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|Trail Name||Necklace Valley|
|Distance||16 Miles Round Trip|
|Elevation Gain||3000 Feet|
|High Point||4600 Feet|
|Trip Reports||Necklace Valley|
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This is a great multi day backpacking trip into the lakes or for a day hike you can turn around at the main river crossing. The first 6 miles of the trail is easy going all the way to a nice camping spot next to the river. Once you cross the river be prepared to start climbing the 2600 feet of trail to the lakes. If you're strong you can push all the way in with an early start, but most people camp out at the river crossing for the first night. Once to the lakes you will be in a magnificent valley of a chain of lakes that look as if they're gems hanging from necklace on a map.
How to get there
Drive US Highway 2 east from Monroe and travel approximately 2 miles past Skykomish. Turn south on Foss River Rd NE; this road turns into NFD 68RD. Stay on the main road and in 4.1 miles there will be a parking lot on the left(East) side of the road.
The trail is an easy hike through the trees and classic western Washington forest only gaining 500 feet in the 1st 6 miles. This is where you cross the river on a log that sometimes has a hand rail. Once across the river the trail starts to climb steeply through a boulder field. The trail only gets worse as you climb higher and in some sections you will wonder if you're even on a trail, or if you're climbing a stream bed as you grab for plants and roots to pull yourself up. It's all worth it when you reach 4600 feet and Jade Lake appears. One camp site is available here or travel on to Emerald lake and Opal lake. A side trail going north will take you to Lake Ilswoot; a gorgeous teal-colored lake with a nice camp site.
The first portion of the trail before crossing the main river is flat and easy hiking. Once across the river, the trail is rocky and dynamited out of a boulder field. The upper section before Jade lake is usually slippery, muddy, and wet and more of a stream bed in sections then a trail. You can anticipate some of the worst biting insect populations in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness from Jade lake and beyond until the first cold nights off the fall season.
Fees, Permits, etc.
- Northwest Forest Pass required to park at this trail head. The pass is available at National Forest offices and visitor centers, via private vendors or online. Note that WTA and some other vendors listed do not carry day passes.
After the Hike
Back West on highway 2 there is plenty to eat in the number of little towns you travel through. Sultan Bakery is always my favorite stop.