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

3 days ago

6/16/18: Now in my top 5 favorite hikes! Incredible views, moderate difficulty, and a mix of summer/winter conditions. There's snow for the last mile, but it's packed down enough that you don't need spikes/snowshoes. Sunny and shaded sections, and a great boulder area at the top to sit and enjoy 360 views. Glacier Peak was beautiful and you can even see Baker in the distance. Odd bonus: the outhouse at the trailhead was the best smelling ones I've ever been in. What people say about the bumpy NF road is true, but we saw a Prius make it up there so... enjoy! It's worth every pothole and step.

9 days ago

It’s not a difficult trail, there is a lot natural beauty and a little bit of the history about the Great Northern Railway.

11 days ago

Finished my last final of junior year at UW so my partner and I headed to Necklace Valley for an overnighter. The first five miles are very pretty through the forest. Pretty flat, but there are lots of bugs and spiders. We used our poles to knock down spider webs because we kept running into them. There is also a lot of devils club and some stinging nettle so watch out.
We were planning on camping up at Jade Lake but after thinking about camping in snow and seeing how nice the campsite at five mile looked, we decided to camp there. We had a very nice camp with the river running loudly next to us. Didn't really see any wildlife, just more bugs. I left the shorts I had hiked in out in the camp overnight and when I woke up the next day, a dead mouse was in them. Not really sure what the story is behind that.
We started hiking up to the lakes at 7 am the next day. Trail is uphill for some parts but not the worst with one big tree down to walk across. It took us about three hours to get up to Jade lake which is longer than we expected but we were in no rush. The intermediate snow that starts around 3700' was very thin and soft. We really had to watch out for falling through so we kicked out a lot of chunks. Trail becomes all snow just before Jade lake. The lake is about half thawed with interesting blue/green colors and very clear. The trail goes right along the lake and in some cases even too close (ie the trail is in the lake) so we forged uphill a bit. We then continued on through more snow fields to Emerald lake and Opal lake. Both are about the same as Jade in terms of frozen. We really wanted to see if we could continue on to tank lakes but we didn't have time unfortunately. Although, with the right equipment, I see no reason why this couldn't be done. As the snow is very thin, I would be careful going across bolder fields because falling through could be painful and into crevices of an unknown depth.
We also did a bit of an off trail expedition to get a peek of Lake Ilswoot. This was probably when our college stupidity came out the most because it was kinda sketch but also we got to see it. We climbed to the top of the ridge but the actual lake is way further down and through the trees and there was no way we were climbing down there. Maybe if we had planned a better route we could have. There might have been a passable route by going between the two ridges on the other side of Emerald Lake from the trail, but going up and over is probably not a good idea because the way down is very steep as far as we could see. Ilswoot is more thawed out than the three smaller ones. It is mostly light blue with some ice chunks in it. We could only see a glimpse through the trees but it looked really pretty.
We headed back down and the sun came out for us (the snow did become softer and easier to fall through though). Very pretty vistas of mountains heading down from the valley. And the five mile hike back to the trailhead was more of the same. Overall great trip. I would love to come back later in the season when there is less snow and I have more time to explore beyond Opal lake.

Beautiful hike with waterfalls and some old growth trees! Definitely a lot of snow in the lake basin of malachite and cooper, and needs to melt a little more up there before I try again!

Very easy but a pleasant stop if you've been driving a while and need a rest. Beautiful view of the falls.

Easy access to the waterfalls and stream. The falls was breathtaking.

Good for backpacking. Brought the doggo, had a great time!

Tried it on Sunday. Awesome sun. But got stopped half way there with chest deep snow! Bring ur spikes or crampons and ur fine.

intersting history with the railway, views and scenery average but certainly worth the 2.5 to 3 hours for the loop

25 days ago

Great moderate hike! The last two miles to the trailhead, a stream is running past the road. Not deep at all.

26 days ago

Epic! We went straight to the twin tunnels, took a switch back up to the above trail and followed that back to the start. 7 miles all together with our 6 year old. Amazing views, the upper portion was so awesome and a bit more challenging. The way down was a switchback and ridiculous! So steep but was a lot of fun. Definitely a new favorite!

We just hiked to the lake and back. had snow on trail closer to the lake. light to moderate traffic. very nice day and good trail.

Beautiful loop, a bit steep if you go all the way down but it's worth it. The few sequoia remaining are incredible too!

1 month ago

Awesome awesome trail! Parked outside the scenic trailhead (it’s still closed!) and took my 9 year old son and puppy. The trail itself was fairly flat, we crossed to the upper grade at Martin’s Creek and took the upper grade back. We took the Windy Pt crossover down. If you can at all avoid it, don’t take that path up! It’s 1 mile long and has 28 switchbacks. Coming down it was the most unpleasant thing about the hike. The walk up has to be brutal!! A lot of snow runoff type streams on the upper grade that were a little scary for my 9 yo, so keep that in mind. The entire upper grade had a lot of running water over the trail. Didn’t make it to Wellington, but plan on doing that next time.

The artifacts left behind were interesting enough to keep my 9 yo old engaged throughout the hike and we both learned quite a bit about the railroad. Would absolutely do it again!

very beautiful trail, easy and short, well marked. View is so good, water is raging, feels so good to watch it!

1 month ago

Prepare for bears! Be willing to cross rapid creek to get to Lake Elizabeth. Road is washed out at 2.3 Miles from Miller river road.

Had the pleasure of hiking this trail in Friday evening, easy trail on the lower grade with fantastic scenery. Headed back out of the trail after sunset which made for a fun scary experience as this trail is listed as a haunted trail due to the history here. Will be coming back to hike the upper grades!!

Must see, beautiful trail and well maintained, along with informational posts around the loop. Several raging waterfalls just add to the tranquil setting. Another hike adjoining this trail to add extra walking/hiking..Family friendly, along with parking and bathroom facilities (however, closed up when went yesterday 4/23)

2 months ago

The lake is stunning. Went and camped here on a perfect weekend last summer. Does not disappoint

DO NOT TRY THIS HIKE IF YOUR NOT PREPARED , it's easy to loose track and it is a hard hike , got lost twice and turned back half way .
there are no humans along the way and it's pure forest packed with a lot and a lot of snow .
I will give it another try during summer time when there is more day light .

Cute little trail and waterfall. There is a loop that follows into the forest and along the river.

4 months ago

Hiked this weekend - snowshoes are a MUST! Road is currently impassable at +/- 1.8mi to TH due to an large downed tree. Parked at about 2.0mi out. Went with spikes/no showshoes - mistake. At approx. 1.3mi up the trail, drifts of 36"+ make breaking new trail without snowshoes a task of the absurd. We broke trail from the TH up (first ones on the mountain) in 18-24" of new snow and it took a bit. Just got to the point where another 2 miles and 1500' vertical - it was only going to get worse. Plan on taking twice as long to get up as you normally would on this one. The views were great if you're into fog/mist/snow - but we were pretty socked in. If you've got showshoes, it's doable and probably worth it if you can make the top.

4 months ago


4 months ago

This was a five star day despite our failure to reach the lake. The route from Stevens Pass is my favorite of the two. There was just so much snow to break through as well as a few creek crossings This was one of the earlier snow shoes our group did so some became a little tired. I will finish this hike this season though!

4 months ago

I did this hike on December 10 and the weather conditions have to do with my five star rating. There was snow at the top and the parking area was becoming almost unreachable due to snow. The summit was snow covered as were area peaks making the views incredible. Maybe this would be a three to four star peak on the average summer day. Pretty short easy hike in my opinion but great for someone with time constraints or something that overs good views with less effort.

This hike probably deserves more stars in the summer as these lakes are quite beautiful. Its really hard to access the lake with snow shoes as there are many obstacles in the final stretch creating hazards. Its a great workout and it was a fun hike as well. We broke trail and burned some calories. I would drive a little further and do Lake Valhalla from Stevens Pass instead. Its about a mile longer each way but a better hike in my eyes.

5 months ago

Amazing trail. Absolutely stunning in winter, and fairly easy in the lower half. The upper ledge was a bit more technical than anticipated with 2’ of snow on the ground, but completely worth it.

question: is this a 9.2 mile hike from start to finish back to your car, or do you double the miles 9.2 mi in and 9.2 mi out??? thanks

5 months ago

This is my personal favorite of the PNW. There is so much history and beauty along this trail. Trail and bathrooms are well maintained. Artifacts and remnants are scattered not far off trails, please do not disturb them. Lots of interpretive signs that talk of the avalanche and current railways. Always a joy to visit when on the way to Leavenworth.

Three years ago. This was my wife and I first time snowshoeing, what a trip! We want to go back during the spring to hike our path to see the difference between snow and trail. Most fun we have every had snowshoeing. Not recommended for a first timer, we were lucky during the winter time and were a couple of greenhorns as they come. Read up on area difficulty and know what your getting into. Awesome place to go!!

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