Wallace Falls

Wallace Falls

Elev. Gain: 
1,200 ft.
High: 
1,500 ft.
Where:
Gold Bar, WA
Distance: 
5.50 miles (round trip)
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Rating: 
4
A water wonderland. Crowds and lots of man-made features.
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Features

Overview

Make no mistake about it: Wallace Falls is a brilliant year-round hike. This little gem of a trail is a song over five miles long roundtrip, and powerpacked into it is some of the most rewarding forest, river, and waterfall views you'll see within an hour or so of Seattle.

To think that Wallace Falls is somehow undiscovered or secret would be far from the truth. This is one of the most popular hikes around here, and you'd best be ready for a full parking lot on the weekends.  

The trail begins on a very unassuming mixed use gravel path beneath the shadow of electrical towers. Don't worry, it gets better. Hit the Woody trail after 0.4 of a mile and follow it along the Wallace River. There's a ton to see and do, but don't forget that the main attractions await up ahead. You'll eventually begin to gain elevation and reach the Lower Falls at just under 2 miles. Be sure to drop down the steps to get the best view of the Lower Falls.

With your appetite whet, continue up another one-third of a mile to the Middle Falls. It's a steep little section, but well worth the view, which happens to be 265 feet of cascading water. Impressive to say the least. You'll only wish there was a bigger viewpoint to see more.

If you've made it this far, you might as well finish what you started. Peel yourself away from the majestic Middle Falls and climb 500 feet in a half mile to the Upper Falls (which at this point might be a bit underwhelming). Along the way there are two different viewpoints from above the Middle Falls. The higher of the two also sports a pretty awesome view of the Skykomish Valley below.

Permits & Tips

Discover Pass required. Flush toilets at Trailhead. The Falls run heaviest after rain and during the wet months. Try it on a weekday if you can. Park closes at dusk.

>>Google Directions

How to get there

Head east on US 2 to Gold Bar.
Just before milepost 28, turn left onto 1st Street (clearly signed for Wallace Falls State Park).
Proceed 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.