Hiking Guide to Wallace Falls State Park

Last Updated on January 31, 2024

Wallace Falls State Park is an extremely popular state park for hiking and camping near Seattle. There are several hike options here, from several different waterfalls to a loop to Wallace Lake and even backpacking opportunities. The most popular day hike here is the 4.5 mile round trip hike with 1500 feet of elevation gain to Middle Wallace Falls.

Wallace Falls is on the homeland of the Snohomish, Stillaguamish, Skykomish and other Coast Salish people.

Parking PassWashington State Discover Pass

Dog Friendly: Yes, on leash. Use extreme caution around the waterfalls.

Cell phone coverage: There is some coverage at the trailhead and for the first half mile and the occasional bar of service here and there but for the most part there is no cell service on this hike.

Restrooms: Flushing toilets including ADA accessible stalls at the trailhead. There is also a bit toilet near the junction of the Greg Ball Trail and the Woody Trail.

Accessibility and Mobility: This trail has some rocks, roots and mud but overall is in good condition and has less roots and rocks than many forest hikes in the greater Seattle area. The grade is consistent and definitely climbs but is not extremely steep. There are a some stairs here and there.

RelatedWhat to wear for a hike in the Pacific NorthwestWhat to bring for a hike in the Pacific Northwest

Where is Wallace Falls?

Wallace Falls State Park is located in the small town of Gold Bar, Washington, along Highway 2 between Monroe and Stevens Pass. It is about an hour drive from Seattle and about 45 minutes from Everett without traffic.

When is the best time to hike Wallace Falls?

This is a very popular hike and it gets extremely busy on summer weekends, and on any sunny weekend all year. To get around this, head there on a summer evening or on a weekday, or during the fall, winter or early spring.

This is an excellent year round hike and a fantastic option for a rainy day hike, making it an especially good winter hike since it’s usually snow free. The falls are particularly impressive in late winter and early spring, when there’s lots of rain and snowmelt in the mountains.

A hiker in full rain gear including a red rainjacket, black rain pants, a gray pack cover and waterproof shoes, looks away from the camera at Middle Wallace Falls, a misty and impressive 200 foot waterfall, crashes down through a dense evergreen forest
Me on a very rainy late winter day enjoying gorgeous Middle Wallace Falls.

Trail Description to Middle Wallace Falls

Middle Wallace Falls is the most popular destination along this trail and the most spectacular waterfall in the park. Start your hike behind the ranger station in the parking area and begin on a wide, flat gravel trail with powerlines to your left. In a short distance, you’ll go into the forest and reach a trail junction. Keep right here to go to Wallace Falls (left is for the Railroad grade).

At this point, you’ll be hiking on the Woody Trail through a beautiful forest along the Wallace River. The first mile or so has a very gentle grade right next to the river.

A close up view of a rushing river from the river bank. There are rocks and ripples of water in the river and a forest on the other side.
The Wallace River makes a wonderful sound to accompany you along the entire length of the Woody Trail to Wallace Falls.

In just over a mile, you’ll come to a junction with the Greg Ball trail. Keep right here for the waterfalls (left goes up to Wallace Lake, see below). Now the trail gets a bit steeper as it continues to climb through the forest a bit further from the river. Even though you can’t see the river from the entire trail, you can always here it which makes the perfect soundtrack to this magical Pacific Northwest forest of trees, moss and ferns.

Trees covered in moss in the rain forest of the pacific northwest.
The mossy trees of the forest on the way to Wallace Falls

You’ll also encounter a couple of stream crossings on sturdy wooden bridges with even more rushing water, moss and ferns.

A river with a small rippled waterfall over moss covered rocks in the forest.

Just under two miles from your starting point, you’ll reach a covered picnic area and a viewpoint for Lower Wallace Falls. This is a great place to stop for a snack if it’s a rainy day. The platform gives you a view of two parts of Lower Wallace Falls.

A small waterfall rushing through the forest with a much larger waterfall visible in the backgound.
Lower Wallace Falls with Upper Wallace Falls in the distance

From here, you’ll go up several switchbacks for just under half a mile before you arrive at an absolutely stunning viewpoint of Middle Wallace Falls.

Middle Wallace Falls, a misty and impressive 200 foot waterfall, crashes down through a dense evergreen forest
Stunning Middle Wallace Falls

This is a wonderful turn around point and the most popular destination in the park. If you still have time and energy, then you can extend your hike up further to Upper Wallace Falls or Wallace Lake.

Extending your hike

If you’re looking for more, continue up another steep three quarters of a mile to Upper Wallace Falls and a viewpoint on clear days. This makes the total hike just under 6 miles round trip

If you want to add going up to Wallace Lake, take the Greg Ball Trail (you’ll reach this junction on the Woody Trail). From the parking lot up the Woody Trail to the Greg Ball Trail to Wallace Lake is just over 8 miles round trip with about 1500 feet of elevation gain. You can also make it a loop by going one way on one of the shared use (with mountain bikes) DNR roads. Check out the map carefully at the trailhead if you’re planning to do the loop.

Looking for an overnight backpacking adventure? You can camp at Wallace Lake and Jay Lake, just a bit further beyond. Make sure to get a permit from the rangers before starting your hike.

Where to stop after your Wallace Falls hike

If you’re looking for a fun stop after your hike, heading back to Seattle or Everett, make sure to stop at the Sultan Bakery. It’s a bakery but also has delicious food! There are several breweries in Monroe worth a stop and the many excellent wineries in Woodinville are on your way home too.

Electric Vehicle Charging

The nearest fast charging for EVs is in Monroe, 15 miles away.

Jennie Flaming on InstagramJennie Flaming on LinkedinJennie Flaming on PinterestJennie Flaming on Youtube
Jennie Flaming
Hi! I'm Jennie. I’m a fourth generation Seattleite. I lived in Alaska for many years and I still spend lots of time there every year visiting friends and working as a tour director. I've been a guide for many years in both Alaska and Washington, am a field editor for the Milepost and host the Alaska Uncovered Podcast about Alaska Travel as well as the Washington State Hiking Podcast. I love to share the places I love with visitors, newcomers and my fellow locals. I’m so glad to have you here!