Whispering Falls is well named – it is a whisper of a waterfall. Don’t make a special trip for this one. The waterfall is accessed from the Whispering Falls Campground, but you can’t really get to it without going through one of the campsites. While we were looking around for it, we happened to run into some friends who were camping there and showed us where it was. The serendipity of that meeting makes for a fond memory, but the waterfall itself is unremarkable. If you stop by, look for an eagle’s nest along the river to the south of the waterfall.
SUMMARY: My rating: Low-priority (1 star)
(Waterfall – 1 star, Trail – n/a, Experience – 2 stars)
Distance from Beaverton: About an hour and 45 minutes drive southeast
Nearest town: Idanha
Nearest city: Salem
Length of round-trip hike: None
Best season to visit: The waterfall is best observed in the winter, but the campground is only open May through September.
Things to know: If visiting in summer, plan to get wet. The best views are from the North Santiam River itself.
Consider combining this trip with: A vacation at Detroit Lake, Sevenmile Creek Falls, or French Basin Falls.
Toilet / Amenities: Vault toilets in the campground.
How to get there:
- From I-5 in Salem, follow Highway 22 east for about 58 miles to the Whispering Falls Campground. (About 8.3 miles east of Detroit.)
- Visit sites 12-15 to get a view of the waterfall.