John Guilford's Hikes
Wallace Falls on 2010-07-03
People: (including myself): Pam; Jim, Amy, and Michael Guilford
Start: 12:10 330 0
North Fork Bridge: 1:45 670
Lower Falls: 2:00 870 1.8
Middle Falls Viewpoint: 2:45 1100
Top Middle Falls: 3:00 1360 2.4
(Upper Falls) N/A (1570) (2.75)
North Fork Bridge: 3:45 670 3.0
Out: 4:45 330 4.8
It had been more than fifteen years since I last hiked to Wallace Falls.
It was my first time hiking with a ten year old, though. Thus our pace
was casual to say the least.
The day was cool and cloudy, but that didn't stop the parking lot from being
almost filled, possibly due to it being a holiday weekend. It took almost
an hour and a half to get to the trail head as the holiday traffic through
Monroe was very slow.
The trail from the parking lot starts out under high tension power lines.
As has usually been the case when I've been here, there was a significant
humming from corona discharge around the lines due to the damp day.
Soon you leave the power lines (and hum) behind and come to a trail junction.
The left branch is a longer and leveler trail that follows an old railroad
The right branch is a shorter trail, the "Woody Trail",
that runs closer to the Wallace
River. Both trails join up just before the North Fork Bridge. After that,
there is only the foot trail to the falls. We took the Woody Trail both
ways (up and back).
Our going was intermittent as people stopped to take pictures
(Jim is big on waterfall/cataract photos) or check
out interesting things. Michael found a "pet slug" which he carried for
a while, thoroughly sliming his hands. We thought it was gross, but he thought
it was neat, at least until he tried to clean his hands afterwards (in case
you don't know, it is difficult to get slug slime off).
Soon after passing the North Fork Bridge, we arrived at the Lower Falls,
where we had to stop for more photos. From here, the trail starts climbing
to reach the Middle Falls viewpoint.
There is a little waterfall just about even with the viewpoint with a view of
the real Middle Falls with its 265 foot drop.
From the viewpoint, the trail climbs steeply through switchbacks to the
Valley Overlook and the top of the Middle Falls.
That's as far as we had time to go, but the trail continues another third of
a mile (and 200 feet of gain) to the Upper Falls. Instead of going to the
Upper Falls, we merely headed back down the trail, making better time than
we had on the way up.
Map of Wallace Falls hikes
Cataract at Lower Falls
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Last updated on: Mon Jun 8 16:50:16 PDT 2015