Necklace Valley Trail is a 14.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Skykomish, WA that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and camping and is accessible from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
From Everett, E on US 2 to Skykomish Ranger Station, 36 miles E of Monroe. About 0.6 miles past Ranger Station, Right on Foss River Rd NE (FSR 68) for 1.2 miles. Right at fork for 2.4 miles, continuing on FSR 68 for 0.7 miles to trailhead on left
This is more tough than what one would assume walking into it. The first 3 to 4 miles are your typical PNW hike. After you reach the the rocks, follow the trail markers to go up, be careful the rocks can be sharp and loose. Highly recommend trekking poles from here out. The elevation gain doesn't get to you but the amount of effort required to finish this trail is rough. Well worth it though. When you see the trail marker for the 7th mile you are a little less than half a mile away from Jade Lake. Well worth the stay and challenge.
We went to the 5 mile bridge but was unable to cross the Foss branch log bridge...to dangerous with high water and a dog. A most beautiful trail!
I love this trail, not over crowded and challenging without being life threatening. There is a two mile stretch after you cross the river that really gets the heart pondering though. Once you get to the lakes it's all worth it though
Made a day hike out of this today. Quite a bit of blow down on the trail. Half a dozen trees down over trail. Little bit of snow here and there. Hiked 5.2 miles to the campsite, had coffee and lunch before turning around and headed back.
We took advantage of Memorial Day to try out the Necklace Valley trail. We day hiked from the trailhead to Jade Lake and back out again. The weather was good with mist on the tops of the mountains and no snow left anywhere on or near the trail.
It is a very long day hike, but fairly quiet. Even on Memorial Day we only saw about 6 small groups, all of backpackers heading out after the long weekend.
The first few miles along the valley are easy and fairly flat. After crossing the river on the log bridge with handrail, head right across another log and a little ways up a rock slide. Follow the cairns carefully here to skirt a large fallen tree and head left back onto the trail. Then it goes up, up and up until you get to the lake. This part of the trail is fairly rough with lots of roots and rocks.
There are occasional views of the valley and surrounding mountains along the way. Jade Lake is more of a large pond, but it has some nice campsites around it.
It was long for a day hike. It has about 3200 feet of net elevation change, so the total gain is much higher (4-5000?). Unfortunately I don't have an exact number. The valley is surrounded by very steep cliffs so the GPS on my phone was useless for most of the trip.
I'll start by saying I'm almost 60 years old. My older Brother Brian, eldest son Christopher and I took the very difficult backpacking trip to Necklace Valley in the central Cascades Alpine Wilderness in late August. It was a long, grueling, difficult hike, We suffered extreme fatigue, primitive conditions, hungry mosquito's, marginally appetizing trail food, unsanitary accommodations, bruises, cuts, abrasions, blisters, welts, and unbelievable thirst between streams. To make matters worse I had a serious pack suspension failure that forced me to carry much of the weight on my shoulders. It was a blast.
Actually it was a trip Brian and I went on 39 years ago with our now deceased oldest brother Bruce. We went back with my son Christopher. Like my Brother said, "we did it because we could" (that has special meaning at our age).
My son was impressed with our determination and resiliency. The Forest Service categorizes the trip as "most difficult". I had my (ahem) ultralight 57 lb pack. The net elevation gain was 300' in the 1st 6 miles and 2550' in the final 2 miles of the 8 mile trip. The first 6 miles was up and down most of the way resulting in a collective elevation gain of near 4000'. The trip down was not all downhill either.
I just had to prove I'm still 20 years old. As you can imagine it was quite an achievement for a guy pushing 60. I can't say I know anyone my age ambitious or dumb enough to attempt it. We saw one guy about 55 years old. The rest were "kids" (of course most hikers nowadays seem like kids to me). The next trip will be easier. There aren't many that are more demanding that I would care to do.
The trail was okay with a few obscure carins and tthe bridge railings are broken, and one shor t bridge is half rotten off but otherwise the ruthless elevation gain was my only hardship. The weather was perfect. The hikers were respectful and friendly, and it wasn't overly crowded.
We caught and released 7- 14" trout at Lockett Lake. The valley was as beautiful as I remembered and there was no litter to speak of. The pictures I am posting tell the rest of the story.
A lot of the campgrounds in the valley were still under water or under snow. We had to remove our boots to cross Jade lake, but water levels seemed lower on the way out. I feel like the endo of July or August would be the perfect time to hike this. Once we were in the valley we made the trek up to tank lakes and camped there. The lakes were beautiful even if still 95% frozen over, but the views from there and the hike up are amazing. Without this leg of the trip I would rate this 4 stars. Some highly used campsites are available along the river before you make the climb up to the valley.
Good spring hike. Quite a few trees down on the trail, but a crew is working to cut them out. Weather was perfect.
The morning started at 4:14 am with a beautiful sunny Thursday morning and ended with a 10 mile hike upon Necklace Valley Trail. Rick, Bas, Sasha and yes, little 3.7lbs Tuki along with myself of course. Our initial plan was to hike Greider Lakes; unfortunately for us the rode was closed to Greider because of flood damage.
So we rerouted, headed further east on hwy 2 and stopped at the Rangers Station. After searching for Tonga Ridge and missing the turnout we decided to head up Necklace Valley Trail.