Terra Firma Adventures

Wallace Falls State Park, WA

Kristopher Artz October,2013 No Comments

Only minutes from Goldbar, WA, the Wallace Falls State Park Management Area is a 4,735-acre camping park found on the west side of the Cascade Mountains.  This gorgeous hike parallels the Wallace River, have peek-a-boo views of the cascades, meanders through a dense moss & fern covered forest and finally terminates at a series of waterfalls with the tallest being 265 feet in height. It is the quintessential example of hiking in the Pacific Northwest.

Driving distance from downtown Seattle: approximately 1 hour
Hiking distance: 3.5 – 5.5 miles depending on viewpoint of Falls chosen
Elevation gain: Roughly 1,300 ft
Note: Washington State Park Discover Pass required. Pass can be purchased onsite.
Wallace Falls SP Aerial

Aerial view of parking lot and facilities.

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The start of the trail is pretty open as it passes under the power lines. The trail then turns to the North and you enter into the tree cover.

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Through this section, the trail is wide and flat, and easy for young kids to navigate, and soon you find yourself  following alongside the Wallace River.

Wallace River

A little ways in, there is a trail that branches off to the left.  This short in and out, side path takes you to the Small Falls.

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The Small Falls

As you continue along, the well maintained trail begins to climb and becomes much more narrow.

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This trail has such a great variety of views, terrain and features.

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We hiked as far as the Lower Falls Viewpoint. This was just about the right distance for my 9 and 4 year old.  As much as I wanted to continue to the Middle and Upper Falls, we enjoyed the sights, sounds and dryness found under the picnic shelter before turning around.

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The View from the Lower Falls

Although this is said to be one of the busiest hikes in the area, with the drizzling &  rainy weather, we pretty much had the park to ourselves. With the peek-a-boo views of the Cascades, a thick forest covered with ferns &  mosses, and the sounds of the neighboring river and falls, this hike is an excellent example of what one expects to experience while on a hike in the Pacific Northwest.

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