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East Fork Foss - Necklace Valley

Central Cascades > Stevens Pass - West
47.6659, -121.2881 Map & Directions
18.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
3,400 feet
Highest Point
5,000 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Beautiful Jade Lake in the Necklace Valley. Photo by Noam Gundle.
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Established campsites
  • Old growth
  • Lakes
  • Rivers

The Necklace Valley makes a wonderful 2-3 night backpack trip for hearty hikers, and rewards with cool alpine lakes to swim and fish in, or just camp beside. Or take a day trip along the East Fork Foss River admire the amazing second-growth tree canopy. Continue reading

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Hiking East Fork Foss - Necklace Valley

The East Fork Foss trail makes a lovely spring or early summer day hike or backpack. The challenging climb into the Necklace Valley well-rewards hearty hikers with cool alpine lakes named for precious gems that you can swim, fish in, or just camp beside.

The trail begins gently along the East Fork Foss River, traversing through a beautiful, naturally-regenerated forest that was logged by the railroads in the 1930s. The first five miles gain only 600 feet. Lowland forest wildflowers will keep your senses busy - look for trillium, calypso orchids, and yellow violets and more. This pleasant stroll abruptly ends when you come to the crossing of the East Fork Foss River. There is an established campsite here, and this is a good turn-around for a day hike of the East Fork Foss.

Depending on the condition of the footlog and the amount of snowmelt in the river below, the crossing can be a little scary. Hold on to the handwire. After the crossing, the hike changes considerably as it becomes a steep, grueling climb, gaining 2400 feet in just 3 miles until you reach the first of the gems - Jade Lake. It's nice and peaceful, and there are established campsites here, but you will be amply rewarded if you push on to Emerald or Locket Lake. Be prepared for insects.

Enjoy a few days exploring up here, scrambling over granite, breathing in the fragrant mountain heather, and relaxing in the shade of forest. No campfires are allowed, so be sure and pack your backcountry stove.

From the cabin, a trail climbs, then drops west to Al Lake. There is a maze of social trails in this area.

The upper end of this hanging valley accesses La Bohn Lakes and the standard route on Mt. Hinman. This is most pleasant as a snow ascent in early season, but the snow chute to the gap requires an ice axe. Once the snow is gone, Hinman is very rocky. In late season, follow the left edge of the talus as high as possible, then work left on a discernible scramble track that generally follows the right side of the La Bohn Lakes' outfall.

Necklace Valley also accesses the Tank/Foehn Lakes areas. Ascend the very rocky, cairned medial moraine up this huge, recently glaciated cirque. Might be easiest in early season on snow. Please treat the fragile high country very carefully.

WTA worked here in 2022, 2021, 2018, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010!

East Fork Foss - Necklace Valley

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.6659, -121.2881 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

To get there, from Everett drive east on U.S. Highway 2 toward Stevens Pass. After passing the Skykomish Ranger Station on the left, continue another 0.5 mile and turn right (south) onto Foss River Road (Forest Road 68).The clearly marked parking lot and trailhead will be on your left at 4.2 miles.

More Hike Details


Central Cascades > Stevens Pass - West

Necklace Valley (#1062)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Skykomish Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

55 Hikes around Stevens Pass

Rick McGuire and Ira Spring

Mountaineers Books

Green Trails Map 175 Skykomish and 176 Stevens Pass

USGS 7.5' Big Snow Mtn.

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East Fork Foss - Necklace Valley

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