The nice(r) weather of late has definitely left me itching for hikes in the mountains. I usually go with ZipCar for daytrips or Enterprise for multi-day ventures; after all, cars are at their best when providing for the occasional personal trip to a far-flung place. But Washington also has an impressive amount of rural transit, much of it imperiled by looming cuts. So as the weather warms I’ll be starting an occasional STB series, highlighting trailheads and itineraries accessible by transit, usually Saturday dayhikes that one can do without missing any days at work.
Wallace Falls is an impressive 265-foot cascade just northeast of Gold Bar. A well-trodden trail to the Middle Falls offers dense forest, steep switchbacks, and impressive views, yet it is short enough to do a daytrip from Seattle. For the weekend warrior, Community Transit Route 271 offers hourly Saturday service from Everett to Gold Bar from 6am-8pm. With an easy transfer at Everett Station, a Seattle daytripper has plenty of time to make a day of it. A sample itinerary:
- Take Sound Transit #510 from 4th & Union to Everett Station, 7:55a-8:36a ($3.00)
- Transfer to Community Transit #271, 8:55a-10:19a (Free ORCA transfer)
- Get off at Hwy 2 and 1st Ave, and walk 1.7 miles to the trailhead, following the road signs.
- Walk another 1.7 miles through the woods to the falls.
- Take Community Transit #271 6:48p-8:18p
- Transfer to Sound Transit #510 8:28p-9:12p
For only $6 in transit fare (with ORCA), you get a two-seat ride, perhaps a greasy spoon brunch, a moderate 7-mile walking day, and you’re back in Seattle by 9:15pm. What’s not to like?