Mileage: 11 miles RT
Elevation Gain/Highest: 1645/1950ft
Map: Green Trails Index No 142, State Park Map
Favorite Eats After Hike: Wallace Falls Café
12/2014 It is fun to try and find different ways to explore Wallace Falls State Park, especially when you are trying to avoid the mobs of people who usually line it’s trails. I got up early on a very icy day to get there as soon as the gate opened and other than the few folks coming down the trail who had camped at the sites available off the parking lot, I was the only one on the Woody trail up to the falls. After the upper falls, I went past the sign and made my way up a trail that was more of a boot path and with the downed trees was a bit hard to follow. There is a bit of blue blaze to follow.
I came out to the DNR road at the top and checked out the river on the right before wandering a few miles over to Wallace Lake. The road sees construction but had solitude until I got to the lakeshore from folks who had come up Greg Ball. Truth is, very few people venture past the falls so you can usually enjoy the lake without being shoulder to shoulder. The lake is serene and has a nice view of Mt. Stickney to the east.
There wasn’t a lot of snow and I continued over to Jay Lake a short mile away. It was hard to get close to the lake due to all the brush but I could catch glimpses through the trees. I sat for a bit and enjoyed the solitude.
Having heard that you could continue past Jay Lake to another remote lake, I attempted to find a boot path that would take me there. There seemed to be one to follow but snow on the ground made it a bit hard to follow so I just kept going with the creek to my right. After about 20 minutes, I came to a creek crossing and a log across but the slope on the other side gave no indication of a way to continue. It was about noon but the temps were in the 20s so I decided to return another day. However, on the way back I lost my footprints in the intermittent snow and found myself disoriented. I knew I was okay because I had plenty of daylight and my son was able to text me asking where his socks were so I pulled out the map and compass to orientate myself. I ended up back at the creek crossing and followed it through brush and rock until I was back at Jay Lake happy I hadn’t had to call the park ranger because I couldn’t figure it out. Luckily, I had a “fun” time practicing my navigation skills and all I had to show was barbs in my hands and a good story. I’ll be back in warmer temps to try again.
My trek out was on the Greg Ball trail to Railroad and out.
Directions: From Everett, follow Hwy 2 for 28 miles east to Gold Bar. Soon after driving into town, turn left onto 1st Street, signed for Wallace Falls State Park. Proceed for 0.4 mile to a four way stop. Turn right onto May Creek Road and continue for 1.5 miles to Wallace Falls State Park. Come early, although there is lots of parking it fills up fast, especially during the summer.