Green Lakes Day Hike: Rewarding at Every Turn

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The chance to take a walk in the woods relatively close to town is reward in and of itself. Nonetheless, we love the promise of something special such as a water feature: a lake, a stream or possibly even a waterfall. And we anticipate this highlight throughout the journey.

If prizes were handed out, the trek to Green Lakes would win hands down for having the most water features along its eight-mile round-trip trail. In fact, this popular Bend hike spoils people with a trifecta.

We caught our first glimpse of Fall Creek almost immediately after leaving the parking lot. It was our constant companion most of the way, putting on a grand show with a magnificent waterfall at the half-mile mark and performing several encores with minor leaps down the mountain at other points.

The steady climb upwards included a colorful sprinkling of wildflowers as we headed towards the ultimate payoff, views of Broken Top and South Sister reflected in glacier-fed lakes. Hiking doesn’t get any better than this.

If you enjoyed this story in our series, you may also enjoy two other stories about day hikes in the Bend area in Smith Rock State Park near a waterfalls. We also invite you to check out the books in our series.