This event is co-organized by Portland Hiking Meetup Group and Wilderness Skills PDX. (Total event size includes the spaces from both listings.)
Silver Falls State Park could be the sweetest in the whole Oregon state park system! It's the largest and offers one of the most impressive set of waterfalls in the country. This is a great place for photography. Lots of water, moss-covered trees, ferns, and it has some shade for shooting during the harsh hours. We'll be doing some great hiking, but the focus here is getting to locales and taking time for shoots. We may even split into groups based on interest and re-meet at certain times. We will probably stay for late afternoon light. Then we'll stop for some food in Silverton before heading home.
Total mileage: ~4-8 mi. depending on routes
Elevation gain: As much as 1300 ft. total
Pace: ~2 mph
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Dogs: Not permitted in the part of the park we'll be in
Weather: Will update closer to date
Maps: Will be provided
Round-trip driving mileage: ~120 miles (suggested: share of day-use fee and $10 donation per person to drivers, but no one turned away for inability to contribute)
Permits: Per vehicle, state park pass or $5 day-use fee
4WD: Not needed
Suggested gear: 10 essentials*, rain gear, lunch, snacks, at least 1.5 liters of water, hiking poles, cash for drivers (exact change helps), post-hike change of clothes/shoes.
Electronics: Feel free to bring a GPS or phone, but only for emergency use or to quietly gather data, make maps and such. We're in the wilderness! This hike is for those who can roll with being independent in and experiencing the relative isolation of the back country.
Wilderness ethic: Leave No Trace**
Please arrive on time. We'll shoot for hitting the road in 10-15 minutes. Call me at[masked] if you are cutting it close and we'll wait for ya.
RSVP/no show protocol
Sorry for so much fine print, but there are generally a lot of people on the waiting list for hikes! And late-canceled spots often don't get filled because people on the wait list naturally make other plans. That's a bummer. So I'm asking for some basic cooperation:
When on the YES list: Please decide if you want to come and then come! If you change your plans please update your RSVP, no matter how late. If you bail within 24 hours of the trip, it really ought to be for a good reason. If you bail the day of the trip, please let me know so we are not waiting for no reason (and let me know what the issue is, if you want a chance to avoid being marked as a no show).
When on the WAITING list: The waiting list is manual, so whenever a spot opens up you'll get an email notice inviting you to grab it. (Unfortunately it's just by email.) If you don't get a spot, please do not just show up, unless you are willing to take a chance that there is a spot and will not be mad at me for sticking to the planned group size limit. If I expand the limit, I do it ahead of time.
My trip style
Let's have a good time while keeping our act together and working as a team. Unless stated otherwise, we'll use an informal point and sweep system. Whoever is hiking in front is "point" and should wait at the next trail junction or other designated spot to regroup. You don't have to remain point. If you are hiking last, you're "sweep" and should maintain awareness that no one in the group is behind you. You don't have to remain sweep, but it's good to offer support for any group member you come upon who may need help.
I will guide the group, but won't make decisions for you. All participants are ultimately responsible for themselves in the backcountry. If you disagree with what the group is doing, you can break with the group (but holy hiking boots do not do that without letting me know!).
* The "ten essentials" include: compass, map, sun protection, extra food, extra water, extra clothing, headlamp or flashlight, first aid, fire starter, and a knife. The idea is to be able to comfortably handle basic emergencies and at least one unexpected night out. In my view, one of the most important pieces of safety gear, which is not included in the ten, is a whistle, an effective signaling device. Many hiking incidents begin with getting separated, either by getting a little lost or becoming injured. In both cases you want to be able to get help before your comrades are out of reach.
** For more on Leave No Trace principles see my summary in the Files section.