Tree Climbing Adventures
at Silver Falls State Park
Start times are at 9am or 1pm, everyday. Reservations required.
In this intro experience designed for everyone, learn to climb some of the largest and tallest trees in the world around 300ft high. Recreational tree climbing, also known as canopy climbing, is an unforgettable adventure that will allow you to climb to the top of the canopy of these massive trees where few people have been. This is your chance to try something not even 0.001% of the population has done.
Explore a perspective of nature rarely seen and learn about the unique ecology, plants, and animals of old-growth forests.
Tree Climbing COurse
In a two and a half day course, learn how to climb trees yourself and learn about all of the equipment you need! You can customize the course, and schedule to your needs. Curious about all the different types of equipment, harnesses, many different methods of ascension, rappelling, or how to get the first line into the tree, then this is the course for you! Maybe you have some awesome trees on your property you would like to learn how to climb, or maybe try your hand at climbing in parks and upcoming programs with this fast-developing sport.
Start time 5pm,
Same as the day introductory tree climbing except this includes catching a sunset from a unique perspective at the top of the canopy of giant old-growth trees. At the end of the sunset, night rappelling and climbing in the dark with head lamps is required. No experience necessary. Up to 1.5 hours of hiking is required and night hiking with head lamps on the way back.
Participants will learn the same basics as the day introductory tree canopy climb, Start times can be variable based on sunset times. We will be in contact to adjust if necessary.
July 15-19 or August 5th-9th
9am - 4pm, M-F
7 to 13 year old's
In this age appropriate and personal small group camp, participants will learn how to climb giant trees and so much more. Other fun activities include learning about ecology, hiking, exploring waterfalls, slack-lining between trees, tree yoga 100s of feet off the ground, napping in tree hammocks or tents, and shooting giant sling-shots to set lines into new trees.
This camp now includes the option for overnight camping in the trees! Participants who sign up for the overnight option will sleep overnight in hammocks or tree tents, and also have food provided.
Coming from Portland and need a ride?
We often commute from Portland too and we are happy to give you a ride if we can. We cannot guarantee you a ride, and it is not part of the fee paid for the tree climbing experience. But if we are able too, we will give one to you. Most of our instructors only have 4 spaces available.
If you want a ride you will probably have to schedule for the morning group at 9am, because we often leave Portland around 7:30am to arrive at Silver Falls State Park in time for the start of the 9am group. Unless there is not a morning group, then we could leave Portland around 11:30am to arrive by the 1pm start time.
Once the 9am group ends around 1pm, we often have another group from 1pm till 5pm that you will have to stick around for, before we head back to Portland. But this will give you the chance to hike the famous water falls trails at the park.
Please contact us directly for more information and to confirm that we can provide transportation.
It is HIGHLY encouraged to give your instructor a great tip that covers both the the ride and the climbing experience. Because we are not charging you for the ride and we do not pay instructors for their commute. They do this out of their goodness of their hearts for travelers. :)
Free Transport from Portland
The meeting point for tree climbing at Silver Falls State Park is at the Howard Creek Trail Head parking lot. We climb as a whole group on multiple trees. These trees are so giant, whole groups of 10 people can climb at the same time on the same tree. We first start at a small practice tree next to the parking lot to learn climbing skills and fit equipment. After everyone is suited up and learns how to climb and rappel, we hike 5-15m (more for the sunset climb) to the main climbing tree that are around 300ft high. Depending on the group and the climbers' ability, you will ascend one to three trees. Climbing more than 20 stories up in a Coastal Douglas Fir Trees offers an amazing perspective and a view few have ever seen.
Tree climbing can be physically and mentally challenging for some. For people who are considered on the high end of overweight or are obese, this activity might not be possible.
We suggest all participants bring snacks and water, this can be a challenging activity for some. It is also just fun to eat in the trees too. If there is an anniversary or birthday, bring cake or cupcakes. Your guide can carry all items for you up to the top of the canopy
Wear stretchy athletic clothes that you do not mind getting dirty. We suggest long sock and pants that cover ankles, and athletic shoes. Do not wear jeans or pants that are stiff.
We keep the climbing process as simple as possible to make sure you are having fun, learning and especially staying safe.
Times & Directions
Typical start times are 9 am and 1 pm for the intro climb. Please contact us if you need more flexibility in your start time. 12 Hour advanced bookings are required, unless you call so we can make the reservation for you within those 12 hours. Online bookings close 12 hours before the experience.
We will meet in the parking lot of the Howard Creek Trail Head inside Silver Falls State Park. Cell service will be limited so please save these directions . Meeting times are 9am or 1pm for the intro climb, early arrival is not necessary. Multi-Day Class is customized.
If you are using Google Maps you will need to put the name Tree Climbing at Silver Falls into Google Maps. Howard Creek Trail Head does not come up on Google maps, but inside the park, the signs will say Howard Creek Trail head.
You will need to have a Oregon State Park day pass, which can be purchased at the park. On the way to the meeting location you will pass a booth and there will be automated day pass machines. $5 day pass or $30 year pass, $50 for 2 year pass. Year passes can be purchased online here.
The multi-day tree climbing course has variable start times, we can be flexible with scheduling if necessary.
Participants must be 8 years of age or older. Minors require a consent form. There is no experience required!
This activity can be challenging or impossible for some people considered on the high side of overweight or obese.
This activity is not similar to zip-lining at all.
If you have any medical condition that could possibly affect the adventure you must let us know. We will try to accommodate all participants as much as possible.
If you are afraid of heights no problem! We have lots of techniques and methods to help you overcome your fear. Fear of heights rarely stops people from doing our tree climbing experience. Often times, people who are afraid of heights and do not enjoy rock climbing have no problem with tree climbing.
Please call (206) 914-8613 with any questions
Attire & Supplies
Please wear long pants that cover the ankles and high socks. Closed-toe athletic shoes or hiking boots work best.
Clothing may encounter tree sap which is difficult to remove. Wear clothes you do not mind getting damaged or dirty.
Wearing layers allows you to regulate temperature better.
We recommend you bring a reusable water bottle, and snacks to enjoy at the top of the canopy and during the climb.
Binoculars, GoPros, cameras and phones can also be used once in a secure location
Our Goals and Mission
Our goals are to give people the experience of recreational tree climbing in old-growth trees, and also provide education about the unique ecology of these ecosystems while having fun. It is important to us that people enjoy a unique climbing adventure and that they also see the benefits of a larger tree climbing industry, that when done properly has no harm to the trees and teaches that we can utilize trees in a way that does not mean cutting them down for logging. We also want people to learn about the importance of protecting and preserving forest so it can turn into old-growth forest for future generations and wildlife.
Less than 4% of the United States' original forests remain in existence. According to the World Resources Institute, less than 1% of "Frontier Forests"--large, contiguous virgin forests with all the species intact--still exist in the lower 48 states.
Old-growth forests play a very important role in the health of planet Earth. They provide habitat for specific species of animals and plants, adding to the biodiversity that is important for adapting to environmental and climate changes. They also help reduce and decrease the severity of forest fires. Old-Growth help reduce local temperatures, keep for the forest floor more wet by providing shade and retaining moisture through it roots. Old-growth trees are much more likely to survive forest fires because of their size. That is why you often see old-growth trees that have survived 500-2000 years with many burn marks. So in the past when a forest fire goes through a forest it burns the ground material and smaller trees but the majority of the forest's biomass and habitat, the old-growth trees, would still be around for animal habitat. Unfortunately most of our forests are logged timber land, full of small over crowded unhealthy trees, that usually burns like matchsticks during a forest fire. So when there is a forest fire, the absence of old-growth trees is just one more reason, out of many, that forest fires are unusually more sever than in the past.
We are just beginning to understand the importance old-growth trees play in the ecosystem, but we now know that they play a major part in many roles. Unfortunately we have already destroyed most of our old-growth "virgin" forest in the United States. The positive side is, we know what needs to be done and we can choose to change things for the better. We know we need to protect them and preserve more forest with the intention to create old-growth forest ecosystems for the future. All of our small choices matter, and we can decided!
In a two and a half day course, learn how to climb trees yourself and learn about all of the equipment you need! You can customize the course, and schedule to your needs. Doing all three days in a row is not necessary. For recreational tree climbing this is one of the best classes in Oregon and the Portland area.
Curious about all the different types of equipment, harnesses, many different methods of ascension, rappelling, or how to get the first line into the tree? Then this is the course for you! Maybe you have some awesome trees on your property you would like to learn how to climb, or maybe try your hand at climbing in parks or upcoming programs with this fast-developing sport.
This course focuses on how to climb trees, using a single rope technique, creating different knots, how to make anchor systems in trees, rescue, first ascents, rope knowledge, webbing construction, and a little double rope technique.
You will learn the basics, giving you a strong foundation of skills and experience to start you off. This course will get you started with lots of hands on training, jump starting future development.
Is tree Climbing Safe?
Tree climbing has intrinsic risk factors, like any recreational activity, but it also offers great opportunity. Our track record for more than 10 years speaks for itself. Safety is at the core of our business. We outfit climbers with mandatory helmets, harnesses, safety glasses, foot loops and ascenders, all of which meet international climbing standards.
It is the goal of our tree climbing program to go above and beyond the standards. For example most tree climbing and arborist rope/anchors have a minimum breaking strength of 5000 pounds, while all of our ropes/anchors are rated to at least 7,000-20,000 pounds of breaking strength. Most of our climbing systems and anchors are also redundant, which is an extra and uncommon safety feature of our program.
Since the founding of "recreational tree" climbing, sometimes considered in 1980’s, there have been no known serious accidents or death from recreational tree climbing in more than 30 years with proper equipment, protocols, and while under supervision of a professional instructor. Simply stated, recreational tree climbing could be considered one of the safer recreational sports in the U.S. As long as you follow the basic rules, instruction, protocols and have the right equipment, tree climbing is far safer than most daily activities like riding a bike or driving a car. That being said, it has its risks like any other climbing sport. But our track record for more than 10 years speaks for itself.
Our Tree Climbing at Silver Falls program cares deeply about the natural world. We show this with both our actions and our words. The company adopts the trails we use, cleaning and helping to maintain them. We have also instituted a litter removal program that exchanges trashed picked up in the park for a discounted climb. We offer anyone $5 off per piece of trash collected.
Our programs could not exist without incredible old-growth trees that are now rare because of logging and human deforestation. We care deeply about the need to protect them. During the experience we teach about the important ecology of old-growth forest, their connection to preventing forest fires, and the specific animals or plants that depend on them. Our operation is non-invasive to the trees, nothing ever goes into the trees, no screw, nails, or bolts.
We require three day advanced notice to cancel or reschedule. If within three days, no cancellations are allowed, only rescheduling. A rescheduling fee applies that is equal to the expenses incurred by Tree Climbing at Silver Falls or at the least $50. No rescheduling fee for weather related issues.
We climb in light rain and light wind. We do not climb in heavy rain, heavy wind, or any signs of lightning/thunder.
Although rare, it is sometimes impossible for the guides to determine if a weather cancellation is necessary until the very last moment.
Lodging InSide the Park
Come experience one of the best adventures in Oregon climbing up giant 300ft old-growth trees at Silver Falls State Park and hike the famous trail of ten falls around some of the best waterfalls in Oregon. Then relax into cozy cabins, comfy beds, and breakfast in historical lodge with warm roaring fires.
Camping at Silver Falls State Park
Silver Fall State Park is sometimes called the 'crown jewel' of the Oregon State Parks system, and once you visit, you know why. The views of waterfalls and fun experience at Silver Falls State Park, like old-growth tree climbing , makes it some of the best camping in the Oregon. Silver Falls State Park is the kind of standout scenic treasure that puts Oregon firmly onto the national - and international - stage. Its beauty, boundless recreational opportunities and historic presence keep it there. Nestled in the foothills of Oregon's Cascade Mountains, less than an hour east of the state capital of Salem, and only about 1.5 hours south of Portland Oregon, the sprawling 9,200 acre property is the largest state park in Oregon, and one of the most popular. Come see why and stay awhile!