How to Hike Green Lakes Trail by Bend
Hiking around Bend, Oregon is pretty epic, & one of the most popular hikes is the Green Lakes Trail. Nestled between popular Sparks Lake & Mount Bachelor along the Cascade Lakes Highway, this 8-mile hike is great to do before jumping in one of the nearby lakes to cool off (Elk Lake is my favorite for swimming)! In this article, “How to Hike Green Lakes Trail by Bend,” I’ll give you important information about the trail, show you lots of photos, & give you some tips for having the best time & being fully prepared for this classic Bend adventure.
Map of Green Lakes Trail
The Green Lakes Trailhead is located past Mount Bachelor, AND past Todd Lake ~ on the right-hand side of the Cascade Lakes Highway. It’s located almost directly across the road from Sparks Lake, about 30 minutes from Bend.
Green Lakes Parking Lot
Green Lakes (End of Trail)
Information about Green Lakes Trail
- Starting Point: Green Lakes Trailhead
- Distance from Bend to Green Lakes: 26 miles, or a 30-minute drive
- Total Trail Distance: 9.1 miles
- Parking Pass Required? Yes, grab a $5 Cascade Lakes Wilderness Pass.
- Hike Type: Out-and-back
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Time: 4-5 hours (unless trail running)
- Elevation Gain: 1,187 feet
- Features to Enjoy: Waterfalls & a river nearly 3/4 of the hike; camping & fishing at Green Lakes; forest & shade for much of the hike along the river; up-close views at the top of Bend’s most iconic mountains, & (cold!!) swimming opportunities in the Green Lakes.
- Pet-friendly? Yes, but dogs need to be able to either cross log bridges and/or rivers. If your dog is afraid of water, you will want to leave them home (unless you can carry them over bridges!)
- Dogs on Leash? Dogs must be on leash from July 15th – September 15th, but are allowed off-leash in the water to cool off.
- Kid-friendly: 1,200 feet is a decent elevation gain ~ so I’d leave the young kids home here; better for older, more active kids who don’t get bored hiking!
- Good for Trail-Running/Marathon Training: Yes.
- Crowded: Moderate to heavy, at times.
- All Seasons? Best to hike Green Lakes Trail from June thru October.
- What to Bring: Good trail running or hiking shoes with good tread (for possible encounters with snow & ice), walking sticks, a backpack with water, & camping gear if you’re going to camp at one of the 22 sites by Green Lakes. Service may be spotty, so download a trail map from All Trails to your phone ~ though the route is pretty straightforward.
Photos of Green Lakes Trail Hike
For photos & details of nearby Devils Lake (in case you feel like taking a cool dip after your hike), read this article.
Guide to Hiking Green Lakes Trail
If you’re wondering where to stay in Bend that will put you right by all the trails & action: both LOGE Bend (great for down-&-dirty adventure lovers) & upscale golf resort Tetherow are located right on the Cascade Lakes Highway ~ making for easy access to all of Bend’s lakes & many great hiking & biking opportunities.
Read Next: Guide to Elk Lake by Bend, Oregon