An easy family friendly hike through an old growth forest provides a great destination to introduce kids to hiking. Along the hike there are some beautiful waterfalls as well as great views of the Greenwater River and ample opportunity to see wildlife.

Following along the Greenwater River, family friendly Greenwater lakes Trail #1176 which has minimal elevation gain, winds through a lush green mossy old growth forest.  Along the trail you will cross over several log bridges and pass a couple of beautiful waterfalls.  At just under two miles into the hike you will come to Lower Greenwater Lake after crossing a well maintained wooden bridge that spans the outlet to the lake.

Lower Greenwater Lake has some nice picnic spots around on the backside of the lake that are accessed by following a side trail that veers off to the right after crossing the footbridge on the inlet to the lower lake.  These picnic spots could be camped at as well but during peak season use that could be a challenge with the amount of traffic the area sees.

Continuing on the main trail for another half a mile you will reach Upper Greenwater Lake.  During spring runoff accessing the deepest part of the upper lakes may be a challenge as the water level rises significantly and the river will potentially have continuous current all the way through the shallow lake system.  Regardless the upper lake provides beautiful views of the deep green water surrounded by beautiful forests.  Throughout the hike there is the potential to encounter, deer, elk, blackbear, waterfowl, eagles, osprey and many other species of wildlife common to the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.

Fishing in the lakes as well as the sections of the Greenwater River that connect the lakes can be decent for small rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout.    For those that want to continue on to more solitude there is the option to continue on the same trail past the upper lake into Norse Peak Wilderness, Echo Lake, and Lost Lake.   

Pack List

  • Northwest Forest Pass or Inter-agency Access Pass
  • Backpack
  • Rain Jacket
  • Hiking Boots/Shoes
  • Water Bottle
  • Food
  • Camera
  • Map/GPS
  • Bug Repellent
  • Sunglasses
  • First Aid Kit
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RT Distance 4.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 900 Feet
Activities Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Running, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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