Walter and Sara Let the good times roll
On June 21, 2010 we finally had a break in our cool wet weather and Walter and I took off for a quick camping trip east of the Cascades.

Our destination was Silver Falls campground along the Entiat River--northwest of Wenatchee and southwest of Chelan.

The sun was out and we found a wonderful campsite with a tiny view of the river. The site itself was one of the biggest ones we've ever had. You could have pitched four or five tents and still had LOTS of room left over.

Rosita the Casita at our Silver Falls Campsite WA

The Entiat River was at early flood stage with the water just starting to flood the willows and shrubs along the shoreline. The trail that led from our campsite went down to the confluence of the Entiat River and Silver Creek--both roaring along with LOTS of water.

The Entiat is the background and Silver Creek is in the foreground of this picture.

Confluence of Entiat River and Silver Creek WA

After dinner we took a stroll through the campground and found a very nice Riverside Interpretive Trail that wound its way along the banks of the river. As we came around one bend there was the largest patch of Bunchberry (Cornus unalaschkensis) I've ever seen.

Bunchberry Cornus unalaskchkensis at Entiat River WA  Bunchberry Cornus unalaskchkensis at Entiat River WA

Here's a view of the mountains from the riverbank. There was an amazing amount of snow at the higher elevations for this time of year on the east side of the mountains. Snow plus heavy spring rains and warmer temperatures clearly was the source of the high water.

Mountains near Silver Falls on Entiat River WA

There were viewing platforms along the riverbank so you could get out a ways over the river as it roared by.

Entiat River from Silver Falls Campground WA

The woods had tons of flowers including these bluebells (Mertensia paniculata) that were over 3 feet tall.

bluebells (Mertensia paniculata) at Silver Falls Campground Entiat River WA

And lots and lots of Queens Cup (Clintonia uniflora).

Queens Cup (Clintonia uniflora) at Silver Falls Campground Entiat River WA

The next morning we took the hike from the campground up to Silver Falls. The trailhead is right across the road from the campground and you can see the falls if you look up the hill from the parking lot.

Silver Falls from trailhead at Silver Falls Campground WA 

I don't know what makes it a National Recreation Trail since I've never seen one before but it sure is a nice trail!

Silver Falls Trail Sign

The trail follows Silver Creek for a while and the creek was FULL of water and the cascades were really lovely. Here's Walter standing on the first of several bridges over the creek.

Walter Cooke on bridge on Silver Falls Trail WA

The bridges were really cool. The railings were made from Western Red Cedar branches that made for a wonderful swooping organic look--Art Deco meets NW rustic for sure.

Bridge detail on Silver Falls Trail WA

Here's a shot of one of the many cascades through this section. The sound of it was really swell.

Cascade overflowing on Silver Falls Trail WA

I think that normally the creek stays on the right-hand side of the creek bed but with so much water in the creek it was flowing all over the place--including little waterfalls in places that clearly don't have water most of the time.

After a while the trail begins to move away from the creek as you work your way UP the hill--it's a 560 ft elevation gain from the trailhead to the top of the falls. The switchbacks give you occasional views out over the river valley.

View of Entiat River Valley from Silver Falls Trail WA

There were 2 kinds penstemon in bloom in the sun along the switch backs.

Penstemon on Silver Falls Trail WA  Penstemon on Silver Falls Trail WA

Just when you need a break from the switchbacks you arrive to a lovely stone terrace (with benches) where you get your first up-close view of the falls. There's lots of stonework here and there along the trail that was probably the work of the CCC in the 1930's.

Silver Falls from Silver Falls Trail overlook

From here you climb a number of stone steps up to the top of the falls.

Top of Silver Falls on Silver Falls Trail WA

Walter insisted on taking a picture of me on this bridge.

Sara Schurr at top of Silver Falls WA

From here you can either turn around and go back the way you came (why you'd want to do that is beyond me) or you can go across the bridge and on down the other side. Needless to say we keep going and did the loop.

The trail follows much closer to the falls on this side and there's an overlook (across the falls from the stone terrace we stopped at earlier) where you can get nearly under the falls. Here's Walter standing in the little alcove behind them.

Walter Cooke standing under Silver Falls along the Silver Falls Trail WA

We didn't get wet standing back here but it was definitely air conditioned!

Walter Cooke standing under Silver Falls along the Silver Falls Trail WA

From a little further down the trail you can get a very nice view of pretty much all of the falls--kind of a profile shot.

Silver Falls from the Silver Falls Trail WA

In amongst all these waterfall views there were flowers and mushrooms! This is false Solomon's seal (Maianthemum racemosum). There was a breeze and the silly thing was waving around which made taking its picture a challenge.

False Solomon's seal (Maianthemum racemosum)

And this is a coral fungus that's just really cool! It was about 3 or 4 inches across. It was surprising to see mushrooms this time of year but no doubt it has to do with how wet and cool it's been. We have mushrooms in our lawn at home now when we usually only see them in the fall.

Coral Fungus on Silver Falls Trail WA

Still further down the trail the view changes again and you can see how wide the falls are right now with so much water in the creek.

Silver Falls from the Silver Falls Trail WA

In the deep shade we found this great cluster of mushrooms growing on an old fallen log.

Mushrooms growing on a downed log on Silver Falls Trail WA

With this pair of little guys growing on the top. My mushroom ID isn't up to snuff so I have no idea what they are but they're neat nevertheless.

Mushrooms growing on a downed log on Silver Falls Trail WA

I've been seeing these little heuchera (Heuchera racemosa) growing on rocks along trails for years in the Eastern Cascades and have never seen them in bloom before. See patience does pay off eventually!

Heuchera racemosa on Silver Falls Trail WA

Just before the trail rejoins itself to complete the loop you come to yet another great cascade.

Cascade along Silver Falls Trail WA

And another sweet bridge--with Wonderful Walter standing on it.

Walter Cooke standing on a bridge over Silver Creek on Silver Falls Trail WA

Don't you just want to have a bridge like this in your yard? I do! Of course then I'd need a creek too but what the hey--I can dream can't I?

Bridge on Silver Falls Trail WA

The trail splits again near the bottom and we took the left fork this time just to make sure we didn't miss anything--god forbid. It was worth the few extra steps (more stone steps that is). Look at the great cascade we found there.

First cascade on Silver Falls Trail WA

The trail is only about 1.4 miles (560 elev gain) and well worth the time and energy it takes to make the climb. And the campground and it's trail are pretty nice too!

I took a series of short videos of the falls from various points along the trail and put them all together so you can experience the falls too.

After lunch we took a drive out to the end of the Entiat River Road and stopped at Entiat Falls. When the river's at full flood like it was that day, water just shoots over and through all the rocks.

Entiat Falls WA

On the far side of the river it was coming out with such force it looked like there were about 6 fire hoses at work! I don't expect spray to arc about of the middle of a fall like that!

Closeup of Entiat Falls WA

And then there was the part of the falls that normally has water in it!

Entiat Falls WA

Here's a panorama shot of the whole falls. Needless to say it was VERY noisy and wonderful.
Click on the photo to see a full-sized version.

Panorama shot of Entiat Falls WA

And here's a video of the falls.

I noticed some little yellow flowers growing in amongst the rocks and had to climb down to get a shot of them. They're Arnica latifolia.

Arnica latifolia at Entiat Falls WA  Arnica latifolia at Entiat Falls WA

Around about 6:00 we looked out of the trailer windows and there was a doe munching on the bushes along the campground road. I managed to get a portion of our screen door open to take some pictures of her.

Deer in Silver Falls Campground

The more photos I took the nearer she came.

Deer in Silver Falls Campground  Deer in Silver Falls Campground

Until she was munching on the bush RIGHT outside the door.

Deer in Silver Falls Campground

The flash didn't seem to bother her (in fact she seemed attracted to it) but some noise down the road a ways drew her attention, which gave me a chance for this great pose. In the end she wandered off only to return later to go back to trimming the bushes across the road.

Deer in Silver Falls Campground WA

If you ever get a chance, take the trip to the Entiat River and hike up to Silver Falls. If the spring melt is on, it's pretty spectacular!