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Wallace Falls State Park - Jay Lake

Central Cascades > Stevens Pass - West
47.8679, -121.6804 Map & Directions
12.2 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1,600 feet
Highest Point
1,840 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Good for kids
  • Lakes
  • Established campsites

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

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Not so scenic but plenty peaceful, Jay Lake is one of a small handful of backcountry camping areas in a state park. Just be sure to get a permit before you head out! Continue reading

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Hiking Wallace Falls State Park - Jay Lake

Not so scenic, but plenty peaceful. If you want to camp here, be sure to get a permit from the ranger before you go. There aren't many campsites, and they're trying to reduce impact to the area.

Start your hike by following the crowds on the main trail toward Wallace Falls. Soon come to a junction. Turning left, follow the Old Railroad Grade Trail 2.2 miles before arriving at a large toilet facility and the beginning of the Greg Ball Trail to your left.

Greg Ball was a former board member and director of WTA. In 1993 he launched the organization’s volunteer trail maintenance program which has since grown into the largest state-based program of its kind. In 2004 at the age of 60, Greg passed away after battling cancer. He designed this trail to Wallace Lake and it was finished in his memory by volunteers from WTA and through support from the Spring Trail Trust.

Pass the toilet facility and jump onto the Greg Ball Trail. Follow it alongside and above the North Fork of the Wallace River, climbing gently and meandering through maturing second growth. About three miles from the trailhead, catch glimpses of the river cascading down a narrow chasm. A half mile farther on, the trail terminates at a DNR road. Turn right on the road and proceed for 0.1 mile to a junction with an old road taking off to the left. Follow this near level forested way for 0.5 mile to the southern tip of Wallace Lake.

This is a pretty spot in heavy timber with picnic tables and an attractive bridge, but the northern end of the lake at Pebble Beach is much nicer. To reach it, head left, following another old road. After a half mile arrive at the beach, a gravelly outwash at the base of a small talus slope.

Continue along the west side of Wallace Lake until you reach the start of the Jay Lake trail. One and a half easy miles later, you'll reach a set of tent pads. The lake doesn't have a particularly accessible shoreline, but the area is lovely and quiet.

A composting toilet and a hanging bucket for keeping your food from bears make this an easy campsite.

WTA Pro Tip: Camping is allowed around Wallace Lake and further on at Jay Lake, so you can prolong your stay at this tranquil sanctuary. Overnight permits are required for Jay Lake and Wallace Lake. Please call the park office to acquire a permit prior to arrival at 360-793-0420. There is a maximum of 5 persons per campsite. Camp only at designated campsites.

Hike Description Written by
Anna Roth, WTA Staff

Wallace Falls State Park - Jay Lake

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.8679, -121.6804 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From Everett, follow Hwy 2 for 28 miles east to Gold Bar. Just before milepost 28, turn left onto 1st Street, clearly 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 and trailhead.

Parking is plentiful here, but the popularity of this area means that the lot frequently fills up on weekends. Arrive early to ensure a spot. A machine is available to dispense Discover Passes here as well.

More Hike Details


Central Cascades > Stevens Pass - West

Greg Ball Trail (#)

Washington State Parks

Guidebooks & Maps

Wallace Falls State Park PDF Map:

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Wallace Falls State Park - Jay Lake

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