotel. Yet, once you set foot in Silver Falls State Park, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into an entirely different world, perhaps even back in time. (More on that later.) If you follow our itinerary, most of your day will be spent in Silver Falls State Park, but we always suggest adding your own research to ensure there’s nothing you miss out on in the town of Silverton. This itinerary is accessible year round, but the weather changes constantly (even in the summer) so make sure to bring closed toe shoes you’re comfortable hiking in, as well as a rain jacket you can tie around your waist if the sun comes out and the day grows warm. We also recommend bringing a backpack so you can pack snacks and water for your journey. Regardless though, make sure your cameras are fully charged as you will absolutely be taking an immense number of photos.
*Note: this itinerary was made with summer in mind, when the sun stays out longer than in the winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a trip there year round. Just take note of the earlier sunset if you’re traveling in the winter, as you want to avoid hiking in the dark.
Be sure to take plenty of pictures, with views from behind the curtain of a waterfall, to beautiful flora and fauna, there is plenty of magic to capture.
Silverton Daytrip Itinerary:
8AM: Wake up at the hotel, and head down to the lobby for a complimentary hot breakfast!
9AM: Time to drive to Silverton, Oregon. (1 hour drive each way.)
10AM: Stop at a local market and pack a lunch ‘to-go’ for later on.
- Depending on the time of year, we recommend checking out the Oregon Crafters Market (first weekend of May-last weekend of October), and/or Silverton Farmer’s Market (starting May 15th).
- Another option is to check out a local restaurant and order your food for pick-up: The Curbside Kitchen (open 10AM), Little Leaf Café (open 7AM), and Main St. Bistro and Bar (open 7AM).
- If you’re feeling more of a grocery store vibe, check out Roth’s Fresh Markets in Silverton.
From left: the tomato and beet bounties from Silverton Farmer’s Market, two dishes from Little Leaf Cafe, canolli from The Curbside Cafe.
10:30AM: Head to Silver Falls State Park
- Silver Falls State Park has been dubbed “the crown jewel” of Oregon state parks, with the kind of beauty that can stun you to stillness and take your breath away.
- There are dozens of different hikes you can try at Silver Falls State Park, some catered for people who crave a more leisurely walk to advanced hikers who really want to move. Just make sure you leave yourself enough time to really appreciate what’s around you.
- If you do not wish to hike, the South Falls Day Use Area allows you to see the first (and most famous) of the waterfalls, (AKA South Falls) from the start of the trailhead. This area also has BBQ stands, picnic shelters, a playground, horseshoe pits, and an off-leash area for dogs. So you can spend the day there, soaking in the tall trees around you, eating your packed lunch whenever you feel hungry, and checking out the visitor center at your leisure.
- You can also explore Silver Falls State Park via bike or horseback. more information on these modes here.
- If you do decide to hike, these are our recommended trails…
- Trail of 10 Waterfalls: This is the most famous (and most challenging, though it is considered moderate) trail of Silver Falls State Park. As the name implies, you will be hiking past 10 waterfalls, including 3 that you can walk behind, absorbing what it feels like to be hidden behind a beautiful silver liquid curtain. However, this is a full day hike for most hikers. (Trail length: 7.4 miles, with moderate ups and downs.)
- Silver Falls Canyon Loop from Winter Falls Trailhead:
- Passes 7 waterfalls
- Takes (on average) between 2-3 hours to complete.
- Moderately challenging.
- Shortest Hike: South Falls Via Canyon Trail
- Only 0.9 miles but still allows you to hike behind the famous South Falls, and feel the mist of the water crashing below rising back up to tickle your face. If you are looking for a more leisurely walk, this is our recommendation for you.
- South Falls and Maple Ridge Loop:
- Rated as a “moderate” hike.
- 6 miles
- Estimated Time: 1 hour and 15 min.
- Still passes the famous South Falls
- Important note: Dogs are only allowed on specific portions of certain trails. So make sure to research those ahead of time if you’re planning to bring your four-legged family members along.
From sweeping vistas to delicate flowers to admire, Silver Falls State Park is a wonderland!
This forested canyon has no shortage of trees to marvel at!
Ten waterfalls, each with its own personality…get to know them all.
12PM: Time for lunch!
- Wherever you’re at (mid-hike, at the visitor center, taking a nap under a beautiful tree), it’s time to bust open those goodies you purchased earlier and have yourself a tasty, local lunch.
- Note: There is a public restroom at the South Falls entrance to the park.
Note: If you’re attempting one of the longer trails (certainly the 10 waterfalls hike) this portion of the itinerary will likely take up the full day, so you can go ahead and skip the next part of the itinerary. If you choose a small jaunt, however, there is more to see in Silverton.
2pm: Head to the Oregon Garden
- Keep nature at the forefront of the day and explore Silverton’s exquisite botanical garden, including a pet-friendly section, rose garden, and children’s garden.
- Check the website for your specific date to see if any special events are taking place.
2pm: Tour the Gordon House:
- The only house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Oregon.
- Those 17 and under get in free but must be accompanied by an adult.
- Summer tours operate from March 1st – November 25th.
- Note: The last tour of the day (during summer hours) is 2pm.
- Click here for tickets
Check out the lush grounds of The Oregon Garden, every season delivers new beautiful blooms o explore.
The Gordon House on the grounds of the Oregon Gardens, the only Frank LLoyd Wright design in Oregon.
4PM: Check out downtown Silverton.
- As with so many of the smaller towns in the PNW, Silverton has lots of adorable Mom and Pop shops, bakeries, patisseries, coffee shops, antiquing stores, etc. Get lost as you wander around the town and see what jumps out to you!
6PM: Enjoy a local dinner: You have several to choose from, but here are a few suggestions…
8PM: It’s time to head back to Independence! But saying goodbye is never sweeter than when it means returning to the Willamette Valley. Your cloud-like bed at The Dundee Hotel awaits you, as do all of the activities you have planned here with us!
So many great food and beverage options downtown Silverton! From left to right: Milltown Pub and Historic Restaurant, Guerro italian restaurant, Sandee Thai Restaurant