Wallace Falls State Park
Gold Bar, WA
From Everett follow US 2 for 28 miles east to the hamlet of Gold Bar. Just before milepost 28, turn left onto 1st Street (signed for Wallace Falls State Park). Pro-ceed for 0.4 mile to a four-way stop. Turn right onto May Creek Road and continue for 1.5 miles to Wallace Falls State Park and the trailhead (elev. 300 ft). Restrooms and water available at parking lot.Wallace Falls, named after homesteaders Joe and Sarah Kwayaylsh members of the Skykomish tribe, is a 4,735 acre forest land on the western slope of the North Cascade Mountain range in Snohomish County. The park has three back country lakes, Jay Lake, Shaw Lake and Wallace Lake which are connected via the Wallace River. The river trickles, snakes, gurgles and plunges its way through the park until the valley basin.
Some where within the park there has to be a waterfall worth of a title right?
Well there are more than 9 waterfalls in the park. Some small some larger, some are running year round while others only run in late winter/early spring with the snowmelt run off.
The 4 falls that are more easily accessible can be found along the Woody Trail, a 2.3 mile / 3.7 km long dirt trail that is well maintained and well marked. After recent rain fall, the trail might be come very muddy and slippery in spots. There are numerous switch backs and steep inclines that have tall raised steps. At 6'1 I did not have much trouble navigating the steps and switch backs, but those shorter might have more difficulty with the high steps.
2.3 miles may not seem like much, just remember its 2.3 miles each way (5.6 miles round trip) and its up and down hill sides with incremental elevation gains of 500 feet in short distances. Proper footwear and good to better conditioning is required to make it a safe and enjoyable hike. We made Wallace Falls into a mid morning hike and returned to the trailhead in about 3 1/2 hours with stops along the way (see pictures below :)
|Crossing over Small Falls|
|The Trail begins with a 1/4 walk under some buzzing high energy power lines|
|Another bend in the trail that follows Wallace River|
|Along the trail there are a few benches to take a break and enjoy the sights and sounds|
|This is one of many wooden bridges to cross along the trail|
|Crossing over the North Fork of Wallace River|
|Middle Falls Overlook|
|Middle Falls Overlook|
|Wallace Falls State Park is DOg Friendly, so bring you dog on a leash for some exploring|
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