Charlie had recently gone night hiking with a couple past coworkers of ours on Bandera Mountain, so we decided to go to one of their other recommended spots together in Gold Bar called Wallace Falls and Lake. Even though I am from the area, I had not even remembered the town of Gold Bar.
Not knowing how popular the trail was, we both wanted to beat any crowds, so woke up early to take the trek… not before stopping at Whole Foods for breakfast burritos and iced coffee first, of course. We were both blown away by the views just alongside the road all throughout the area of Gold Bar. The sun was beginning to peak through on the beautiful greenery, trees and mountain side, roaring creeks with ginormous rocks, and rustic paint peeled barns. We conveniently drove alongside the train when we first entered the little town, which was an amazing welcome. The little local cafe pink neon sign with the plastic goose was my personal favorite touch.
It was 9 AM once we finally got to the trailhead. Luckily, not too many families in sight yet. Although, there was an extremely creepy Ford Taurus parked nearby with plastic covering a broken window, and a tussled guy wearing a Tommy Bahama looking shirt with a cop laptop set up sitting inside (I’ve been listening to way too many true crime podcasts recently to let this weird situation go unnoticed). Nonetheless, we went on our way to the trail, me having no idea what to expect distance, incline, or views wise.
The first thing you walk through is a wide gravel trail with huge power lines above you. We could literally feel the buzz of electricity. Not going to lie, this really disturbed me and I was not a fan. Allas, the trees emerged with a motivational sign and I was back on Earth.
The wide trail continued until we finally got to the incline. The views all the way up to the falls were beautiful and entertaining with narrow trails along a big creek, lots of wet moss, and a tall variety of trees. There was at least one bridge from what I remember, which is always fun. There is a surprise viewpoint before the falls that made us both speechless and happy to be alive… and to eat jerky!
Once we got to the Wallace Falls, we were both pretty tired from the steep switchbacks. Catching our breathe we approached the wood railway facing the stacking falls. Although some might expect a bigger impact, both of us were amazed by Mother Nature. A very nice couple asked to take our picture, both of us still in mid pant. After enjoying the falls a moment longer, we looked at the picture and noticed how genuine the moment was… thank you kind strangers!
After seeing the falls, we both were filled with adrenaline, ready to keep it going! We hit a point where there was no more trail, just a warning sign and some trees marked with reflectors. Honestly, the sign built up a lot more hype than the reality. The hike to the top where you meet another wide gravel trail was only about 5-10 minutes if that. I screamed downwards to ease the worried warning sign readers.
The top gravel trail was definitely not as exciting as the steep dirt trails, so we took this time to chat and fuel up on Clif bars and more beef jerky. However, there was one sweet lookout spot on the way to the lake with a bunch of cut down lumber from a local company we stopped by.
Once I was finally starting to lose patience with the boring gravel trail, a butterfly came from the woods and flew with us for a couple minutes. It was pretty magical! Both of us laughed like little kids and even talked to it… don’t judge us, maybe we were getting dehydrated.
The trail started getting dirtier and narrower by the hour and we were surrounded by woods again and shortly reached Wallace Lake. Other than the very squishy mud underneath and rickety logs, Charlie almost ate crap on, the sight was gorgeous. A perfect spot for a stop to take in more beauty, water, and calories.
On the way back we were filled with adrenaline again, talking each others’ ears off about life and just enjoying the little things, like a forest of ferns. Neither of us were expecting to hike more than 10 miles that day, but this hike was the beginning of some of the most fun times of our lives thus far. We both knew from here on out, hiking was going to be a regular thing.
Likeness – 3/5
77 degrees – Temperature
10.6 miles – Distance
1644 ft. – Elevation Gain
Page’s Stats: (Garmin Vivoactive HR):
10.6 miles – Distance
4:01:20 – Duration
24:61, 13:08 – Avg, Best Pace
1,644 ft. – Elevation Gain
1,307 – Calories
135, 192 – Avg, Max Heart Rate