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Green Lake Trail



1.5 mile 2.4 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 1,315' 401 m
Descent: -209' -64 m
High: 3,380' 1,030 m
Low: 2,111' 643 m


Avg Grade: 19% (11°)
Max Grade: 56% (29°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Brian Smith

Follow this switchbacking trail as it leads past a waterfall on its way to Green Lake.

Brian Smith

Features Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Trail passes through old growth forest to reach Green Lake. Along the trail, view Ranger Falls.

Camping is not permitted due to the lake's popularity with day hikers and its proximity to the trail. Current trail conditions are available park-wide from wilderness information centers, ranger stations, and visitor centers. Fires are prohibited. No pets on trails. Treat water before drinking.


Green Lake is one of the park's most serene mountain lakes. It is surrounded by forest, but offers partial views to the south of Tolmie Park.

To get the trail, follow the Carbon River Trail from the Carbon River entrance. Just over three and a half miles from the trailhead, the Green Lake Trail leaves the road at Ranger Creek. From here the trail leads through a forest of massive old-growth trees on its ascent to the lake. The trail ascends gradually at first but becomes steeper as you go. Well-built switchbacks make the ascent easier on the legs.

One mile from the trailhead is Ranger Falls, where Ranger Creek cascades over solid bedrock. Beyond the falls the trail ascends another .8 mile to Green Lake. When you pop out at the lake, you'll be greeted by its emerald waters and picturesque reflections of Mt. Rainier towering above. The lake is encapsulated by a sheer wall of old growth trees, giving it a unique feel.

Flora & Fauna

Eight hundred year-old Douglas fir trees can be found along the route to Ranger Falls.

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May 4, 2019
Al G
Sep 28, 2018
Donald Kelly
May 20, 2018
Dee Bosley
Aug 13, 2017
Aaron Petersen
Great hike with family. The highlight were the frogs at the lake and Ranger Falls. 1.8mi
May 1, 2016
Porsche Blake
2mi — 13h 00m
Jun 13, 2014
David Solomon
Beautiful, verdant landscape as you ascend the somewhat arduous switchbacks. Once at Green Lake, it is enchantingly quiet and serene.

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 7 votes


  4.4 from 7 votes
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in Washington


11 Views Last Month
828 Since Feb 26, 2015



The clear water at Green Lake.
Jun 10, 2016 near Buckley, WA
ranger falls, 200 feet off the Green Lake trail
May 5, 2019 near Buckley, WA
Green Lake.
Jun 10, 2016 near Buckley, WA
green lake - exquisitely transparent
May 5, 2019 near Buckley, WA
Going up the steep trail
Jun 10, 2016 near Buckley, WA


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