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Silver Falls Loop Hike in the Entiat Valley

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Silver Falls in an absolute gem of hike located in the gorgeous and lightly traveled Entiat Valley between Wenatchee and Lake Chelan in Central Washington. This is one of Washington’s most gorgeous waterfalls and can be enjoyed with a fraction of the people of some of the others that are more well known. A 1.7 mile loop with 600 feet of elevation gain, it’s short but quite steep in places.

Silver Falls is on the homeland of the Yakama and Entiat people of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

Parking Pass Needed: yes, Northwest Forest Pass

Dog Friendly: yes, on leash

Is the Silver Falls Loop Trail right for me?

This is a short but steep hike, so don’t let the relatively short distance fool you into thinking it will be easy! The trail is in excellent condition and has sections of stone steps to assist in parts of the climb.

There are some very steep drop offs along this trail, so use caution!

If you love waterfalls you’ve got to do this!

When is a good time to visit Silver Falls?

This is a good option for most of the year. In the summer it can be extremely hot, although most of the way is shady and along the creek. It is an ideal spring hike, when it’s not too hot yet and the water is roaring from snowmelt.

Where is it?

Silver Falls is located in the Okanogon-Wentachee National Forest along the Entiat River in the Entiat River Valley between Wenatchee and Lake Chelan. To get there from Wenatchee or Chelan, take US-97 Alt (on the west side of the Columbia River) and head west on Entiat River Road, just south of the town of Entiat.

Head up Entiat River Road for 29 miles, passing many wonderful campgrounds (this is a wonderful place to camp for the weekend). If you’re spending the weekend, another great hike in the area is Lake Clara, check it out! You’ll see the parking for the trailhead on the left, just before the turn into the Silver Falls campground. Park here and then cross the road to the trail. A pit toilet is available at the trailhead.

Trail Description

Once on the trail, you’ll quickly find yourself along Silver Creek. A junction for the loop trail is a short distance from the trailhead. Go right, cross a small bridge and begin climbing through the forest along the creek.

You’ll climb through a partially burned forest and along the creek. You’ll see several small cascades along the way to the main attraction. This section is fairly steep but there are beautiful stone steps to help you along the way.

Stone steps along the Silver Falls trail through the forest.
Some of the beautiful stone steps along the Silver Falls trail

In three quarters of a mile, arrive at a spectacular view of gorgeous Silver Falls. Be extremely careful here as there is a steep and unforgiving drop off. A tempting trail leads to the back of the waterfall, be extremely careful not to get close to the edge (it will be tempting) and also do not venture onto any wet rocks.

Multiple cascades of Silver Falls tumble down a vertical cliff with occasional moss
Arriving at Silver Falls – stay way back from the edge!

After taking your time admiring it, continue climbing a bit more into a more open burned forest, filled with fireweed in the summer. You’ll then cross along a more open hillside with views of the surrounding mountains.

A burned tree stands in a burned forest. There are blooming fireweed in front of it. Distance mountains are in the background
Firewood blooming in the old burn along the upper portion of the trail

You’ll cross another bridge over the top of Silver Creek above Silver Falls and then begin a steep descent. Another excellent view of the falls from the other side is available here. On this side, your descent is a much more open burned forest. Just before you get back to the trailhead, you’ll close the loop at another junction (go right to the trailhead).

Breweries and Bakeries near Silver Falls

There isn’t anything super close to Silver Falls (part of what makes it great is it’s remote location!), but depending on which direction you’re coming from or heading to, check out:

Electric Vehicle Charging

The nearest fast charging to Silver Falls is in Wenatchee (CHAdeMO only, 50 miles southeast) or in Chelan (Teslas only, also 50 miles northeast). If it’s a longer road trip, make sure to check the stations between where you’re traveling from and Wenatchee or Chelan. I use Plugshare for trip planning in my EV.

The spray of a waterfall in front of a black rock cliff. Some of the rocks are covered in moss. Text reads: Silver Falls hike near Lake Chelan
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Jennie Flaming
Hi! I'm Jennie. I’m a fourth generation Seattleite who lived in Alaska for 7 years. I've been a tour guide in both Alaska and Washington and I love to share the places I love with visitors, newcomers and my fellow locals. I’m so glad to have you along on the journey to experience your best low key adventure in Washington, Alaska and Western Canada!