Washington State Travel: Looking for suggestions near/accessible to Wallace Falls State Park
July 26, 2012 9:13 PM   Subscribe

I am planning a trip to Washington (state) in August. Most of the details are confirmed, but I have a few days that I'd like to fill...

I'll be visiting friends in Seattle and on Vashon Island, but this trip is meant more for me to have some meditative time - getting perspective, time alone, reflecting, etc. in a beautiful place.

Three days into the trip I'll be traveling from Vashon to Wallace Falls State Park, which, from what I've read is relatively accessible by public transit and walking (I will not have access to a car!). I have a cabin there reserved for three nights, and I was hoping to stay at the cabin for 4 or 5 nights, but for some reason ALL cabins on the Wallace Falls reservation web site seem to be closed starting the 4th night, opening again the 5th. As it stands I have one reserved for 3 nights.

I'm hoping to find something to do with that extra night (or two) - preferably close-ish to Wallace Falls. My biggest concerns are transportation - getting there without a car, and relative ease of getting back to Seattle (all modes of transportation other than me driving a car are options).

I'm completely open to suggestions, although I prefer something outdoors-ish. I will not have a tent with me, although it might not be impossible for me to get one (unfortunately the two campsites at Wallace Falls are first come first served...)

Any ideas with what to do with myself for the extra night (or two)? I could easily stay with one of my friends but, again, the aim of this trip is to really have some good reflective time (bad break up, job troubles, etc.). I'm hoping for some productive and healing time by myself - so an atmosphere conducive to that would be ideal.

So many thanks in advance!
posted by ekf to Travel & Transportation around Washington (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What is your plan for getting there?

Honestly, this is very ambitious without a car. I'm sorry, that might not be helpful.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:09 PM on July 26, 2012

I keep telling myself that one of these days I'm going to try a (probably exhausting) quick weekend trip to Glacier National Park from Seattle, starting by sleeping on the Friday overnight Amtrak train (PDF), arriving at the park at 8:30am-ish, hiking all day, getting back on the train at 8:30pm, sleeping on the overnight return trip, and arriving back in Seattle on Sunday morning. Probably not even close to what you have in mind, but you'd certainly be my hero if you did it. You could catch the train in Everett, which will be your link between Seattle and Gold Bar/Wallace Falls on Community Transit.

Outside of that, I'm not sure you're going to find many overnight accommodations besides motels. I'd think you could find a room in Gold Bar, Sultan, Monroe, or certainly Everett. If you can get your hands on a tent you might be able to find a place to camp (maybe try the WTA hike finder, searching for established campsites) but I think accessibility without a car will likely be a real problem for most if not all of them.

It sounds like you're in for an excellent adventure, whatever you end up doing, and I'm a little envious.
posted by Balonious Assault at 10:41 PM on July 26, 2012

Balonious Assault - that sounds like a HAUL. Wow.

Honestly, the first thing that popped into my head was finding some cozy coffe shops in Seattle you could hang at. When I need downtime during trips, I like to wander about in cities and float between restaurants, parks, and coffee shops. Take photos, sketch, write, read, and listen to music with no appointments and nowhere to be. Check out the Green Lake, Ballard(+Golden Gardens), and Capitol Hill Neighborhoods.

Not sure how you could factor this into your sleeping arrangements.
posted by victory_laser at 1:30 AM on July 27, 2012

As crazy as it sounds, I think I'm going to do it. I'll stretch it to two days (maybe three) though and plan to camp on the east side of Glacier (got a tent today)...Sure, it's ambitious, but I'm up for it and I think that this sort of trip could be just what I need. Thanks!
posted by ekf at 7:16 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

In all honesty if you are going to take the time and effort to go Glacier, skip Wallace Falls and spend that time in Montana. But since you've got a tent you could consider Mt Rainier, or North Cascades NP. I'd bet you could get a rideshare on craigslist to either place.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:40 AM on July 27, 2012

On a lark in July last year, Mrs. Director and I left home at 1:00 AM and drove to Sunrise at Mt. Rainier to watch the sunrise. The sun comes up early this time of year.

While waiting, we saw the headlights of the climbers going up the mountain.

As the sky began to brighten it looked like the event would be completely unspectacular. Nothing more than it getting more light out. But then...

the mountain became drenched in flaming hot pink morning light which took out breath away, until...

the sun poured molten gold onto the slopes of that magnificent rock. It ran down the sides, into the cracks and crevices. We were completely without words. It was one of the most extravaganlty beautiful things I've ever experienced. I get chills recalling it.

We were not without cameras, though. If you get the chance, go see the sunrise at Sunrise.
posted by trinity8-director at 4:30 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

In case you didn't know, and since you'll be traveling to get here: you can rent camping equipment at REI.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:58 PM on August 2, 2012

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