Hikes

Wallace Falls State Park

We went to this pretty little park on a sunny weekend of July. It offers some hiking trails, picnic facilities, camping and a few waterfalls. It is a very busy trail especially in summer but since we got a late start we were able to grab a parking spot close to the trailhead. The trailhead starts right under few gigantic power lines with a continuous sound of the peculiar buzzing. Once we passed under the power lines and into the tree line we were in for a beautiful hike. We took the River trail for the Lower Falls which was well shaded.

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Trailhead under power lines

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Creek at the base of the hike

The trail was well maintained and we walked through dense woods with nice terrain and bridges. Although it was a sunny day but the thick trees around covered most of the sunlight and we were walking in a well shaded path. There were a lot of signage along the way to guide us to the right direction. The mossy forest was beautiful and there were few benches along the way to take short rests. In about 1.8 miles distance we reached the Lower Falls.

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Lower and Middle Falls

Lower Wallace Falls was barely a waterfall at all, but still made for some nice photographs. Although we came in the afternoon the trail was very busy. We saw people of all ages on this trail and as this is a dog friendly trail there were many dogs accompanying their owners. After a while we marched our way to the Middle Falls. Here the trail becomes little challenging with steeper grades. It is still good for beginners and casual hikers like us. There were a few areas where it took a lot of work but it really was not that hard. The Middle Falls are about half mile from the Lower Falls and offer the best view of the actual falls. We sat there for few minutes and clicked some pictures.

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View from Middle Falls point

We decided to proceed on the trail and hike the complete 2.8 miles way to reach the Upper Falls. As we continued on our way to the top we also came across a nice panoramic view. Although the sections available to check out the views were small we still were refreshed with the distant mountains and shining sun.

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Upper Wallace Falls Vista

Finally we reached the Upper Falls. The hike to the top is only worth for the exercise as the view is far inferior to the view at Middle Falls. It was a little disappointing, because even though we were at the top of the waterfall, the way that the layout is set up makes it nearly impossible to actually see the view. There are trees and a ledge in the way. We sat there and had some snacks that we carried with us. This point was not much crowded as not everyone comes to the Upper Falls.

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Upper Wallace Falls

The waterfalls are pretty, but not spectacular.

Wallace Falls also put in some overnight cabins that are available by reservation off the state parks website. We didn’t camp or stay in cabins or explore the rest of the park area except the hiking trails.

The trail was wonderful with the sound of the rushing river and raging waterfalls accompany us for most of the hike.  Overall it was an afternoon well spent with some good form of exercise amidst beautiful views of nature.

TIP: The trail is beautiful and about an hour drive from Seattle. So it is a nice outing on a sunny day. Try to reach early in the day or later afternoon as parking may become a challenge around noon. There are lots of photo opportunities with many viewpoints so do not forget your camera. This trail is kid-friendly and dog-friendly although the pets have to be on leash. The views from the lower and middle falls far surpasses that of the upper falls so if you are feeling tired or short on time then you may skip going to the top.

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Hike at Mount Si, Northbend, WA

It was a sunny weekend and we decided we would hike along Mt Si before the Seattle summer wades off a good bye. This trail is an 8 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 3100 and is somewhat challenging.  It was crowded as it is one of the most popular hikes around.

We started and the trail was beautiful covered with trees. There was a creek in the beginning and places to stop and rest on the way. At first, it didn’t seem so bad, but then we quickly realized that we were basically going uphill for the entire 4 miles. It was most difficult towards the end where we were basically climbing up stairs.

Mountaineers have long used this as a ‘short’ training hike for more challenging mountains. Some climb with full packs and we saw one on our way too running on the trail.

Finally, passed the wind, and thick cover trees, we reached the summit in more than 2 hrs. The trees opened up to a vast panorama of open space ringed in the great distance by views of the Cascades, accented by Mount Rainier and we felt so accomplished. We ate lunch at the summit in the nice cool breeze with little chipmunks around; looking out at the vast expanse before us. It was worth it.

We were rejuvenated enough to make it back in half the time it took to come up. But going down was equally difficult in itself as the decline is pretty steep and it takes more control to walk down than to kind of trot down at times.

Tip: Make sure to wear good shoes and breathable clothing. Also bring plenty of water and a refreshing lunch for the top. You would want to hike this on a nice clear blue sky day since the fog and clouds can easily roll on in, blocking the view and your hard earned work!

Linking this to Weekly Photo Challenge: Reward