2024 Guide: Lower North Falls, OR (Silver Falls State Park)

Long exposure photography of Lower North Falls, Oregon.
Lower North Falls is often little more than a waterslide and is among the less-impressive waterfalls in Silver Falls State Park.

🌊 About Lower North Falls, Oregon: An Overview

Lower North Falls is one of the smallest along the Trail of Ten Falls in Silver Falls State Park. It is also one of six cascades that run along North Silver Creek.

Photographing this waterfall is not going to be the reason anyone visits Silver Falls State Park, but it is certainly worthy of stopping for momentarily if you decide to hike the Trail of Ten Falls. This small cascade feels like a natural waterslide, gently gliding along a slick rock layer as it journeys downstream.

Much of the year, this waterfall will be little more than a thin layer of water atop the rock. Following heavy rainfall, however, it becomes a cute little falls to help spice up the hike.

🌲 Lower North Falls Quick Facts

  • Location: Silver Falls State Park, Oregon
  • GPS Coordinates: 44.89139, -122.64639
  • Lower North Falls Height: 30 feet (9 meters)
  • Avg Width: 55 feet (17 meters)
  • Max Width: 60 feet (16 meters)
  • Seasonality: Lower North Falls is a perennial waterfall, flowing year-round.
  • Viewing Angles: Front-on only. Its a small waterfall so you can see the top and bottom, but you cannot get to the river and have to shoot from an elevated trail.

πŸ—Ί Location of Lower North Falls

🚘 Driving Directions to Lower North Falls

Silver Falls State Park is located on Highway 214 near Silverton, about 25 miles (40km) southeast of Salem and 55 miles (88km) south of Portland. There are four trailheads and parking lots for Silver Falls:

  • South Falls Day Use Area
  • North Falls Day Use and Group Camp
  • North Falls Trailhead
  • Winter Falls Trailhead

The South Falls Day Use Area has the most parking and facilities, including restrooms, water fountains, a cafe, and the lodge. Parking is limited at both the North Falls and Winter Falls trailheads. Unless you are camping at North Falls Group Camp, this option is less ideal as it includes a longer hike to the trail.

With the above in mind, and as it is unlikely you will solely be visiting Lower North Falls, you will likely want to navigate to the South Falls Day Use Area. Directions can be easily found by searching for South Falls in Google Maps! You can also find driving directions to Silver Falls from Portland here or from Eugene here.

πŸ₯Ύ Hiking Directions to Lower North Falls

Lower North Falls is located along the Trail of Ten Falls. Although Lower North Falls is perhaps the most underwhelming of the “North” falls, the hiking trail is spectacular. The Trail of Ten Falls has you weaving through the lush temperate rainforest where you’ll encounter 9 other impressive waterfalls. The hike includes the Canyon Trail and Rim Trail, and is a 7.8-mile loop that can be started from any of the four trailheads.

πŸ“Έ Lower North Falls Photography Tips

There is very little to do creatively at Lower North Falls as visibility is quite restricted. You can see the entirety of the falls from the Trail of Ten Falls, but you will not be able to get down to the water. In addition, many of the views will be at least partially obstructed by branches.

Our advice for photographing Lower North Falls is to be creative with your zooms more than anything else. Try coming in tight and making the foot bridge behind an added subject. Or, try shooting wide-angle if you have some fall colors or other interesting features to put the waterfall into better context within the scene.

If there is enough flow to the falls, consider using a long exposure to create the dreamlike, ethereal element in the water. If you are a beginner, make sure you view (and print) our comprehensive guide to long exposure waterfall photography. In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know!

πŸ’¦ More Waterfalls Nearby

If you have not already, you will definitely want to consult our comprehensive guide to The Trail of Ten Falls in Silver Falls State Park to learn about the different options for hiking, camping, and planning your visit.

As the name implies, there are 9 other waterfalls near Middle North Falls that are all worth visiting and exploring. These include:

πŸ“œ More Oregon & Related Guides

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We have a variety of guides to the Pacific Northwest that you may also find helpful, as well as instructional guides for learning photography.

Additionally, you are welcome to browse our Oregon professional photography gallery for prints and more inspiration .

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Written by
Adam Marland is a professional travel blogger and landscape photographer from Oregon. After over a decade of experience as a freelance travel photographer, Adam found national acclaim when he became the National Park Foundation's β€œChief Exploration Officer” in 2021.

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