I took some recovery time after Zion and have been feeling surprisingly good, but I didn’t want to push my luck. Therefore this morning I decided on the mellow East Fork of the Foss, which leads you up the Necklace Valley. I ran out and back to the bridge across the East Fork, which is just under 11 miles and 1000 ft of elevation gain roundtrip.
Amazingly, even though it was a weekend, I didn’t see another soul on the trail. I started early but not crazy early (730 am) and although there was a bit of snow and rain, the sun was shining for the last hour. Yet no one else was on the trail and my car was still the only one at the trailhead when I finished. If you’re looking for solitude relatively close to Seattle, this seems to be a good option.
The road to the trailhead is in good condition – a few potholes but nothing that will slow you down much. Sedans should be fine.
The trail ranges from perfectly flat to gently rolling. There are a few rocky rooty sections, but you quickly forget about that during the long stretches of trail covered in cushy pine needles. There were some very light patches of snow sprinkled like powdered sugar across the trail, but definitely no need for snowshoes, spikes, or anything other than trail runners.
I didn’t see any wildlife (I rarely do when I’m with my dog – even though she is always on leash, I think the other animals tend to steer clear of her jingling collar). That said, on my way back to the car I passed a pile of bear scat that hadn’t been there on my way out, which was kinda cool.
All in all, a great Saturday morning on the trail, and I was back in time for lunch with the fam.