We figured the cloudy weather would make it a good day to go to Wallace Falls State Park and we were not alone. Parking lot was almost full when we got there around 9. Lots of people out on the trail. We hiked to upper falls, then over to the lake, back down on the Greg Ball trail and then took the Railroad grade back. A nice little loop and it also means you only deal with crowds on the first part up to the upper falls viewpoint. We saw several people after that as well but we it wasn't the constant stream we saw earlier in the morning. Berries will be ready soon. Very foggy at the top. They've cut a lot of trees since the last time we did this hike and while I assume there are some views now, we didn't see any hiking in the clouds.
Had planned to hike Crystal Peak today but this morning's forecast did not bode well for nice mountain views so we opted for the old stand-by, Wallace Falls. They are replacing the bridge near Wallace Lake so you can't do the normal loop but you can still do a loop, just a little bit shorter and no stop at the lake. Not too crowded in the morning although the group that was yelling, smoking and playing music did not make for a good outdoors experience. Once we passed that group it was smooth sailing. Past upper falls we only ran into a few people until we linked back up with the Woody trail after the Railroad grade cut-off. After that it was bumper-to-bumper traffic for the mile back to the parking lot. There were a few spots in the parking lot when we left but a ton of cars parked outside the park along the road. I guess some people don't want pay the use fee which is a shame because Wallace Falls State Park has nice bathrooms, trails in good condition and great signage along the trail and those things take money.
We had hoped to leave the fog in Seattle but it wasn't looking too promising as we pulled into the trailhead parking lot. We decided to do a loop, hitting the falls first and then over to the lake and back down via the Greg Ball trail. By the time we made it to lower falls the sun had started to burn off the fog. When we reached upper falls, the sun was making it presence known. As usual a fair amount of people along the trail to the falls during the morning but once we continued on to the lake, we left the crowds behind. We didn't see anyone again until we had left the lake. Saw several people along the Greg Ball trail and once we re-connected with the Woody trail it was after lunch and pretty crowded but thankfully just one mile to go with the crowds. Trail was in pretty good shape. Woody trail had a few muddy patches but overall it was good shape. The upper grade was muddy and had a fair amount of water on it but no downed trees which made the going easy. Greg Ball trail was in good shape, too. The biggest surprise was the lack of snow on the mountains toward Stevens Pass.
Always a favorite of mine, did the loop at Wallace Falls State Park. Started along the Woody Trail and visited all the falls. Then up to the Upper Grade Road and on to the lake. Took the Greg Ball trail to the Old Railroad Grade road and followed that back to the trailhead. All the falls were roaring pretty good. Trail is in pretty good shape although wet in places. The Upper Grade and DNR roads were in a lot better shape than my trip in April when snow and blowdowns made for slower going. All in all, not a bad 10 mile loop although there are some extended periods on old logging roads.
With the low snow levels and avalanche dangers in the I-90 corridor, set out for Wallace Falls State Park. This time I did a loop, seeing the falls and lake. Started out along the Woody Trail. Lower, Middle and Upper Falls were all roaring and beautiful. At Upper Falls, continued on to the upper grade DNR road -- trail was little hard to find at first, but just look for the blue diamonds on the trees. Once I picked up the trail it was a short walk to the DNR road. The first part had lots of blow downs. A sign at the trailhead said there were over 40 blowdowns which was about right but nothing too bad. About a mile later the snow started. Not too deep and no need for snowshoes or traction. From the lake took the Greg Ball trail until it ends at the old railroad grade. Took the railroad grade all the way back to the trailhead.
All the falls were roaring and with the nice weather, the trail was packed. Definitely not the hike for you if you were looking for solitude. Trail was a little wet in places but overall it was in great condition. Good to see our Discover Pass dollars going to good use. Not the longest hike but with the elevation gain it makes for a decent workout.
average hiking speed 2.37 mph
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.