You are here: Home Find a Hike Hiking Guide Wallace Falls

Wallace Falls

» REI » Amazon

A portion of all book sales from the links above benefits WTA and helps protect and maintain our trails.

A series of falls, nine in all, two that are stunning and one-the tallest at 265 feet-that's absolutely spectacular! As Wallace Falls is one of the best known and loved sets of cataracts in the Evergreen State, expect plenty of company on this hike. And while these falls are grand any time of year, visit on a rainy day. Each raindrop that falls from the heavens and makes its way to the Wallace River enhances the intensity and stimulating beauty of this cavalcade of crashing cascades.

First, check out the kiosk to read up on the falls, park, and their history. The way begins on a high-voltage line right-of-way. Buzzing along, take in a nice view of Mount Index and Baring Mountain. After 0.25 mile, enter a uniform forest of young hemlocks. The Wallace River becomes audible and its presence felt in the cool breezes funneling down the valley.

At 0.4 mile, come to a junction. Left heads to the falls on an old logging rail-road grade. The easy grade attracts runners and mountain bikers. It makes for a nice loop option, adding about a mile and is best done on the return.

Head right on the Woody Trail (named not for the surroundings, but for the late state senator, Frank Woody, who was a great advocate of the state's Youth Corps that helped construct this trail). Follow the trail through dark and dank forest, dropping down to river's edge. A short side trail branches off to a pretty series of small cataracts. But the big tumbles are still ahead. Under colonnades of moss-shrouded trees and accompanied by showy boughs of dark green ferns bursting from the ground, continue beside the roiling river. Benches provide spots for contemplation.

Now pulling away from the river, the trail begins to climb. Thanks to the Washington Trails Association, the tread is tough and durable, ready to with-stand the thousands of boots that pummel it each season. At a little over a mile, a short side trail veers steeply left to connect with the Railroad Grade Trail. Continue straight, remaining high above the raucous river. At 1.4 miles, come to a junction. Left heads to the Railroad Grade Trail (your return option) and also to Wallace Lake via the Greg Ball Trail.

Proceed straight, dropping to cross the North Fork Wallace River, and then begin a short and steep climb to the Lower Falls viewpoint and picnic shelter. A pretty sight, but what will probably catch your attention is the much bigger falls off in the distance. Continue up the trail. At 2.2 miles reach the viewpoint for the Middle Falls. At 265 feet, this falls is the park's highest, the one you can see from US 2 way down below, and one of the most impressive hydrological shows in the state. From the soggy overlook, stare right into the heart of the tumultuous falls roaring through a narrow chasm.

The Upper Falls are another 0.5 mile beyond. Not quite as impressive, it's still nevertheless worth the 500-foot climb to get there. En route be sure to stop at the ledgy overlook above the Middle Falls for a sweeping view of the Skykomish River valley out to the Olympic Mountains.
Driving Directions:

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 con-tinue for 1.5 miles to Wallace Falls State Park and the trailhead (elev. 300 ft). Privy and water available.

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

Recent Trip Reports

Hiked here recently? Submit a trip report!
There are 293 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Wallace Falls — Apr 12, 2014 — GeoTim
Day hike
Expand report text Hide report text
Explored most of the park trails on a rambling day hike with my 8-year old son. Trails were well ma...
Explored most of the park trails on a rambling day hike with my 8-year old son. Trails were well maintained and well signed. Glad we arrived early, since parking is at a premium. Will definitely be back!
Read full report
Wallace Falls — Apr 08, 2014 — 13blackbirds
Day hike
Issues: Bugs
Expand report text Hide report text
This was a good hike, not too steep or long. the trail is plenty wide, good for kids/dogs (I took my...
This was a good hike, not too steep or long. the trail is plenty wide, good for kids/dogs (I took my dog with me). I hiked to the Middle Falls. A little muddy in places, but not a problem at all. Very well-kept, easy to walk trails. Lots of mosquitoes at just the very beginning of the trail.
Read full report with photos
Wallace Falls — Apr 06, 2014 — RGM46
Day hike
Expand report text Hide report text
Amazing hike. Would definitely recommended bringing a quality camera and taking it slow to just abso...
Amazing hike. Would definitely recommended bringing a quality camera and taking it slow to just absorb the natural beauty of this place. Me and my girlfriend only went to the lower falls but we will be back to make it to the upper falls next time. Going the to lower falls and back while just taking our time to embrace the beauty took about 3 hours.
Read full report
Wallace Falls — Apr 06, 2014 — aligmiller
Day hike
Expand report text Hide report text
Beautiful hike on a very well maintained trail. The falls were impressive at the top. The mossy scen...
Beautiful hike on a very well maintained trail. The falls were impressive at the top. The mossy scenery made the entire hike up interesting. There are numerous look out points on the way up the trail to take breaks and check out the falls. Lots of happy dogs along the trail too!
Read full report with photos
Wallace Falls — Mar 26, 2014 — parky
Day hike
Expand report text Hide report text
My friend and I left Seattle at around 8:40 am and got to the trailhead at around 9:40 or so. It was...
My friend and I left Seattle at around 8:40 am and got to the trailhead at around 9:40 or so. It was quite sunny in the morning as we started up the trail, but got cloudy as we trekked along-- great weather for a hike! There were a couple of muddy spots, but otherwise, the trail was in great condition.

The things that make this hike distinguishable for me is the amount of moss-covered trees on the trail, the sound of the falls that you can hear throughout the majority of the hike, and the number of small benches that's along the trail for one to rest/ enjoy the beauty (lots of rest stops!).

It was our first time at Wallace Falls, so we wanted to hike up to the Upper Falls; going up to the Upper Falls is a short and steep trip, and I must admit that it was a bit rough for us! Still, it was awesome to get up to the Upper Falls although I'd agree with the other hikers' reports that the best view is from the Middle Falls.
Read full report with photos
Wallace Falls.jpg
Lower Wallace Falls, pictured here, is arguably the most photographic; Middle Falls the most spectacular; and the Upper Falls the most lonely. Photo by 'ArashA'
WTA worked here!
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Location
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Washington State Parks
Statistics
Roundtrip 5.5 miles
Elevation Gain 1200 ft
Highest Point 1500 ft
Features
Rivers
Lakes
Waterfalls
Old growth
Mountain views
User info
Good for kids
Dogs allowed on leash
Discover Pass required
Guidebooks & Maps
Green Trails Index No. 142
http://www.wallacefalls.org/trail_map/wallace_falls_trail_map.pdf

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

Map it
Red MarkerWallace Falls
47.8669166667 -121.67805
  • Youth Trail Work 2013
  • State Park
  • Trail Work 2013 Frontcountry
  • Trail Work 2012
  • Trail Work 2011
(47.8669, -121.6780) Open in new window
Document Actions
  • Print this
  • Share
Get the Guidebooks

Mountaineers three booksSelect content from The Mountaineers Books' guidebooks is featured in this Hiking Guide. Sales of the books from this website help protect and maintain trails.

> Shop Now

More hikes » Hike of the Week
Lewis River Trail (Apr 10)

Lewis River Trail

South Cascades

We're at the cusp of waterfall season! With five waterfalls in a 7-mile roundtrip, this Lewis River hike is one to keep on your April-June to-do list. If you're hiking with creaky knees or kiddos, take in the magnificent, close-in Lower Lewis River Falls. If you want a longer hike with some ups and downs, venture all the way to Taidnapum Falls, 3.5 miles in.

Get Trail News

Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking news, events, gear reviews and more.

What's Happening
Trails and Ales - Spokane 2014 Apr 22, 2014 Meet fellow hikers and raise a glass for trails!
Hiker Potluck in Vancouver May 28, 2014 Come out for an evening of great food, meet other hikers and learn what is happening on trails near you.
More »