Having put together and completed 2 backpacking trips high on my to-do list (Tapto Lakes and Athelney Pass) I had one more I really wanted to cross off my list. So I contacted a couple friends that were available mid-week and so after one-day rest from the trip into Athelney Pass I was off to complete my last backpack of my summer vacation.
The trail into Necklace Valley is 7.5 miles long, the first 5 miles is fairly flat and on nice trail. The next section gains 2100 ft into a nice little valley, chocked full of lakes. The last 1.5 miles is easy route finding, scrambling up boulder fields.
We were fortunate that is was a cool cloudy day on the climb up and then magically it cleared and we were treated to a fantastic sunset.
Sunrise the next day was not too shabby either!
Day 2 found us simply exploring the surrounding area. Lots of rock hopping, I think the Alpine Lakes Wilderness should be renamed the Alpine Lakes and Rock Wilderness. We found an easy scramble up a nearby ridge and the views from the top included Mt Rainier peaking from behind Overcoat and Chimney Rock, Glacier Peak and even up to Baker.
We headed back to camp and went for a quick swim in the frigid Lower Tank Lake, then we explored the basin a bit more.
The evenings sunset and next mornings sunrise were a bust, very little color and dramatic light.
That is ok because it was a beautiful area and we had an awesome campsite overlooking Lower Tank Lake.
The hike out was uneventful; we putzed around in the valley, exploring all the lakes including a climb down to see pretty colored Ilswoot Lake.
Interest: Seriously active hiker/ mountaineer/ canyoneer
So that's Necklace Valley. I've always wondered, as it always had such good buzz, but I've never come across much in the way of photos. Awesome job of selling the place, D&K. It may have just jumped onto my ever-expanding list.
Ugh another destination to add to my growing lest! Is the area generally fairly busy D&K or is it still one of those lesser known destination?
Nah, this is the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, the place is crawling with people thanks to its proximity to Seattle. I will say the Necklace Valley lakes are very popular, but the scramble up to Tanks is not so much. I think many Washington hikers are familar with Tank Lakes though, it is certainly not unknown. We also went mid-week so we saw no one else up above the treeline.