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Greenwater and Echo Lakes Trail #1176

Our Hiking Time: 5h 40m round trip to Echo
Total Ascent: 500ft to Greenwater, 1900ft (1600ft in and 300ft out) to Echo
Highest Point: 3000ft to Greenwater, 4100ft to Echo
Total Distance: 4 miles round trip to Greenwater, 13.0 miles round trip to Echo
Location: N 47° 5.2500, W 121° 26.8740
Required Permit: Northwest Forest Pass
Difficulty: Easy to Greenwater, Moderate to Echo

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Nathan's PhotoThis week we headed out toward Crystal Mountain and Highway 410 to explore the Greenwater Lakes Trail out to Echo Lake. Because this area is extremely popular for both hiking and camping during the summer, we planned an early start to try and get the jump on the crowds on a sunny weekend. We managed our early start, but not avoiding the crowds – the parking lot was already packed by the time we geared up.

greenwater echo lake hikingwithmybrotherRushing rivers, placid lakes, and wild forests continue to bring hikers out to the Greenwater Lakes trail. The hike out to Greenwater Lakes is very approachable for any almost anyone. This makes it a great option for young campers on their first overnight or backpacking experience. Beyond the lakes the trail does become more difficult, gaining a fair amount of elevation, so be prepared for more of a workout. Those looking to get away from the crowds will want to avoid this approach to Echo Lake, which can also be accessed via the Corral Pass trailhead. Still, we definitely recommended this hike for getting the whole family on the trail or getting those reluctant friends out on a hike.

There's a lot more to Greenwater and Echo Lakes, and you can learn all about it in our book, Hiking Through History Washington.  You'll find a trail map, route descriptions, history, and more for this and many more hikes throughout the State. Help support hikingwithmybrother.com and the work we do by picking up a copy!

To get there, take I-5 south to Highway 18 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. -Nathan

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Greenwater and Echo Lakes


wendoger said...

My friend Patty and I just did this a couple weeks ago. I used to ride this on my horse back in the day. I couldn't believe how bad some of the crossings were. We took the trail to Lost Lake and ran into large snow patches but had no problems getting over them. It was a beautiful hike, more beautiful than I remembered...or maybe I'm just older and appreciate that more ;-) Thanks for the work you do keeping up on this blog...we love it.

Nathan said...

Glad to hear that what we are doing here is helpful to folks! What made the horse fords difficult this time out? Are they overgrown or has the riverbed shifted?

wendoger said...

Well, we were just hiking not riding. But they just looked a bit steeper and more challenging to me. Along with some sections of the trail too...not too sure I'd wanna ride on it at all anymore...but GREAT for hiking!

Justus said...

Great review, but I wanted to mention that the trail is the Greenwater Lakes trail, not Greenlakes and the river is the Greenwater River, not the Green.

One of my fav hikes!

Jer said...

Hi Justus, It looks like we had a couple of typos. Thanks for pointing these out!

Janae said...

I have run across your reviews several times on the wta website, and I wanted to thank you for being so diligent. It's very helpful to hear from somebody who's been on the trail recently!

Nathan said...

Thanks Janae! We're really glad to hear you find our posts helpful! See you on the trail!

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