Explore the most popular trails near Gold Bar with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking

forest

views

dogs on leash

nature trips

birding

river

wild flowers

wildlife

Gold Bar, Washington Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Hiked up about 1.5 hours at a slow pace and did not quite make it to the lake. Trail was in good condition; wet and rainy but no snow or ice. Saw other hikers both solo and in groups. Seems well trafficked for a Thursday and therefore great for the solo hiker! Lots of parking (2:00pm Thursday). Bring Northwest Forest Pass. Bathrooms still closed. Beautiful hike!

Woody trail is beautiful, leading to spectacular views of 3 falls, lower, middle (wow!) and upper. There are also panoramic views of the Olympics and Seattle to be enjoyed on a clear day, should you choose to add a huge loop to your falls hikes, and head toward Wallace Lake. Record high, clear day in winter and the parking lot was packed, trail busy, but still lots of quiet spots. Dogs had a great time and other owners were conscientious. Really well maintained and signed trails and great facilities at the parking area.

hiking
5 days ago

Weather on the trail was perfect, no need for poles or yaktracks. The trail is super wore down and good for a person looking for a stroll or a family. The upper falls is worth the extra ~1 mi to the top. Also we started our hike at 8:30am and was completely alone most of the time, trail didn't start to get heavy with people until around 10:00.

We hiked on 1/12/19. Clear trail most of the way with slick rocks and compacted snow near the top. We managed with athletic shoes, but more traction is highly recommended. Much colder and windy at the lake, but beautiful. High foot traffic. Bathroom is locked due to the government shutdown...

Doing this hike again, after 5 years. This time we are doing it with Daughter, our 8mth old puppy and more friends. Going Saturday January 12th 2019. This will be the 3rd hike of the new year.☺

snowshoeing
snow
7 days ago

Road to the TH eventually became too snowy to drive on in our Ford Edge. We got stuck and once out we ended up parking and snowshoeing 3.4 miles to the TH- though views on the way up were spectacular and even more so on the way down because it was sunset.
Once we got to the TH the path was pretty much fresh snow the whole way up to Sunrise Mtn. (About 2.3 miles). Most of the time you could pick out where the trail would be but in one section. With a lot of trees the trail was difficult to navigate and we ended up going off course and eventually finding our way back to the trail. On the way down it’s easy to attach into another trail going down so if you head too far right that’s where you could end up.
We were the only ones on the mountain all day. Quiet and the views were beautiful from the top. Sunrise summit has trees but the views are still really good. From there you could see Glacier, Mt. Ferrow and Baker. Scorpion appeared to be in a cloud and with the added mileage to get to the trail we didn’t have enough daylight to attempt it.
Minimal avalanche danger due to hiking along the ridge line.

Beautiful trail, we hiked it on Jan 9. Majority of hike has slushy snow on it - it rained the night before which made some of the spots fairly slick. Decent amount of steps as well as occasional rocks. Microspikes encouraged. Beautiful lake - we had it all to ourselves!

Did this Jan 2, 2019. Beautiful views! I’d say there’s not snow until 2/3 of the way up? Maybe 3/4? Not a lot but enough that micro spikes made life 1000% easier. Would be tricky to do without, especially coming down - the snow is packed down enough on the trail that it’s quite slick and you’d be sliding down. The lake was very pretty and the views were lovely the whole way up. I’d say this is moderately difficult, with the last couple miles to the top being quite steep. It’s also closer to 9 miles according to my Strava recording. Took us about 4 hours to do with a snack break at the top.

hiking
15 days ago

Completed this a few months ago. Was great.

hiking
16 days ago

Lots of logging, not much trail left.

Well maintained trail. Stairs at a lot of places add convenience but feel not belonging there. waterfall first. if you feel you have exhausted less than 30% energy, go for the lake. On 1st Jan, the last one mile had snow requiring microspikes. I did without them but had to struggle a lot. Ample parking space and toilets in parking as well as when you reach lake serene. Mesmerizing view of lake serene from lunch point in winter.

Such a gorgeous trail all through. One can hear the sound of river pretty much from the entire trail. the views of water gushing on the rocks and the waterfalls are to unbelievable! Middle falls are the most pretty but lower falls are quite a beauty too. Upper falls has a much steeper climb but not the views as impressive as middle or lower. Also if you go to upper falls, the total trail length is 5.5 miles. I think the 4.4 miles mentioned in the description is only till middle falls. But Valley overlook point is beautiful, after middle falls and before upper. The trail condition is very good. Various bridges, stairs and paved paths all through the trail. Hiking poles were such a savior. the climb is steep on this trail, so if you can take the poles, please do!

hiking
17 days ago

Great hike on a beautiful and maintained trail. Being that it was New Year’s Day and free day at state parks we were still lucky enough to find parking.

We had some sunshine and a bit of blue skies. We saw a lot of cool fungus.

Hiked with our two kiddos, ages 5 and 7. The ranger station has a fun scavenger hunt to complete.

Amazing hike. The hike to the waterfall is filled with clear ice so extremely slippery. The lake is beautiful! Try going on a clear day if you can.

hiking
18 days ago

This is a beautiful hike. Avoid the crowds and go on a weekday.

hiking
18 days ago

Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPR3FnXSfgk or https://www.YouTube.com/TheUpperLeftUSA to see a video from the trail.

This was my first opportunity to hike this trail and I have to say that I enjoyed it quite a bit. This is one of those trails that offers a lot in a short amount of distance. It just seemed like there were views around every couple of corners.

For those who are interested in doing the hike, going early is a definite recommendation. I arrived at the trailhead at 8 am and there were about 20 cars in the parking lot. As I hiked, I saw many people and by the time that I was finished, a good portion of the parking lot was filled. I did this hike on New Year's Eve, which is something that not as many people are going to do. I can only imagine that on a nice summer day, parking is going to be taken up fast. There is no parking on the side of the road on the way to the trailhead so you'll have to find parking elsewhere in the surrounding residential area.

On this day, I only hiked to lower falls so take that into consideration as you read this report. That being said, the hike to lower falls is relatively easy. A more experienced hiker or someone with good cardiovascular endurance would have little problem. I would like to note that there was a little girl less than 5 years old that I saw throughout the trail walking on her own. That kind of tells you about the difficulty of this hike. To me, it seemed like there was not a lot of elevation gain. More so smaller patches of incline climbs rather than a constant climb.

Conditions on this particular day were great. It had been raining consistently for the past couple of weeks and this was an unusually good weather day. I was layered up pretty well and stayed warm throughout the hike but my hiking partner did complain about being cold and losing sensation when not in motion. Keep that in mind as you plan your trip! Another thing that would be helpful is to bring a waterproof layer because there were a lot of water droplets falling from the trees even on a nice sunny day. If you're going on a wet day, bring waterproof gear for sure.

Overall, this is definitely a recommended hike. There is a lot of reward for the amount of effort put in, even if you don't do the entire hike.

If you'd like to see more coverage of various hikes around Washington and the rest of the world, consider checking out my work whether it's through YouTube or my various other social media outlets!

Hải Hoàng Trần
Photographer | Videographer
TheUpperLeftUSA.com
Instagram.com/TheUpperLeftUSA
YouTube.com/TheUpperLeftUSA

hiking
19 days ago

HEATED bathrooms!! The amenities here are fabulous. The parking lot is large, and they have volunteers present. You need a discovery pass to park. The trail was well marked and well maintained. If you use poles, take them! I thought since this was an easier hike compared to the last few, that I didn't need mine. The last mile.....whew! I could have used them!

Discovery Pass Required (or $10 for the day to park). Discovery Pass is available to purchase at the visitor booth at the entrance to the trail ($30). The trail is gorgeous! Well maintained. There is a small trail loop that includes a bunch of stories about a native tree. The scenery along the hike is beautiful. The hike itself is moderate, the first 2 miles is fairly easy however the last 0.75 miles can be tricky, especially when it’s raining. The falls are breathtaking as well as the view of the valley. Only 1-1.5hrs from Seattle, I highly recommend it!

go in the winter time.

I've done this hike 3 different times during many different times of the year. The destination is always worth the steady climb up!

beautiful hike. not many people. parking lot was empty. middle falls and upper falls have breathtaking views.

this is an easy to moderate hike. there was no snow until 5mins before we got to the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! We hiked it in July. My almost 5 and almost 3 year old did it with me. Took a little longer with the kids in tow, but that is expected and it was a great hike. They really enjoyed it. There is a picnic area with tables by the lower falls which was nice. The kids were ready for lunch by the time we reached it so it was a nice lunch with a gorgeous view. We hiked up to the middle falls after lunch and it’s so worth it. Beautiful views, very peaceful. We went on a week day and it wasn’t too busy, definitely worth it. Also the little ranger station has a junior ranger scavenger hunt for the kids, if they complete it they get to pick a badge. Awesome way to keep them moving and in the lookout for things. Will do this again!

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike with 3 falls and the valley lookout.

A fairly challenging hike with one of the most beautiful alpine lakes at the top! Did this one a few years back and remember really loving it.

Beautiful falls!!

Okay, whoever called this an ‘Easy’ hike definitely overlooked the fact that the trail from middle falls to upper is actually marked ‘more difficult’, and rightly so. This is definitely a ‘moderate’ hike, with many many falls-view treats. About 0.5-1 mile into the trail, you reach small falls, it’s a very intimate, beautiful view of the falls. If you proceed along there’s a little loop that’s 0.5 mile called intervine trail, you wouldn’t miss much if you choose to skip that and head back to the woody trail. As one would expect you reach the lower falls, it’s the first view of Wallacefalls you’ll have, it will take your breath away. It’s majestic. About ~0.5 miles in you reach the Middle Wallace falls. This is perhaps my favorite view of the falls, it brings you much closer to the falls, not enough to feel the mist but still close. You could move your head about 120 degeres and catch a view of the Wallace falls and the majestic Olympic skyline. One of the hikers mentioned that usually it’s never a clear view of the skyline and that today we had gotten lucky. Luck we were, indeed!
Most hikers turned back at this point. I choose to continue along to the next 0.6 mile to the upper falls. This section was the hardest. It’s switch back city and the trail unforgiving making you gain nearly 1000ft. The upper falls, to me was a little underwhelming. Partly cause I ran into a group of hikers that chose to lunch at the viewing spot of the falls. But still just as beautiful. I ended up using my hiking poles on the way back from upper to middle falls, the steepness and the wetness was a little scary, so it really helped. Took me about 3hrs RT. This is such a great winter hike and I have my hearts content of waterfalls :)

This is a great hike. There was Snow in the last .5 miles, but the trail is still easy to follow. There are not too many views before the top, and the Falls always underwhelm me, but Lake Serene is just beautiful, and the tall cliffs that surround it are so magnificent. The sound of snow cascading off the cliffs sound like thunder.
It is a hard hike, but worth the effort. My only reason for the 4 star is because it is a very popular hike.

Fantastic day hike - the lake was stunning with the sun coming through the peaks of the mountains. Bridal falls is an incredible bonus of this hike...trails were in good condition all the way up, but did get a bit slick towards the top as they turn into mostly rock.

hiking
1 month ago

We did this today and it was a cool and crisp day. The trail definitely gets more steep after the falls, but it's worth it to make it to the beautiful lake. Bring layers! Got hot on the way up from the exertion, but the lake area was very cold and windy. There was ice in places with some very slippery rocks near the top, which slowed our pace. I recommend poles for this very rocky trail.

Load More