The Trail of Ten Falls
7.2 Miles, easy to moderate hike that gives you multiple views of waterfalls, taking you up, around, and behind to admire them.
Camping: We booked a campsite for May about a month in advance. Total fees came out to $27 for one night. Sites include picnic table, fire pit, water, restrooms, and showers. They have lots of firewood available. The rangers came by and asked if we needed firewood. They ended up bringing us a wheelbarrow full of firewood which was more than plenty.
Trailhead: We started at South Falls since it was the closest to our campsite. The loop is pretty straight-forward, and there are two detours you can take to shorten the trip if you’d like. Here’s a helpful map.
My buddy and I drove down from his place in Portland. The drive only takes about an hour and a half, but we made a couple pit stops. We also weren’t really in any rush, so it took us about three hours to get there. The drive there takes you through the Oregon countryside and quaint towns, and the drive up the mountain is also quite scenic.
Once we reached camp, we quickly found our site and set up our tent. The campground felt empty and quiet that Friday afternoon. The South Falls area has a restaurant, restrooms, and lots of benches and stone walkways.
The Trail of Ten Falls definitely lives up to its name. It felt like there was always another waterfall waiting just around the river bend. The hike is fairly easy so I recommend taking your time and stopping at each one. The trail is vibrant with lots of green. The colors pop since it seems the trail is perpetually wet from the waterfalls.
Once you’ve seen all the waterfalls, you can take the Rim Trail to loop back to the campground. The forest up on the rim is a nice change of pace from all the waterfalls, and it feels like stepping into a storybook wonderland.
The visitor center was closed once we returned to South Falls, so we just relaxed on the lawn before heading back to camp. Since it was just the two of us, we decided to bring a chess board to play for the night. I suggest bringing small tea lights to help illuminate the board game at night to avoid using harsh headlamps. Also, never underestimate your opponent in chess.
Overall, this was a beautiful hike that didn’t disappoint.