Hike Distance: 9.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 1329 feet
We originally parked at the South Falls parking area but upon seeing the shear crowds of people decided to drive off to the Howard Creek TH. We were delighted at this decision as there was only one vehicle parked there, as opposed to the hundreds at the South Falls. I had wanted to see some of the waterfalls but not at the expense of solitude. We’ll wait for a time when people won’t come out in droves before we see the falls.
So we decided to go on the Buck Creek Loop, and were delighted at this decision. We saw six people on horseback and two hikers during the entire time out on the trail! It was unfortunate, but not unexpected, that there were large patches of mud all over the trail system. This is typical for the Silver Falls backcountry. It was also a pleasure to pass the area with Old Growth. These huge 6+ foot diameter trees are always a fantastic sight and we stand in awe of them. We also came upon signs indicating the Perimeter Trail was closed due to storm damage. This has happened once before, and it took quite a while to clean up, probably due to accessibility. A fantastic day and hike.