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.


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.


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.


The Small Falls

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



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





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.


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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