Kim joined me
for a low elevation hike to Wallace Falls and around the loop to
Wallace Lake. Since it's not far to the trailhead we did not need to
get out of town early. I did want to early enough to miss the big
crowds that would be there later in the day. It was forecast to be near
70 degrees. We leaft Seattle at 7:45 am and reached the trailhead out
off Highway 2 outside of Gold Bar by just after 9:00 am. I usually take
the railroad grade but this time we headed up the Woody Trail along the
river. It's a shorter way to reach the falls. We did see several
parties on the way to the falls. It was cold in the morning but began
to warm up quickly.
A stop at the roofed picnic area provided some nice shots of the lower
falls. We were soon up for a look at the middle falls. From there it
did not take long to reach the end of the trail at the upper falls. I
had expected that a trail would be in place up to the road above the
upper falls but found only the old boot path. Near the top the route
does become a built trail. At the road we took a right and I showed Kim
the old missing trestle that connected with the road on the other side
of the river. It nearly lunch time so we dropped to a sunny spot along
the river and took a break.
The trailhead is at about 300'. The upper road is at 1675'. The lake is
at 1844'. That first 2.8 miles gained most of the elevation. The next
8.2 miles would only gain another 300'. Best of all the big crowds were
left behind. There was a sign at the trailhead warning of logging
equipment on the road between the falls and lake. There were no signs
of equipment or recent logging. The route over to the lake is still
mostly in forest though the middle part is on a gravel road.
I have forgotten a lot of things over the years. Boots, clothing, and
even my backpack one time. On this trip I realized that I had no memory
card in my camera. It does have 50 MB of internal memory which on lower
resolution limited me to only 32 photos. I have many photos of this
route from previous visits but I would not be adding many this day. We
did see several parties between the falls and lake though they all
turned around and headed back to the falls.
At the lake we chose to head on around to Pebble Beach at the inlet end
of the lake. I visited the lake in December on a day that was about 35
degrees cooler. This day was more short sleeves than goose down. At
Pebble Beach we found several other parties. The days of solitude at
the lake are over though it is still not that crowded. The end of the
lake is almost exactly the half way point on the trip though there is
nearly no uphill left. After a nice rest on the lake shore we packed up
to head down. The whole route is in fine shape with no downed logs or
The Greg Ball Trail is a nice forested route that is mostly gentle. Two
miles on that trail deposited up onto the railroad grade. To continue
our loop trip we took the grade back. Lots of mossy trees along here.
We saw only a few groups on the grade but knew the Woody Trail would be
mobbed. Back at the parking lot we saw just how mobbed. Most spaces
were taken. On the drive out we found many more cars along the road
outside the state park. I've seen cars there before but never nearly
that many. Some folks had a mile walk just to get to the trails and
It was a great day for an easy though fairly long hike to the falls and
lake. It really felt like late spring not only a day removed from
winter. All that and a short drive back home. As mentioned earlier I
don't have many photos from this trip but below are a few.
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.
Kim Along Wallace River
Lots Of Moss
Trips - 2010