Get Out Camping & Hiking

It's time to just get out.



Hiking Wallace Falls

We set out on a road trip after landing in Seattle to drive the Cascade Loop. Our first stop on the first day was Wallace Falls State Park in Snohomish County, Washington near a small town called Gold Bar.

Arriving on a Tuesday morning in mid July before the park officially open, we set out following Wallace Falls Trail. The park was not crowded, of course, as it was only a little after seven in the morning. We were still on east coast time, so it felt like it was getting late in the day to us.

At the parking lot, you’ll find a well-kept restroom, a park map and trash canisters. You will need a Discover Pass to do this trail. These are $10 for a day and available at the entrance to the park or online prior to your visit. We got ours online and therefore could go into the park and start hiking prior to the visitor booth being open.

You start the trail down a long meadow-like opening along power lines. The first sight of the Cascades lets you see some key peaks. It is nice, but the power lines make a good picture impossible. Right after this, you start heading slightly uphill to the start of the trail which brings you through a maze-type gate to keep people from bring vehicles onto it. This is a foot trail only.

Climbing steadily along the Wallace River, the scenery is beautiful with dense forests, rocky banks, and rushing water at every turn. It is divided into three sections—the lower falls, the middle falls and the upper falls. By the time you get to the upper falls, you’ll climb about 1400 feet in elevation over about 4 1/2 miles. It is considered a “moderate” trail.

The lower falls lookout area is quite nice and gives you a great view of all three falls looking up the mountain.

Wallace Falls – Lower

Between the lower falls and the middle falls, you will encounter a section of quite a few switchbacks. But when you get to the middle falls look out area, you’ll be greeted with not only a gushing, powerful waterfall, but also a nice view of the lush green landscape capped by the far away mountains.

Wallace Falls – Middle Falls

The hike between the middle falls and the upper falls is steep, but not very long. The upper falls is just that—the top part of the waterfall. You’ll find some large rocks to take a brief rest before heading back down.

Wallace Falls Trail

Our take: This was a wonderful hike with moments of interest at every step of the trail. From lush ferns and mosses, to large spiders, and slugs and from rocky steps to amazing, gushing waterfalls. We loved every bit of this one. Allow about 4-5 hours total if you slow to take pictures and investigate nature like we do. We also found our new hiking poles very helpful on this one due to its rocky climb.

This trail is not suited for small children or small dogs prone to breathing problems, especially in the summer. It can also be hard on the knees for people who have known issues.

If you are short on time, consider going only as far as the middle falls. You’ll have seen the best parts of the falls, have had a great hike in, and saved yourself an hour or so.

The Drinking Water Problem

Let me start by saying we don’t use our sink in the A-liner. It is small and since we live in a climate the freezes, we don’t find it worth the extra work it takes to drain in for the off-season. For clean water, we look elsewhere.

In the past, we would stock up on gallon-sized jugs of water from Costco before camping to ensure that we would have clean water for just about everything, from filling the dogs’ water bowls to cleaning dishes. These took up considerable space in the vehicle and also created bulky trash. But you need clean water.


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Twin Knobs Campground Review

On our way home from Tennessee after watching the eclipse, we headed north into Kentucky and stopped for the night at Twin Knobs Campground. We were sorry we were only there for one night. It was not crowded and the sites were wooded and clean.

Twin Knobs sits amidst the Daniel Boone National Forest, north west of Lexington, Kentucky of KY-801.

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Davy Crockett Campground Review

Davy Crockett Campground

After a very long drive we arrived at Davy Crockett Campground, our home for then next  couple nights as we visited to take in the eclipse. Located in Crossville, Tennessee, this campground is about halfway between Nashville and Knoxville.

The campground was very crowded that weekend and they had people packed in where they could.

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KOA Buckeye Lake Campground Review

Review of KOA Buckeye Lake

KOA Buckeye Lake

We headed west for a quick weekend with the Aliner in tow. The weekend before, a quick search located a campground about 40 minutes east of Columbus, our final destination for Saturday. KOA Buckeye Lake seemed to sit right off of I-70, accessible easily, as we would possibly arrive after dark and the farm roads in eastern Ohio can be curvy and dark.

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