Wallace Falls/Lake Loop

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 bad mud.

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 back.

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.

Mt. Baring
Multiple Cascades
Big Falls
Bigger Falls
Kim Along Wallace River
Lots Of Moss
Wallace Lake
Hanging Moss
Mt. Index
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2010