Hiking & Waterfalls –  Wallace Falls State Park, WA

The state of Washington is full of breathtaking beauty with literally 100’s of State Parks boasting scenic views, hiking trails, mountain bike trails, camping, fishing, etc.  It truly is an outdoor enthusiast paradise.  While on a recent visit to see my daughter who is currently living in Everett, Washington, we ventured out on Highway 2 with a goal to hit the touristy town of Leavenworth.  On the way, we stopped for a hike at Wallace Falls State Park and were not disappointed.

Wallace Falls State Park, WA

Located on the west side of the Cascade Mountains, this 1,380 acre park is home to 12 miles of hiking trails, walk-in tent sites, five cabins, and backcountry camping.  It has shoreline on the Wallace River, Wallace Lake, Jay Lake, and Shaw Lake.  The park is named for it’s 265-foot waterfall and trails wind through old-growth coniferous forests.  The name Wallace is derived from Kwayaylsh, surname of the first homesteaders in the area.

Things to Know:

Woody trail to the falls includes some steep climbs, but is kid and dog friendly (dogs must be leashed).  There is an alternative, longer railroad grade path available for some of the hike.  It can be busy during the weekends and parking can be difficult.  Best time to go is during the week or early in the day.  The trail is NOT handicap accessible.  Both day passes and annual passes can be purchased on site.  There is a kiosk available near the trailhead.


The park provides two kitchen shelters without electricity, picnic tables, flush toilets at the Woody Trailhead, and a relatively small parking lot.  There is a small store on site as well, but was not open when we were there during the week on September 26th.


The Woody trail is a 5.5-mile out and back hiking trail through the woods, across bridges, and over rocks and tree roots.  It includes some steep climbs and is rated at moderate. Open every day from 8am to dusk.  You can reach the lower falls in about 2.1 miles, or go all the way to the upper falls in 2.75 miles.

Trail Map:


How to get there:

From I-5 north of Seattle, take Highway 2 east towards the town of Gold Bar.  Turn left onto 1st street (there is a sign for the park on the side of the road.  The actual street sign is difficult to read).  Drive about 0.4 miles and take a right at the stop sign (May Creek Road).  Continue on May Creek Road about 1.3 miles, taking a left at the Y-junction.  Parking lot will be on the right shortly up the road.

Fees:  Admission requires a Discovery Pass ($10 day pass, $30 annual pass)

Time to enjoy:  3-4 hours

Roadtrip:  Day-trip, Everett-WA-Leavenworth-WA-segment

Tags:  hiking, scenic-overlook, waterfall


About Author

Kristi enjoys traveling and taking road trips to fully experience life. She loves to find local eateries, off the beaten path hidden gems, and the secrets to enjoying the journey.

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(2) Comments

  1. Steve & Kris

    I grew up in Washington State and I have never heard of Wallace Falls. We are looking for things to do when we visit family in Seattle next week. Just goes to show you how much there really is to see in the great state of Washington. The pictures of the waterfall and trails are beautiful. I am glad to hear that dogs are allowed on the trails, my brothers dog loves to hike. It really sounds like there are some great areas to explore. Is this doable as a day trip or is it best to spend the night? Maybe the store will even be open for us! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to visit.

    1. Trippy Tripster

      What great timing!  It was fine for us as a day trip out of Everett, so I expect it would be fine for you as well.  The advantage of staying in the area is there is more to explore there!  We found a great place to have lunch in nearby Skykomish called the Cascadia Inn, and they make wonderful fresh berry shakes in a place called Alpen Drive-In in Sultan.  We were planning to get to Leavenworth, but road construction delayed us too much (they had a lane closed to paint the lines).  Hopefully, that is over and done when you get there.  Bridal Veil Falls is another hike just off Hwy 2 that you could check out.

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