Backpack to Marmot and Jade Lakes

18 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Colin Ayers

Hike to or camp at two amazing alpine lakes and taken in views of beautiful azure waters caused by runoff of Lynch Glacier into Jade Lake.

The road in is passable with basically any vehicle, though there are some potholes to be avoided. Start at the Deception Pass Trailhead near the parking lot. There is a quick and easy 4.5 miles as you pass Hyas Lake, then you start climbing up to the trail junction for Tuck and Robin Lakes and the PCT. Once on the PCT take the trail heading up to Marmot, Clarice, and Jade Lakes, and start climbing, be ready for mosquitoes, in the summer months they get to be very bad around here, especially along the valleys and trails near water. The trails through here are in good condition and easy to follow all the way up to Marmot Lake. The trail from Deception Pass to Marmot Lake is a little over 4 miles, descending about 700 ft into Hozbizz Basin (which houses a great ice cave in the summer) and then gaining about 900 ft to the lake.

Once you get to Marmot there are a bunch of great campsites along the eastern shore, some right on the water and some a bit above. From here you can either spend the night and enjoy the sunset at Marmot or continue up to Jade Lake, taking another 1.5 hours or so. Marmot lake is great for swimming, with an actual beachfront and lots of shallow water for wading and bathing, and although the mosquitoes are pretty bad, there are some beautiful views around the lake and it's a great place to view mountain goats.

Heading up to Jade Lake from Marmot you take a lakeside path that takes you past the first avalanche chute and up the left (east) side of the second chute and up the scree. Keep a close eye out for cairns as it is very easy to lose the trail when scrambling and rock-hopping up the chute. About a mile from the campsite you pass No Name Lake and then quickly descend into the Jade Lake Basin.

Jade Lake and its incredibly blue-green waters greet you here with snowy Dip Top Gap bridging the rock faces and melting snow fields on either side. Swim in the cyan waters and admire the countless amazing streams and waterfalls heading into the lake, it truly is a magnificent place. For a great view of the lake from above, there is a scenic little cliff part the way up the peak to the left of Dip Top Gap, and if you want to cross through the Gap over some loose scree and a crevasse filled snow field you can make your way down to Peasoup Lake at the base of Mt Daniel.

Basic Itinerary for the trip:
Day one: Start at the trailhead, go by Hyas Lake and through Deception Pass. Go along the PCT for a while, then take the side trail for Marmot, Jade, and Clarice Lakes. This will lead you past Hozbizz Lake/Basin and up to Marmot Lake, where you can camp for the night.

Day two: Take the trail from Marmot up past No Name Lake and to Jade Lake as instructed above. Jade Lake is an incredible place to camp for the night, with lots of little trails and places to explore for the remainder of the day.

Day three: Either pack up and hike out or go up through Dip Top Gap to Peasoup Lake and the north side of Mt. Daniel and work your way past Cathedral Rock and Peggy's Pond out to the trailhead.

Note: Jade Lake can also be reached via the Necklace Valley Trailhead. 

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šŸ„ˆ Contributor

about 3 years ago

Incredible area

What an awesome area so close to Seattle. I would offer a word of caution to anyone attempting to return to their car via the alternate route described (over Dip Top Gap & past Mount Daniel). From Jade Lake to Peggys Pond/Cathedral is all off trail and requires serious navigation, scrambling and open country travel skills. I would not attempt to return this way unless you have a GPS and have a good idea of where you are going. I'm surprised the idea is not further described above as it is not for the faint of heart (but an awesome route if you have the skills for it).


over 4 years ago

Great Trip!

The idea for a loop over Mt. Daniel is great! Definitely have to try that next time.


šŸ„‡Top Contributor

over 4 years ago

Had to go back

Did this hike many years ago as my first ever backpacking trip, knew I had to go back. Got back there recently and it doesn't disappoint. The hike in can be long, but it goes through a variety of different scenery, always keeping you in awe. The camping locations at Marmot Lake are brilliant with the lake and sun warmed rocks. Jade Lake is another hike up, requiring a pretty good rock scramble, but worth every step. Highly recommend this track as a 3 day minimum. You won't regret it

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