Green Lake Trail

MODERATE 70 reviews
#15 of 111 trails in

Green Lake Trail is a 9.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Buckley, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from May until October.

9.3 miles
1814 feet
Out & Back







wild flowers

no dogs

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.

16 days ago

This trail holds a special place in my heart. It’s a relatively short hike once you’re off the road walk, but the lake is beautifully set with the mountains in the backdrop. Great for a dip on a summer day.

2 months ago

Overall great trail. The 3 mike access road you have to walk to/from the actual trailhead is a slog and the only reason I’m giving 4 stars instead of 5. There is a bike rack at the trailhead, so definitely recommend biking the access road if you can. There was gorgeous snowfall but only about a foot by the time I hit the lake, so super manageable without any more gear than wool socks, waterproof boots and pants. Poles would have been nice on the way down but very doable without them

6 months ago

The 3 mile walk to the start of the trail was a bit much coming back haha but I loved this trail. I did it earlier this summer and on a Saturday or Sunday I was the only one on the actually hiking trail to the lake. I was alone for so long that when coming down I got scared to death by a human lol will do this hike again but may bring a bike next time for the 3 miles and lock it to a tree during the Hike:)

8 months ago

Hiked this with my two kiddos 5 and 9 and our friends today. Nice easy hike, love all the bridge crossings. The lake is beautiful and the bugs were not to bad this time!

8 months ago

We are just getting into hiking, walking paths are nice but I wanted to see more.. it was a challenge but very much worth it. Beautiful is an understatement. Looking forward to exploring more of this area in the future. Have a pass or being $25 cash or check.

9 months ago

Absolutely beautiful!!!
Never actually hiked, it was a doozy but we did it!!
I'll be back!!

9 months ago

I'm going to quote someone who was sitting next to me around the lake : "why the rest of the world is not hiking here today?"

After parking it's a Long rode in until you hit the start of the trail head. But it's a beautiful flat walk and the old growth on the trees are amazing. Once you hit the trailhead it's a casual slope and then lots of switchbacks. Beautiful water fall and fun little log bridge also are great to see as you make your way up to GreenLake. Trail was really wet and lots of water flowing down the path as we were going up so wear waterproof shoes. But the lake was so calm, like glass. We climbed out on the logs and had lunch. A must do that gives you more view of the lake.

9 months ago

This was a beautiful hike. The falls were amazing and probably my favorite part and I was in love with all the different native plants and flowers in bloom along the trail.

9 months ago

Easy hike to the falls...absolutely beautiful view of the falls during this time of year.

10 months ago

Stopped at the waterfall. So beautiful

10 months ago

It was amazing.

11 months ago

Really enjoyed this hike. It did not feel like 9.5 miles. The hike was easy to follow and clearly marked. This is a great hike to do if you are used to 5-6 mile hikes and wanna try something longer. Not intimidating at all. The 3 mile walk to the trail is relatively flat. The actual trail has an elevation gain but nothing out of the ordinary as far as hikes go. The waterfall is absolutely beautiful and the lake you end up at is a beautiful little hidden gem and worth the additional distance past the waterfall. There was light snow closer to the lake. The only slight difficult part was coming back in some areas with snow because of the declining elevation. Nothing too difficult just have to watch your step. You can do this with hiking boots or trail shoes. Highly recommend this hike!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

I'd say this was an easy trail, pretty steep in places but the switchbacks leveled it out nice. The falls were beautiful and the lake was amazing. The trail is clearly marked from the road so you don't have to worry about missing it. From where we parked it was about 13 miles round trip.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Great hike! First 3 miles was easy next 1.8 was a moderate climb to the top. Very little snow on the trail except for the final quarter mile. Snow was compact and easy walking. Lake was frozen over but the falls was great! Took a total of 4 hours.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Great hike! Excellent conditions especially for the time of year. Snow at the top was compact/no need for specific shoes. Light/misty snow near the top as well. Lake was snowed over. Took 3 1/2 hours round trip w/ picture stopping a handful of times.

Gear with me: workout shoes, sweats, sweatshirt, thick compression long-sleeve, baseball hat- nothing fancy.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Went a few weeks ago. The watetfall was still running beautiful. As we moved up in elevation their was a good 6 to 8" snow it was beautiful. The trail was a little sloppy and small 5 ft part of seems to be washed out. Passable, very narrow only a foot wide, note my foot is 3.5 inches wide. Wet tree roots make the path slick. Really like the path despite the challenges.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

It was a nice chilly day for a hike. Didn't make it to the lake, turned around about 1/2 mile away. I didn't take my snow shoes and the snow was 2' deep. Ranger Falls was beautiful.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Completed this trail 9/30. Beautiful day with lots of gorgeous scenery throughout the whole hike. The beginning of the Green Lake trail was pretty steep but manageable with my 15 month daughter in a backpack. Loved all the little streams along the trail and all the big trees to walk under. You can hear the waterfall as you approach which gives you that extra boost to get going. Once you reach the lake I recommend walking out on the logs to look over to the left, as there was sections of trees with all the beautiful fall colored leaves. Wouldn't say that this trail was easy, more of a moderate trail. This is one of my new favorite trails and plan on coming back to watch the changes throughout the seasons.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

I went here with my husband and it was so beautiful , it is pretty easy but make sure u wear the right shoes. I will be back

Thursday, August 18, 2016

There is a 3 mile walk from the gate to the actual trail head. Do yourself a favor, grab a map out of the bulletin board area. You'll need it to swat at the bees that will attack you along those 3 miles. It is a long walk inside the forest. At almost the end of the 3 miles you come to the river and a little creek. It's really pretty. Then head UP UP UP the trail, lots of switch backs, tree trunks and roots to climb over. If you're out of shape, have fun lol, I had to sit on stumps a few times(a lot of times lol). Once you get to the waterfall though it is worth it. Very beautiful.
Don't miss out on the carving of the penis on one of the logs. Majestic lol!
We did not go on to the lake, turned around and went back. 8 miles was enough for us in one day.

Monday, July 04, 2016

This trail isn't "easy" it's more of a grind. We did it today and it measured out 11.4 miles. It was fairly quiet in the morning but as it moved into the afternoon it got busy.

The falls were beautiful and the lake was picturesque beauty.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

This hike was amazing! I would say easy isn't an accurate rating, but very doable. Once you reach the actual trail head it's all up till you get to the falls and the lake. Well worth it. More like 10.5 miles and we did it in 4 hours of actual walking time. Will do again!!!

Sunday, June 05, 2016

This was a great hike to do, it is long but easy. Getting to the lake was spectacular, the view was amazing and the lake was virtually untouched. The water was so clear you could see the bottom. The swimming is nice if you like freezing glacier water. Not many hikers on the day I went, literally had the view all to myself. Overall it is beautiful and quite peaceful.

Monday, May 23, 2016

It's about 10m. round trip but real easy on the old gravel road leading to trailhead. From their a good 2m. uphill and your there. A good half a day hike that offers a couple waterfalls along the way. Would love to come back and try fishing their sometime!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

My kids and I rode our bikes in to the trailhead then hike up to the lake. It was a beautiful day and between the falls and the icy cold lake we were all in love with this ride and hike. Can't wait to do it again.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

This is 11.6 miles round trip (to get to the lake) and basically all up hill once you hit the trail head. Super fun and absolutely gorgeous!

Friday, July 24, 2015

This was one of the first hikes I ever did in Washington state, back in March of 2014. I'm new to this site though, so I'm adding pics and reviews from old hikes.

This hike is definitely longer than stated. The road is closed, so you have a good 2 miles each way walking along a paved road before you even start gaining any elevation. We went very early in the season, so there was still some snow around the lake and some of the higher elevation areas. Really pretty views of Ranger Falls though, and you can sit on some large boulders near Green Lake to eat a picnic lunch.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Good hike, longer than stated. Think it was more like 8+ miles round trip, two+ miles hiking road that has been closed, then two miles up trail to waterfall and lake. The lake is beautiful... Lives up to its name! We spent time lounging on the logs and jumping into the lake. It was cold, but so refreshing as it was 90 degrees today. Most of the hike was in the shade under the old growth forest, a welcome treat. Hiked with our two kids, 14 and 10. They had no trouble. Would do it again.

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