Of course this hike was swamped and we walked about a eighth of a mile (by Jon’s estimate) uphill to the trailhead. Along the way I snapped a picture of an interesting watermill made with steel water buckets.
The trailhead offers a map of the trail system, which features falls, but also Wallace Lake, Jay Lake, Shaw Lake and the Skykomish River. It was a little too late in the day to make a longer hike, but the trail to Wallace Lake was tempting.
As I said, the hike is perfect for warmer weather as it’s completely canopied in moss-laid trees, which my trail book describes is reminiscent of the Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula (a trail I hope to visit later this year). The cool canopy is perfect when hitting the switchback as we assented up the mountainside next to the falls.
Along the trail Jon shared his knowledge of some of the geology, cracking open stone exposing fossilized leaves in carbon layers and pointing out stone formed out of volcanic ash.
At the top of the falls we rested under the canopy of Western Red Cedars and mused at what it would take to follow the obscured trail to Wallace Lake. We sided on common sense and made our way back down the hillside. We took a detour just past the bridge crossing North Fork Wallace River and followed the Old Railroad Grade, which added an additional mile to our hike, but a peaceful one away from the busier Woody Trail.
Along this less used trail we encountered some very tall Devil’s Club, a sign of a well established ecosystem; a testament to nature’s recovery since this place was logged.
On our way back to Seattle we stop outside Sultan at the Reptile Zoo and Old School BBQ. A hot but educational zoo and no you don’t eat them at the barbeque – I had tasty mesquite chicken. It was a great look into rural roadside economies, thanks Margo!