One of the most rewarding hikes near Bend, Oregon.


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FATMAP difficulty grade



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.

Couple these stats with the stunning views, and Green Lakes definitely provides great bang for the buck. The hike 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 hike 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 snapping 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: