Pictured left: Silver Falls in all it’s beauty along with a rainbow at the base.
One of the more popular family outings in the region. You’ve got waterfalls, cool structures (stone steps, log fences, CCC-styled benches), nice views, and intermittent shade. Recently in 2015, a fire burned through the area, so many of the trees you pass by are burnt. Because of this all of the bridges along the trail were dismantled prior to the fire hitting the trail to avoid further damage. It is hoped that steel bridges will be added back to the water crossings in 2017 to replace the old wooden bridges.
This is a loop hike, currently as of August 2015 there is one creek crossing you will need to do and one log crossing in order to complete the loop. This is due to the bridges being gone for the time being. This can still be completed with young kids using proper foot wear and an adventurous spirit. The water pools along this trail are very clear and cold. A good hike for a hot day!
Activity: Hiking, Family Fun
Nearest Town: Entiat
Skill Level: 2
Fitness Level: 2
Distance: 1.75 miles
Elevation: You’ll gain 650 vertical feet (a fair bit for a short hike).
Photo right: Dahlia Shaffer helps Marlin Payne walk up the slight uphill. For reference Marlin is 1 and Dahlia is 3. If they can do it, so can your littles.
Access: Drive 97A just north of the bridge crossing the Entiat River. Turn (west) and drive up the Entiat River Road about 30 miles (all paved). Park at lot immediately before Silver Falls Campground on the left. A bathroom is available at the trailhead. The trail starts up the road about 75 yards on the right side of the road.
Trip Instructions: Follow the obvious path. Not much to it. The trail climbs fairly steeply. After about 0.25 mile, you’ll have the choice of whether you want to loop around the falls in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. The trail goes to several viewpoints and eventually crosses the creek forming Silver Falls above the falls. Either direction for starting the loop is fine, both sections are comparable.
Picture above: The clear cold pools from Silver Falls.
It’s interesting how the vegetation in the draw of the creek is West-side vegetation (cedar trees, hemlocks, grand firs…) Just 50 to 100 yards away the vegetation can be more indicative of dry forests (ponderosas).
Trip Report and Pictures Updated: by Sarah Shaffer on 8/1/16
Fees/Permits: Northwest Forest Pass required for parking at the trailhead. You can self-register and purchase a day pass at the trailhead ($5 in 2005). The trails along the Entiat River Valley are examples of places where the Forest Service is doing the permit thing right — if they require a pass, that pass should be sold at the trailheads where it is required. Other ranger districts should take note.
Picture right: Fresh fire remnants.
Additional Information: The Wenatchee World has printed a variety of articles about this hike. Rob Ollikainen’s article (July 2007) gives a more descriptive report of the hike, or you can click here to read the details posted by the Forest Service (May 2008).
There are also picnic tables available near the parking lot, so picnics can be had by all who bring the food.
Leave It Better Than You Found It. This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull some noxious weeds along your route, throw branches over unwanted spur trails, don’t ride or walk wet trails when you’re leaving ruts/footprints deeper than ¼ inch…
Disclaimer. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change, and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or may not know all the issues affecting a route. You are still completely responsible for your decisions, your actions, and your safety. If you can’t live with that, you are prohibited from using our information.