Hiking Project Logo

Green Lake Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.3 (8)

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


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

1.7

Miles

2.7

KM

Point to Point

3,225' 983 m

High

2,106' 642 m

Low

1,119' 341 m

Up

29' 9 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (7°)

30%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs No Dogs

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.

Description

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 climbs gradually at first but becomes steeper as you go. Well-built switchbacks make the ascent easier on the legs and canopy gives good sun protection.

One mile from the trailhead is Ranger Falls, where Ranger Creek cascades over solid bedrock. The trail is currently missing the sign for the side trip to Ranger Falls, but the signpost remains.

Beyond the falls, the trail ascends another 0.8 miles 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 maintained trail ends a few yards from Green Lake and has lots of logs that allow getting right to the water without mud. 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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brian Smith

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 8 votes

#8028

Overall
  4.3 from 8 votes
5 Star
38%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#343

in Washington

#8,028

Overall
17 Views Last Month
1,333 Since Feb 26, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
56%
0%
44%
0%

Photos

The clear water at Green Lake.
Jun 10, 2016 near Buckley, WA
Clear waters of Green Lake.
Sep 25, 2021 near Buckley, WA
Fall colors at Green Lake.
Sep 25, 2021 near Buckley, WA
Waterfall just off the trail.
Jun 10, 2016 near Buckley, WA
Green Lake.
Jun 10, 2016 near Buckley, WA
green lake - exquisitely transparent
May 5, 2019 near Buckley, WA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jul 2, 2022
Rab Tamrakar
Aug 13, 2021
Tom Herr
Steady climb up to scenic lake. Ranger Falls was halfway up and alone was worth the trip. 3mi
Mar 29, 2021
Daniel Webster
About half way up there was about an inch and a half of snow on the trail. Colder temps probably near freezing, but brought enough layers to keep warm
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