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Green Lake Trail is a 9.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Carbonado, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from May until October.

Length 9.1 mi Elevation gain 1,469 ft Route type Out & Back

Hiking

Beach

Forest

Lake

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Snow

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

NOTE: As of April 2020, Fairfax Forest Reserve Road is closed, which leads to this trailhead. Please check here for updates: https://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/road-status.htm

Mt. Rainier Entrance Fee

Mount Rainier National Park Wilkeson Wilderness Information Center P.O. Box 423 Wilkeson, WA 98396 Tel: 360.569.6020

From Tacoma, east on Higway 410 to Buckley. Left on Highway 165 for 10.8 miles. Left at fork for 11.4 miles to trailhead on right.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (241)
Photos (452)
Recordings (171)
Completed (497)
Sylvia Cook
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jul 08 2020
Hiking

I recorded 14.3 miles as opposed to what AllTrails says. Took the very short side trail to the falls and went a little bit on the trail to the left at the lake. It’s about 3.5 miles of road walking before the trailhead and 5.3 to the falls. My app said 8 to the lake Falls were really flowing, lake was pretty but I’m not sure I would repeat this hike since you have to start at the road washout. A huge group of 11 were out (too big in my opinion) and once they left the lake I had peace and quiet. No bugs, a few small muddy spots. Bathrooms were open at the road closure.

View Sylvia's Recording
Stepherton F
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingWashed out
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Heather Mann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 30 2020
Hiking

Amazing green lake! The total hike for me was around 11 miles since I deviated off the path to checkout the mine ( which is literally just the gated entrance in the side of a mountain). Gorgeous Ranger falls is worth it as well. I’d do this hike again if i didn’t want to drive far ( I live an hour away) and just to get out and see green waters of the lake and lovely green forest. Giving this 4 stars only since it’s 3 miles each way on a flat road which can get a little boring but the scenery does change as you walk a little bit.

Alex V.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 28 2020
HikingGreat!

Summary: Rewarding hike through an impeccable forest. A great hike for a rainy day as there is dense tree cover the entire time. Plenty of parking. ~4hr round trip. Got in at 9:10am and there was plenty of parking along the road. Display your park pass, several cars had tickets already. It rained lightly but persistently throughout the day. However, due to the tree cover I didn't get very wet. The 3 mi walk on Carbon River Road after the washout to the actual trailhead was more fun than I was expecting. Parts of the road felt more like a trail rather than a road. You can gaze into the forest without worry of tripping while walking down the road. I saw a doe and a fawn about 50 feet to my left while walking along the road. After stopping for a bit to observe the animals I continued on walking slowly at times to appreciate the giant trees along the road as I went. For me the best part of this hike was the forest. Once you arrive at the trailhead (took about an hour walking) you're greeted by a giant tree to the right of the trailhead sign. This is the first of many, take it in and appreciate the character of the rainforest. I recommend the quick spur trail to Ranger Falls. You will hear Ranger Falls well before you're close. At the lookout point, the falls are roaring. Continue on, crossing a log bridge before reaching the lake. It took an hour from the trailhead to the lake, and two from the car. I encountered two other groups on my way up, and I had the lake to myself as I explored a bit and ate lunch. On the way down, I saw several more groups. On the way back to the car, Carbon River road had lots of families walking in both directions. But since it's wide social distance was not a problem.

Estelle E
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 19 2020
HikingBugs

3.4 mile walk to the trailhead. The ranger waterfall is worth checking out! Great view of tolmie peak once you’re at the top and we had the lake to ourselves.

View Estelle's Recording
Mario Castellanos
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 01 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

At least 3 fallen tress on the path! Well worth the hike if you’re up to it. The first 3 miles are flat ground so plenty of energy when hiking during the incline.

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Amy church
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 30 2020

entrance is blocked due to road being washed out. parked on the side of the road. flat for first 3 miles. then a fun and well maintained trail with lots of steps. and uphill switchbacks. few trees to cross. beautiful waterfall then a little farther to green lake. what a BEAUTIFUL lake! hardly anyone on the trail today.

daniel maccio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 23 2020
Hiking

Great long hike with beautiful waterfall and serene alpine lake. Flat for 3 miles to start and finish. Not too crowded and perfect temperature.

Taylor Schulmeister
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 23 2020
Hiking

Definitely a fun and beautiful hike! Went on 5/19/20. my partner and I are just getting back out there after being cooped up from COVID and this was the perfect outing. Arrived around 9:30 AM and there were only 2 other cars parked a couple folks on bikes. The forest was so lush and full of life. Ranger Falls on the way up was gushing with water due to a heavy rainfall the week before! That being said, there were freshly fallen trees on the green lake trail that had not been cut up and moved aside yet, so prepare to hop! The lake was extremely serene and we hardly saw anyone on the entire hike except for towards the entrance on the way back. 60 with no rain is perfect weather for this trail!

Andrea Turner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed May 20 2020
Hiking

Took bikes today and started early - around 7am. Locked them up at the trailhead. A tiring ride in (slight uphill the entire way) but it made for a rapid descent! It was mid-week, gray skies and early, so we had the forest to ourselves! Saw maybe 6 deer or so!

View Andrea's Recording
Charles Tillman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue May 19 2020
HikingMuddy

The road is repaired and open again. We parked along the highway just before the concrete barriers at the national forest/MRNP boundary near the ranger station. we arrived mid afternoon on a Monday a d there were maybe 6-8 cars nearby. We rarely saw any other hikers. Plenty of room on the trail to social distance appropriately. Trail is in good condition and is mostly flat old forest road, up until the spur up to a ranger falls and green lake. We started late in the day so we only made it to the falls, but they were definitely worth the trip.

Kirsten Calmus
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Apr 05 2020

Road to trail head is closed, can go right up forest road for another 11 miles though to get you to mowich lake

Carina Vollmer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jan 10 2020
Hiking

Trail still in great condition. 3" of snow towards the top but very doable. we brought our 10 and 6 year old kids and they did great. Scenery around the lake with the snow was absolutely gorgeous.

Eric Robison
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jan 01 2020
HikingMuddy

We needed a trail to kick off 2020 that did not pose an avalanche danger. The weather forecast said to expect rain all day, but we lucked out with minimal sporadic showers. We hit the trail early in the morning and were the first in the parking lot. The first and last 3.2 miles are relatively flat with gorgeous scenery, especially with the fog rolling in between the old growth forest. Between the parking lot and the Green Lake Trail Head, we saw 8-10 deer on the trail. We took it slow as not to disturb them and they meandered into the woods. The trail up to Green Lake is in decent condition with spots of mud and small run-off streams following the trail, but we were able to walk on the edge of the trail in sections without issue. Ranger Falls is flowing heavy, which was an awesome sight to see, but the extra mist was not conducive for taking photos with a DSLR. Above Ranger Falls there is a fallen tree that lies across the trail. We were able to crawl underneath the tree after taking our packs off, but I would not recommend climbing over the tree. You can also walk up the hill about 15 feet, beating through some light brush, if you don't want to climb under. At the next switchback there is the same tree that looks like it was struck by lightning, causing the base of the tree to explode. Near the top of the trail, prior to the lake, there is a log foot bridge with a single rail. The bridge is stable, but my 14 yo was a little uneasy at first, but still conquered it. As we approached the lake there was a few small spots of snow, but the majority of what was there is gone. The lake's center is frozen, but the shores are still fluid. The wind at the lake was brutal and temperatures were probably 15-20 degrees colder than at the trail head. The hike says it is 9.7 miles, however, we recorded 10.7. I will definitely do this hike again, but will probably wait until spring to see the differences in the environment.

View Eric's Recording
Adam Stolen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Dec 27 2019
HikingSnow

Beautiful hike, especially with the snow. I had to climb over some big logs, but it was totally worth it.

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Yul'a S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 05 2019
Hiking

the bigger part of the trail is relatively flat and easy to walk. it is still a beautiful, wild nature place and no snow anywhere.

View Yul'a's Recording
Taylor Larsen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Sep 29 2019
Hiking

Great trail once you get into the woods to see Ranger Falls (amazing!) and Green Lake. The old growth forest is awesome! The 3 miles in to the trailhead was pretty the first time but boring on the way back. I can understand why people bike in. It is a good warmup in for all the elevation to the falls and lake but when you come back and are tired, you just want to be back at the car. I made a couple quick detours to see the mining tunnel and a quick look around the rainforest trail to make the end of my hike more interesting. Would do again but I’d bike in next time.

Curvie Hawkins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Aug 18 2019
Hiking

I biked the Carbon River trail to reach this trailhead to Green Lake. This is a well-maintained trail. I thoroughly enjoyed hiking among the old-growth forest on a steady ascent to the lake. The trail is not too strenuous but will make you feel like you earned the finish at the lake. I didn't attempt to walk around the lake but instead just spent my time there eating a snack on a log while gazing at the green water which reflected the evergreens lined up around it. The tranquility was only interrupted by the occasional fish jumping out of the water and chipmunks scampering around me. A fun outing.

View Curvie's Recording
Sandra Rae Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Aug 17 2019
Hiking

Pointer: Take your bike and ride the three mile gravel road to the trail head! It’ll shave six RT miles of walking and there’s even a bike rack to lock your bike up at the trailhead. Great hike on a hot day as it’s totally covered by old growth forest. No flowers or Mt Rainier views anywhere on this trail, but the majestic trees and lush greens make up for it. A nice waterfall, an awesome footbridge and a small lake at the top are some of the features. Only saw 10 people on the road hike in and out and none on the actual trail during a weekday hike. Road is paved all the way. My Rainier pass is required. You can self pay $30 for the 7 day pass or go to the ranger station or online and get the annual pass. I deeply appreciate the work that goes into maintaining these trails, so it’s worth the annual fee to me! It’s really evident how hard these folks work when you walk this trail. Impressive. Overall nice, private hike, especially on a hot day.

Emily Herrera
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Aug 13 2019
Hiking

I think it says the hike is around 9.4 miles but it’s actually 5.5 each way. Definitely go in a group, you’re in bear country the whole way. I would consider this a hard hike but I’m new to hiking so moderate may be true.

View Emily's Recording
Faith Jackson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Aug 09 2019
Hiking

This has a lot to offer including a waterfall, creeks, and a beautiful lake. Nice day spent admiring the old growth and hiking this beautiful trail.

Josh B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Aug 02 2019
HikingBugs

The parking area is easy to get to. I got there at 9am and there were only 4 spots left out of about 13-14 spots. The vault toilets were clean and surprising smelled great. The trees provide great cover from the sun and keeps the walking area quite cool. It was already warm at 9am and the sun peeked through the limbs of the trees. As many have said the first 3 or so miles are on the paved service road so it’s a great warm up although the lack of variance can be tough if you have fallen arches or issues walking on flat surface for a while. Once you get closer to the start of the actual Green Lake Trail, the river kind of greets you and welcomes you to the start of the trail. It is then another 1.8 miles to the lake and there is a stop off about a mile in where you can go to Ranger Falls. The switchbacks are odd and there isn’t really a strategy to them. It’s not the typical back and forth. It’s kind of all over the place and I liked that, so you don’t get bored. The lake was beautiful. Simply beautiful. Super clear, still, emerald water. Hardly any fish stirring. Plenty of chipmunks though. The bees were slightly annoying though and won’t leave you alone. I took an old tree limb from the ground to use as a swatting tool & that seemed to help. I took my time on this hike and took photos and was leisurely walking so I got back to the lot at 2:30. The lot was full and people were parking on the side of the road at that point.

Laura Alice
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 21 2019
Hiking

The views were definitely unforgettable once you tackled the 1.8 miles of elevation to get there(tough). We enjoyed the waterfall and loved Green Lake. We were the only ones at the lake, which was beautiful and serene. The 1.8 miles back down was MUCH quicker and easier than going up. Trail says it’s 9.6 miles, but I tracked it as 10.6. Wasn’t the biggest fan of the first 3 miles on a gravel road. We got there at 9:00 on a Saturday and only saw one family on our trek to the lake. On the way down it was much busier. Leave early and bring water!

Shay Helligso
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 11 2019
HikingMuddy

Amazing view at the lake, and well worth the effort to get there. The first 3 miles on the road are almost completely flat until you get to the actual trailhead, so almost all of the elevation gain is in the 1.8 miles it takes to get to the lake. Didn't start the hike until around 1, but we didn't see any other hikers out there. Very peaceful place.

Kelsey Wojtasiak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jul 02 2019
Hiking

Long, flat, wide road to the trailhead. A good hike once you’re on it, with a nice waterfall and quiet serenity when you come upon the lake.

christy hill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 02 2019
Hiking

great road to mt bike and then hike from the trail head to green lake. waterfall was a beautiful site and the lake was phenomenal.

Douglas Kilpatrick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 01 2019
Hiking

People commenting on the flat-to-hike ratio aren't wrong, buy it's a beautiful trail anyway, and leads to a lovely lake/pond.

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Tom Mitchell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed May 29 2019
Hiking

It’s a great little hike to the falls and lake once you get to the trailhead. Problem is the first 3.2 miles is on a gravel/dirt road which isn’t really hiking. Looks like most hikes that start from this corner of Mt. Rainier Park start with substantial road walking. Looks like you can drive to trailheads near Mowich Lake which can get you on the loops easier.

Jen H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 19 2019
Hiking

10.4 miles including the road! Saw a bear.

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