Waterfalls are formed when rivers get lazy. –CeG<oBelIX>
The first hike of the season upto the Middle Falls in Wallace Falls State Park (WFSP). WFSP is close by, a little under an hour away if you keep at the speed limit and there isn’t much more you can do given the traffic on 522 and US 2. I’d have thought by now the construction would be done but they are still at it.
Before I ramble on or start talking about the hike, allow me to introduce, the wife who blogs at http://wondrousdaze.blogspot.com. The two of us went up to Wallace Falls last Sunday (which was the first Sunday in April 2014).
The start of the hike, a quarter mile under some humming power lines is not an indication of the rest of the hike. The hike starts at a viewpoint where on a clear day, Mt. Index (once renamed as Mt Aprameya Rao) should be visible. We could only see a hint of the cascades.
The trail starts off under the canopy of nice forests with the sound of a river in the distance. The river, named Wallace, after the state park I am sure, was nice and cool and blue-white. It has a pleasant, soothing sound which is a good companion to have on a hike.
There are interesting signs, I like this idea a lot
The start of the trail
The white Wallace river
The trail goes past a sign for the Small Falls which is a short detour off the main trail. I highly recommend this, it gives a good taste of what is to come and if you have the impatient types in your group (this means little kids who ask lots of questions [based on my limited knowledge of little kids]).
The small falls
The trail then turns away from the river and climbs at a gentle pace. It’s not grueling except for a couple of places or so (there is an elevation chart at the bottom of this post). It eventually comes back to the river and eventually you hit a viewpoint where the North Fork of the Wallace river joins the main river. The North Fork comes from Wallace Lake which when can be added to this trail and forms a nice loop. We headed back from the middle falls itself. It’s at this point you get an idea of how much you have climbed.
On a clear day the Olympics are visible on the horizon
The trail crosses the North Fork on a wooden bridge that is very pleasing to the eye. The water has a nice gurgle and its rate of flow adds a little oomph the environment.
The bridge across the North Fork of the Wallace River
Climbing further, a booming sound adds to the gentle notes of the river. It took me a moment to realize that it was the sound of the waterfall. The first view point is very mediocre but has a small trail to let you see the pool below the falls. It’s the next viewpoint, perhaps half a mile further up the trail that provides the magnificent view. The waterfall is tall and had a lot of water and well, I’ll let the picture do the rest of the talking.
Wallace Falls from the Middle Falls viewpoint
The hike back down was fun with lunch on a bench (a great feature of this trail, there are many benches allowing for moments of quiet contemplation). We photographed some fungi and were back in 2 hours 27 minutes (I used an app called RunTheMap which was pretty cool to record stats about the hike).
Total Distance: 4.12 miles
Total Time: 2:27:10
Elevation Gain: 892 feet