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Green Lake Trail

MODERATE 194 reviews
#23 of 130 trails in

Green Lake Trail is a 9.7 mile moderately 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 walking and is best used from May until October.

Distance: 9.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,502 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

walking

beach

forest

lake

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

no dogs

Please note: you will have to hike a few miles on a gravel/dirt road before you get to the trail that takes you up to the waterfalls and lake.

hiking
15 days ago

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.

hiking
21 days ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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!

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
4 months ago

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.

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.

hiking
4 months ago

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.

hiking
5 months ago

10.4 miles including the road! Saw a bear.

hiking
5 months ago

Looking for another early season (by Washington standards) hike, my wife and I went up to Ranger Falls and Green Lake yesterday along the Carbon River. We arrived around 7:30AM to only 3 other cars in the parking lot and set off on the trail. Most of the hike up was solitary, seeing only a handful of other people. And the Carbon River trail is a very simple trail, having once been a road and at a only slight incline over a long distance. At 3 miles in, we began our hike up to the water falls and lake (the trail head for green lake is clearly marked). The hike up has a decent amount of elevation gain, but the trail is in good condition (minus a little exposed roots and mud - but we're hiking!). Ranger Falls is about a mile up, and there is a clearly marked spur with an excellent viewpoint of the falls. From there, it was about another .8 miles to the lake. You can't miss it - really, if you do, you're going for a swim! It's a beautiful lake with the mountains surrounding it, and a few logs laying out there for you to walk on, if you dare (they are large, and pretty stable). We got to the falls around 10:30AM (I am slow when taking photos). On the way back, the trails had many more people on them - so if you want to avoid crowds - get there as early as possible! The lot is small, and was full, but there is plenty of roadside parking. Also, don't forget your pass or permit to park, and there are a couple of outhouses at the trailhead/parking lot.

hiking
5 months ago

Great conditions. Wet, but that is to be expected. This is a great spring hike because it’s one of the few you can complete without running into snow. The waterfalls are both full and raging.

5 months ago

lovely hike, old growth trees, waterfall and a lake. what more could you ask for.

hiking
5 months ago

Weather was a little damp, but not cold. This was a beautiful hike that took about four hours round trip. A trail crew was busy removing debris and blow downs so the trail was clear and well maintained.

5 months ago

Beautiful Hike took my 5 year old daughter up to Ranger Falls seen tons of deer on the way down

5 months ago

Had to turn around because of a footwear issue (no, these new boots do not just need time to break in, they just don’t work for me), but I’ll be back! Beautiful old growth forest. Pink and white trillium (don’t pick the trillium!).

hiking
blowdown
bugs
rocky
5 months ago

1st three miles was gravel/ paved. Almost all the elevation was in the last two miles. Ranger falls was amazing view worth the 200ft off shoot! Green lake was super clear water blue green from a distance super cold but people were swimming! Saw lots of butterflies and some chipmunks. Worth every ache ;)

hiking
5 months ago

Great, well maintained trail. Don’t stop at the falls, go the extra .8 miles and see the awesome green lake!

hiking
5 months ago

Did this trail this Friday approx 4 hours actually hiking, my Apple Watch said it was 10.11 miles. The hike was easy for 3 miles but last 2 heading to the lake were pretty rough (most of the elevation is that) but on the way back it was a breeze. No snow and the lake, it was completely unfrozen. The waterfall was a lot larger than I expected based on the photos that were posted on here, overall great hike!

hiking
5 months ago

Jack and Elly pretty much cover it. Two wick notes: 1) the road trail feels more like a wide flat trail than a road with trees on both sides and canopy cover. 2) nice places to sit by the river along the way and, while beautiful, no great place to sit along the shore of the lake. Minor gripe.

hiking
5 months ago

The first three miles are on an old park road, so although it's gorgeous it is not difficult and can be done at any pace. Once you hit the actual hiking trail for the lake, the elevation becomes a factor. From there, it's a nice mile hike to Ranger Falls and then another mile up to the lake. Very beautiful destinations and I'd highly recommend the hike!

hiking
5 months ago

It's about 3 miles of gravel path before you get to the turn for Green Lake, marked with a sign that's hard to miss. From c2c it's almost 10 miles, but the whole thing is enjoyable. I'll be bringing friends here in the future.

hiking
5 months ago

This trail is a blast! Worth it. Took my sweet ol time. Enjoyed every bit of it on the way.

hiking
5 months ago

Most of the hike is on a gravel road till you get to the trailhead which leads up to the lake. Ranger falls is gorgeous and the lake is just as stunning.

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