This weeks Throwback Thursday hike features the some lesser known and visited waterfalls near Salem, OR not far from the more famous falls of Silver Falls State Park.
On 5/22/2011 we headed out for a short hike to a pair of waterfalls on Shellburg Creek. Two trailheads offer access to the falls. The Shellburg Falls Trailhead is open year around while an upper trailhead located at the Shellburg Falls Campground is only open from May 20th through October. We started at the upper trailhead. To reach the campground from Highway 22 turn north on Wagner Road, which is just east of Mehama, OR, and follow signs for 8 miles to the campground.
From there a .8 mile trail crossed Shellburg Creek twice on it’s way to Shellburg Falls and then Lower Shellburg Falls. From the looks of the creek we didn’t expect much from the falls but as is often the case looks can be deceiving.
The trail dropped down and passed behind the falls before continuing downhill to a short side trail to the bottom of the falls.
Less than a quarter mile later we arrived at a closed road (the route up from the lower trailhead)which crossed Shellburg Creek via a concrete bridge. Lower Shellburg Falls lay just on the other side of this bridge.
We turned left (east) on the road and followed it for .3 miles to the August Mountain Trail. The August Mountain Tail climbed just over a mile to junction with the half mile Vine Maple Trail which led us back to the upper trailhead.
Much of these trails crossed logging roads and passed through thinned forests.
From the upper trailhead the loop was right around 3 miles while starting from the lower trailhead would have added about 2.6 miles to the days total. While Silver Falls State Park sees plenty of crowds Shellburg Falls sees far fewer. If you’re in the area and love waterfalls it’s definitely worth the visit. Happy Trails!
Flickr: Shellburg Falls