"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Ten Waterfalls in One State Park - Oregon

Lyons, Oregon
John Neal Memorial CO Park


After reading Trace's post about Silver Falls State Park and the waterfall hike, I knew we had to put it on the list.  The drive was very pretty and for July, the area was drier than the mountains or the coast.  There were many fields of wheat, many which were being cut and pine trees.  I know that Oregon grows many of the trees that end up in your home for Christmas in California. The picture below reminded me of the Italian countryside.

The campground at the park itself was full, but I found a county park nearby that worked perfectly.  John Neal Memorial County Park was $26, no hookups.  Since we were only staying Friday through Monday, we knew we didn't need any.  The temps weren't too bad and we'd be gone most of the daytime anyway.
It's a bit tight for larger rigs to drive through and the sites are also on the smaller, tighter side.  We were given site #4, but asked if we could have the site next to it on the end.  The positioning of the site would be much easier to get into and was also more private with some grass and greenery.  The host said no problem so we took site #2.
 Lots of wheat fields.
Cut and ready for harvest.
Acres and acres of small trees.
 
 Get ready, lots of waterfall pics. I'll keep the words brief.
Since the trail was over 8.7 miles and the weather in the 80s, we were there just as the park was opening.  Since you cannot bring dogs on most of the trails we'd be on, we left Hurley home.  We didn't want him to be in the heat of the later part of the day so that was another reason for the early start. The above map shows the  height of the waterfalls.
It surprised us at how large the parking lot was.  It could probably hold 200 cars.  There were only 3 other vehicles there beside us. Seemed odd
We started out on the Canyon Trail and took the Rim Trail back.  At first we were very confused by the signs on how to get to the trailhead.  We tried a couple directions and then figured it out after asking a park employee cleaning off the sidewalks.
I'd rate it more moderate.  Most of the trail seemed fairly level with some ups and downs.

It always amazes me the wonderful work the CCC has done.  Beautiful work and created so many jobs.
Off we go.  The waterfalls were gorgeous.  I loved how you could walk behind many of them.

 
The trails were mostly shaded.  It was actually a bit cold when we headed out and cloudy.  The heavy moss growing on the trees was enchanting.
Ferns also lined the trails.  For the most part you are following the river which sometimes was ore of a trickle and other times deeper and faster flowing.

 

 


 
Look at all that moss on the tree.  One beautiful waterfall after another.  What a great trail.
Steve getting ready to fly in the background.
Behind the falls.

 The sound is so loud.
 



The sun finally peeks out and we see some blue skies.





The bright sun really illuminated the moss under the overhang behind the waterfall and made what so far was always dark green a fluorescent color.  Loved it.  I wish it was more of a sunny day.
I spotted a heart shape in the rock in the ceiling when I looked up.


I guess they someone wants to make sure this tree isn't stolen, ha ha.
First time seeing Fungus graffiti. Shame on you, Ron.
Pretty reflections on the river.
Loved the rays of light coming through the trees.  There were some really, really large pines here! 
Once again, you can walk a long way around and behind the waterfall.  It was especially cool back here.
 
All this hiking sure made Steve thirsty!
 
These steps were one of the steepest parts of the hike just before coming switching to the Rim Trail.
 
Now you are away from the river and finished with the waterfalls.  There is a parking lot here with some restrooms. The trees are huge and the undergrowth very thick.  You are paralleling the road and it's not as quiet and peaceful as the Canyon Trail.  You can hear some road noise and there are pullouts along the way where many people were parked.  This part of the trail has a paved bike trail that runs alongside some of it.
The trail got much busier on the Rim side as there are many points to access it.  I really don't like to share a trail with that many people.  I like the quiet when I'm hiking.  Dogs are allowed on this side and there were a lot of them.  The trail was more narrow and it was annoying to have to maneuver around them.  Most weren't the most polite dog owners either. Once we got back to the parking lot we were amazed to see it totally full and cars circling, looking for a spot.  This is also a popular place for picnics which could explain why it was so busy.  It's also right across from the campground, so it's a busy spot, especially with the cafĂ© and store here.

A great hike for sure if you want to see several waterfalls in one place. 
 
 

8 comments:

  1. Wow...what a gorgeous area to hike! Good thing you guys got there early.
    Safe travels!

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    Replies
    1. Great hike, glad we heard about it from Trace.

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  2. Amazing scenery! I've always wanted to hike behind waterfalls. May have get there one day.

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    Replies
    1. A fun way to hike and see many waterfalls!

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  3. Stunning waterfall photos. I love the couple moss shots too. I bet Hurley was happy to see the camper door open with your smiling faces.

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  4. Looks like a great hike with all the waterfalls. Too bad about the inconsiderate dog owners.

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    Replies
    1. So many all conveniently located on the same trail :-)

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