Drake Falls is the fifth of six significant waterfalls along North Silver Creek within Silver Falls State Park, and is also the shortest of the waterfalls encountered along the Trail of Ten Falls (there are several other waterfalls on Silver Creek downstream from the trail which are smaller but cannot be accessed without going off-trail). The 27-foot tall cascade rumbles over a broad sloping ledge of basalt set in the middle of a fairly deep, narrow constriction in the canyon of North Silver Creek. Because of the restrictive geology, views of the falls are limited to those afforded by a small deck perched alongside the trail as it passes the falls. Unfortunately a small tree growing adjacent to the deck obscures just enough of the falls that totally clear views are not possible (but given the minor stature of the falls, this shouldn't be a deal breaker for most visitors).
- Drake Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
The waterfalls of Silver Falls State Park were discovered and named by local photographer June Drake in the late 1880's. Drake Falls was named for June Drake, who is either rolling over in his grave at the poor views available for this waterfall, or was an exceptionally modest person to name the smallest waterfall of the canyon complex after himself (though it isn't clear if Drake named the falls for himself, or if a third party named it in his honor).
Silver Falls State Park straddles Highway 214 east of Salem and can be reached from either the north or south. From Salem, exit Interstate 5 onto Highway 213 eastbound and proceed 10 miles to Silverton. In Silverton turn right (south) onto Highway 214, following signs pointing to Silver Falls State Park, and drive another 15 miles to the Winter Falls trailhead. Alternatively, from I-5 in Salem drive east on Highway 22 to its junction with Highway 214, then follow Highway 214 for just under 17 miles to Winter Falls. Hike the Winter Creek trail to the bottom of Winter Falls and beyond to the junction with the Canyon Trail in a half of a mile, then bear left and hike another one-third of a mile, past Middle North Falls, to the viewing deck which overlooks the falls.