“Follow this switchbacking trail as it leads past a waterfall on its way to Green Lake.”
— Brian Smith
Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
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.