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  • Writer's pictureChasingBuffaloesandBeyond

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest: Greenwater Lakes Trail

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Located just outside the boundaries of Mt. Rainier National Park in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is the beautiful Greenwater Lakes Trailhead. Within minimal elevation gain and beautiful scenery along the entire trail, this is a wonderful family hike! Best hiked from May to October, during the winter months, this trail would most likely be covered in snow or quite muddy. We lucked out and actually were able to complete this hike in January! With remnants of snow on the ground and a couple of icy spots along the trail - it was a slippery but super memorable hike!

Father and small son standing on a log bridge over the Greenwater River
One of numerous log bridges over the Greenwater River


DISTANCE: 4.4 Miles

ELEVATION: 200 feet



The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest offers an endless choice of trails to get out and enjoy this beautiful area! Covering almost 2 million acres there is a lot to do and see here - the Greenwater Lakes Trail is a great spot to start your explorations of this beautiful area of Washington State. With the close vicinity to major cities and numerous roads running thru the National Forest boundaries, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is the most visited National Forest in the United States. Since the Greenwater Lakes Trailhead is located within the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, there is a fee required to access the trail. Either an American the Beautiful Pass or a Northwest Forest Service Pass (which can be purchased and printed from home) is required.

Arriving to the trailhead we were greeted with some remaining snow piles which our son loved playing in! The trail itself is about 4.4 miles and winds along the Greenwater River until it reaches Lower Greenwater Lake at about 1.7 miles. Continuing on, at 2.2 miles you will reach Upper Greenwater Lake. Along the way you are treated to scenic views of the Greenwater River, numerous log foot-bridges, multiple lakes and the beauty of winding your way thru the mossy old growth forest filled with Cedar and Douglas Fir. Plan on a couple hours to complete the hike.

Family of three standing in a forest along the river
Perfect winter day for a hike along the Greenwater Lake Trail


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