Image by Clay Banks

Wallace Falls State Park

Updated: Mar 12

14503 Wallace Lake Road

Gold Bar, WA 98251

Phone: (360) 793-0420

Before I write about my trip to Wallace Falls, I want to apologize for not knowing how to set my camera to read the words on the sign behind me. I've seen people do it but I don't know how!

Just so you know, the sign behind me says: "Come forth into the light of things. Let nature be your teacher" - W. Wordsworth.

I've driven down Highway 2 many times because my girlfriend lives in Central Washington (Wenatchee area) and every time I pass by the Wallace Falls sign I tell myself I'm going to check it out to see if it would be a good hike. The sign is not that big. If it weren't for the 35 mph speed limit (trap) you would never notice the sign at all. At 35 mph you notice a lot of things you wouldn't when you're going 60. Namely,, there are little to no people of color there, which is one of the main reasons I don't like the 35 mph speed limit. Heck, what if some crazed white person ran out of one of the many street-side bars and wanted to start some trouble? What could stop him other than a right cross from my driver's side window? Or what if a giant bear came out of the woods and stood up on his hind legs in front of my car? Or, what if I were racially profiled by some red-neck police officer who wanted to stop me because I "had a tail light out"?

As ridiculous as all of that sounds, I actually think about stuff like that when I'm driving through Index, Gold Bar, and Sultan. The way I see it, any 15 mile stretch of land in Washington state with not one town named after a Native American is a place I'm probably not welcome. To get to Wallace Falls you must go through a residential area of the small town of Gold Bar. Gold Bar is one of a trio of small towns you pass through (very slowly) on the way to beautiful Steven's Pass. When you enter the park you will see a large asphalt parking lot, trailhead, and ranger station located at the end of the lot. You can buy a day pass from the Kiosk at Ranger station. Parking is paved and in fairly new condition. Automated pay station: This park is equipped with an automated pay station for visitors to purchase a one-day or annual Discover Pass. Please note: Parking is limited at Wallace Falls. Please see the fact sheet (PDF) for details.

FS18-004 - Wallace Falls parking
Download PDF • 27KB

The first mile and a half of the trail is completely flat and mostly shaded by trees and what looks like intentionally planted hedges about 10 feet high on both sides of the trail. It's really a road more than a trail. Once past this portion of the trail, you will come to a vista that overlooks a large gully with a great view if you pretend the large steel telephone lines aren't there.

The actual trailhead begins to the north from that open area and is fairly flat with small ups and downs. The trail surface is dirt, well-kept, and mostly clear trip-roots. Oh, if you look below, I found a photo of the sign located near the trailhead of this park! Wallace Falls State Park is a 1,380-acre camping park with a shoreline on the Wallace River, Wallace Lake, Jay Lake, and Shaw Lake. Located on the west side of the Cascades, the park features a 265-foot waterfall, old-growth coniferous forests, and fast-moving rivers and streams. The area offers a rock-climbing wall 8 miles east near Index. Swimming access is 5 miles east at Big Eddy along the Skykomish River.


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