Winter Backpack to Jade Lake

Washington Hyas Lake Trailhead

Added by

The winter hike up to Jade Lake offers a technical challenge, but you'll be rewarded with peaceful tranquility and stunning landscapes.

Starting at the Hyas Lake trailhead north of Cle Elum, it's a meandering easy hike through the woods for about 5.0 miles up to Deception Pass. You gain 1100 feet through this first five miles to the junction with the PCT. From here take a left to continue on the Lake Clarice Trail towards Marmot Lake. These next 4.5 miles see you lose several hundred feet of elevation before gaining it all back plus another few more. Enjoy sweeping views of the Deception Creek Valley off to your right as you gain elevation.

From Marmot Lake, things start to get interesting. Follow a sometimes-hard-to-follow trail past the campsites and continue on along the left side of the lake. Eventually you break out into a bolder field, and begin following the rock cairns up and up. This is where it gets dicey if you don't have the proper gear. Poles and spikes are definitely required if there is snow on the ground - there is much loose rock here!

However, if you brave the scramble, the 500 feet of elevation gain above Marmot Lake is worth the work. The views keep getting better below you, and soon you'll break out into an alpine meadow surrounding No Name Lake. From here pick back up a worn boot-trail, and continue South-Southeast and soon you'll see the emerald green waters of Jade Lake!

There are not many campsites around Jade Lake; however, this only means that you'll have fewer neighbors, which after all - is why you're here. Choose a site overlooking the brilliant jade waters, and enjoy the peaceful serenity of the mountains around. Take in the contrasting hues of the blue water and the white snow around you. If you're really brave, an assent of Dip Top Gap is warranted, however this should only be attempted by the prepared/skilled if there is snow.

Total mileage roundtrip by the map is around 22 miles - but my FitBit and GPS registered in closer to 30 with a brief detour on the PCT and a side trip up to Tuck Lake on the egress.

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Warm sleeping pad
  • Trekking poles
  • Micro-spikes/trail-crampons
  • Camera
  • Hot chocolate
  • Whiskey
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Hiking

Skill Level:

Advanced

Season:

Winter

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

22 Miles

Elev. Gain:

4000 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Forest
Lake
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

over 1 year ago

December

If you do this hike in the winter the road to the trailhead is closed. You'll need a snowmobile if you don't plan on an extra 12-ish miles just to the trailhead. I walked it. Bring snow shoes too. I had one of the most spectacular trips though. Well worth the trip.

over 1 year ago

Added by Matt England

I test airplanes Monday through Friday; I use my GoreTex and tent Saturdays and Sundays.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Pete Lake

Washington / Pete Lake Trail

Just within the boundaries of the spectacular Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Pete Lake offers hikers beautiful views of surrounding peaks, as well as plenty of opportunities for further exploration of the .

Brian Pinkard
2 Saves

Backpack to Mystic Lake

Washington / Sunrise Visitors Center

Mystic Lake is a great out-and-back overnight trip from Sunrise, or can also be accessed as part of longer loop through Grand Park.

Brian Pinkard
6 Saves

Run the Washington Park Arboretum Loop Trail

Washington / Broadmoor and Arboretum Parking Lot

The Washington Park Arboretum is the perfect place to swing through if you're looking for a short and gentle trail run without leaving the city.

Rachel Davidson
3 Saves