Echo Lake via Greenwater Trail #1177
ElevationAscent: 1,782' 543 m
Descent: -1,782' -543 m
High: 4,026' 1,227 m
Low: 2,492' 760 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 28% (16°)
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“Old growth forest lines the trail, exciting bridge crossings, then difficult switchbacks lead to a tranquil Echo Lake.”— Eric Poulin
After the the Echo Lake, Lost Lake Trail split there will eventually be a downed tree across a trail bridge. Fairly simple to negotiate even with an overnight pack.
After the switchbacks and you make your descent on Echo Lake, the trail can be very narrow with steep drops on one or both sides so please use caution!
One negative you may find while camping at Echo Lake is that it is not always peaceful. It appears there is an airline route within the area out of SeaTac, so occasionally your tranquility is spoiled with a passing airline jet!
Before long, you'll find yourself at the first of the Greenwater Lakes, which tends to feel a little more like a widening in the river than a true lake. A few campsites can be found here if you follow small side trails around the lake.
Continue to upper Greenwater Lake just beyond the Norse Peak Wilderness boundary. Here, the trail temporarily leaves the banks of the river and the forest transitions away from alders and vine maples toward old growth firs and cedars and the crowds begin to thin. Approximately 3 miles from the Greenwater Trailhead the trail hits a junction with Lost Lake Trail #1185, heading up to the right. Continue to the left towards Echo Lake. At this point, the remaining hike is 3.7 miles.
Now the grade becomes more challenging as the trail climbs a ridge above the Greenwater River. Near the top of the rise, the Maggie Creek Trail #1186 (link to PCT) splits off to the left. Keep climbing to the top and down the other side to Echo Lake (max grade recorded at 28%).
The forested shores of the lake do not offer huge views, but there are plenty of campsites as well as places for swimming, sunning, and relaxing along the lake. If you give a hoot across the lake, indeed there is an Echo (smiling).
*Note* The trail continues on past Echo Lake however I am unaware of the trail name or its destination. If anyone has continued further past Echo Lake, please help by updating this trail information. Thank you kindly!
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Flora & Fauna, History & Background
Land Manager: USFS - Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Office
Mar 16, 2020: FOREST VIRTUAL SERVICES AVAILABLE