The Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area has to be among the smallest and most obscure properties in the state park system. But the two waterfalls it was created to protect were reported as magnificent, so we had to see them for ourselves. We were not disappointed. This area is 24 miles back in the hills east of Coos Bay and we stopped off there on our way to Reedsport. There are three trails here: one each to the base of each falls and one that visits both falls. We started with the trail above Silver Creek to the base of Silver Falls, which free-falls for 223 feet, then cascades another 36 feet down into the creek’s narrow canyon.
After seeing Silver Falls from below, we returned to the parking area, crossed Glenn Creek on some artfully placed myrtle tree rounds (the footbridge was washed away last winter and is awaiting replacement), and did the short hike to the base of 254-foot Golden Falls.
From the base of Golden, we backtracked and followed another trail up above Silver Creek to the east side of Silver Falls and then around a point above Glenn Creek to the head of Golden Falls. Part of this trail (and the lower trail to Silver Falls) were a section of a road that homesteaders blasted out of the cliffs in 1901. The sheer drop where it passes the cliffs above Glenn Creek is over 200 feet! This wildly precarious route between Allegany and Scottsburg was maintained by the county until 1958.
We were lucky to visit the falls after a fairly wet winter, so they were still running well in nice, sunny weather. If you want to see them at full force, plan a visit for winter or early spring (Silver Falls all but disappears in summer). Just dress warmly and wear your rain gear! 😎HOME