Mount Rainier National Park – Silver Falls


What? :

The Silver Falls Loop hike takes you upstream along this impressive river, to a majestic 30 ft tall waterfall and back through humbling forest, all in just three miles.


Discover this 3-mile loop trail with 300 ft of elevation gain. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 1.5 hour to complete.



Where? :

Located in the southeast corner of Mount Rainier National Park.

If you are coming from Paradise area or from highway 410 drive about three miles south from the junction with the Stevens Canyon Road. Drive south to the entrance for Ohanapecosh Campground on the right. Turn into the campground and follow the signs to the day use parking area.

If you are coming from highway 12, drive north on road 123 to Ohanapecosh Campground on your left.

Google Map Link


There is another starting point trailhead that provide a shorter out and back hiking option.

This trailhead is located on road 123, look for Three Lakes Trailhead. 1.5 miles north of Ohanapecosh Campground entrance, or if you are coming from the north a quarter of a mile south of the junction with Stevens Canyon Road.

Google Map Link


Another hike starting point is from Stevens Canyon Road, just near the junction with highway 123. Park at the small parking lot, find the trail that leading south along the west bank river.

Google Map Link



When? :

The park is open year-round but Stevens Canyon Road or road 123 are closed during winter.



Due note 1: Fires are prohibited.


Due note 2: No pets on trails.


Due note 3: Treat river water before drinking.


Due note 4: Water and public restroom are available at Ohanapecosh Campground.



My thoughts:

On my way from Paradise to Sunrise visitor center location, I had only half an hour to spare for this hike to see Silver Falls.

I parked my car on highway 123 at Three Lakes Trailhead. I went down the trail leading to the river. After very short walk I turn right into the direction of the waterfall (this is the longer loop trail).

Short walk upstream direction (right) lead me down to the waterfall level.

It was impressive waterfall.

I stayed here for few minutes, enjoying the waterfall view, and went back to my car.



The visit:

Near the campground you can see the hot springs that where once the center of a resort. Today the springs returned to their nature looking.

From the campground the trail pass through deep forest along the east side of the river for about 1.5 miles to the falls.

The trail climb moderately and begins to switchback down to a bridge over the river, which offers impressive perspective on the waterfall and the river rolling out beneath you.

At this rocky section, the Ohanapecosh River plunging 40 feet into a deep blue pool.


After seeing the falls, the trail crosses an old wooden bridge passing over deep and narrow chasm. Then the trail loops back to the Ohanapecosh Campground on the river's west side.


I recommend doing the longer hike from Ohanapecosh Campground along the river but if you do not have a lot of time the short 20 min down and back up to the car is great hike.






Additional Pictures: