• Activities:

    Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Running, Swimming, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    4.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    900 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

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
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Leave a Review

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!

John Sunich Explorer

I enjoy fishing, hiking, backpacking, whitewater rafting, camping and spending time with my family and pup Henry.

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

6 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves