Green Lakes

One of the best bang-for-your-buck trail runs near Bend, Oregon.

Trail Running Moderate

Distance
15 km
Ascent
382 m
Descent
382 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.7 km
High Point
2 km
Gradient
Green Lakes Map

Green Lakes is renowned as one of the most popular and most rewarding hikes of moderate difficulty near Bend, Oregon. While the total distance is just over 9 miles round-trip, the trail is relatively smooth and only gains 1,250 feet of elevation. Depending on your fitness, as a trail run, this provides an excellent bang-for-your-buck morning run into the wilderness.

Description

The run as mapped here begins from the trailhead just off the Cascade Lakes Highway. Since this trail is so popular, the trailhead often fills up completely on the weekend—be sure to get an early start so you can claim a parking spot. Don’t forget your Northwest Forest Pass.

The run begins by following the banks of Fall Creek, and you’ll spot two thundering waterfalls along the way. Even after you pass the falls, the cascades of the creek and the gorgeous scenery of the valley will have you stopping to snap pictures constantly!

The next couple of miles gain elevation more quickly, but in mid-July you’re rewarded with wildflower-choked fields in the higher elevations.

Soon, you’ll reach the first Green Lake on the right, but there are more and larger lakes further up. From the lakes, you’ll enjoy stunning views of South Sister towering high above, including lava flows originating from this volcanic peak.

After enjoying the world-class views, return to your car the way you came.

Sources: https://visitcentraloregon.com/2014/06/26/green-lakes/ https://www.hikeoregon.net/green-lakes.html

Difficulty

Moderate

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September, October

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area