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Greenwater and Echo Lakes

Mount Rainier Area > Chinook Pass - Hwy 410
47.1059, -121.4751 Map & Directions
14.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1,900 feet
Highest Point
4,100 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
The Greenwater River rushes under a footbridge along the Greenwater Lakes trail. Photo by RFBoots Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Wildlife
  • Established campsites
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Old growth
  • Good for kids
  • Lakes
  • Rivers

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

Visit a trail where rushing rivers, placid lakes, and wild forests abound. Continue reading

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Hiking Greenwater and Echo Lakes

Visit a trail where rushing rivers, placid lakes, and wild forests line the trail.

The Greenwater River is your constant companion on this hike, winding with you through cool, old-growth forest along this quiet path to two basin lakes. As you walk, watch for the deer and elk that make this area their home.

This trail is also used by equestrians, Horse fords for crossing the river are clearly marked with charming wood signs. Be sure to share the trail accordingly!

From the trailhead the hike begins on a very wide, gentle trail. The first two miles to Greenwater Lakes is almost entirely flat, helping to quickly pull you deeper into the forest. Expect to cross a half dozen bridges along the way as the trail follows the path of least resistance up the river valley.

Before long, you’ll find yourself at the first of the Greenwater Lakes, which tends to feel a little more like a widening in the river than a true lake. A few campsites can be found here if you follow small side trails around the lake.

Continue to upper Greenwater Lake just beyond the Norse Peak Wilderness boundary. Here the trail temporarily leaves the banks of the river and the forest transitions away from alders and vine maples toward old growth firs and cedars and the crowds begin to thin. Past the wilderness boundary the trail hits a junction with Lost Lake Trail 1185, heading up to the right. Continue to the left towards Echo Lake.

Now the grade becomes more challenging as the trail climbs a ridge above the Greenwater River. Near the top of the rise the Maggie Creek Trail 1186 splits off to the left. Keep climbing to the top and down the other side to Echo Lake. Here the path can be very narrow with steep drops on one or both sides so please use caution!

The forested shores of the lake do not offer huge views, but there are plenty of campsites as well as places for swimming, sunning and relaxing along the lake. From here, if you’re looking for a longer, more challenging day, you can continue onward to Noble Knob and Corral Pass.

WTA worked here in 2020, 2018, 2016, 2015 and 2013!

Hike Description Written by
Multiple authors contributed to this report, WTA Community

Greenwater and Echo Lakes

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.1059, -121.4751 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

Take I-5 south to SR 18 at Exit 142A. Follow Highway 18 into Auburn and take the SR 164 exit. Head left on SR 164 through Enumclaw to SR 410. Turn left onto SR 410 and drive about 20 miles through the town of Greenwater, past the fire station to FR 70 on the left. Follow FR 70 a little over nine miles to FR 7033. Take a right and follow the road to the trailhead. Northwest Forest Pass required.

More Hike Details


Mount Rainier Area > Chinook Pass - Hwy 410

Greenwater Lakes (#1176)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Pass (Nelson -- Mountaineers Books)

Buy the Green Trails Lester No. 239 map

Download a map to plan your hike

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Greenwater and Echo Lakes

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