Day Hike - Carbon River Road, Green Lake & Ranger Falls


Day Hike - Carbon River Road, Green Lake & Ranger Falls

Be amazed as we walk the lush verdant green forest and understory of the Carbon River Rd. We will then head up to Ranger Falls and Green Lake as it melts out from winter snow. ***Microspikes required

  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 10.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,000 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 3,200 ft
  • Pace: 2.5

We will meet at 9:30 am at Wilkeson public parking to do a short meet/greet, use the public restroom and regroup to carpools if you would like to. Cell coverage is also available here.

We will then caravan to the Carbon River Entrance where our hike will begin. Please note: hike begins at the end of Carbon River Road approximately 6 miles past the ranger station.

PASS REQUIRED:  Drivers must have a Mt. Rainier Day/Annual Pass or America the Beautiful or Senior Interagency Pass to park at the entrance of Carbon River Road.

***This trip may be cancelled if there is icy/snowy road conditions that prevent us from driving safely to our final destination.

Our goal is to hike the beautiful Carbon River Road up to Ranger Falls on Green Lake Trail and beyond. 

Carbon River Road was closed to traffic years ago and experiences frequent washouts and tree blowdowns. The Carbon River and Ipsut Creek frequently change course and create new boundaries and obstacle challenges that are sometimes day by day. This is a nice early season hike, small elevation gain with a longer distance if you are looking to build endurance. 

GEAR REQUIRED: Ten Essentials PLUS Microspikes, trekking poles, layered non-cotton clothing, rain gear, hat, extra gloves, rain hood/cover for your day pack.

The park does a nice job at downed tree removal and obstacles so hopefully we will make our way up the road to the Green Lake Trailhead. This time of year Ranger Falls creates a lot of moisture in the air and the trail can be muddy and wet as you hike uphill. Microspikes and trekking poles are often needed here early season if ice is lingering. From Ranger Falls we will decide whether to go up to Green Lake. If we do it should make for a pretty view as the lake melts out.

We will take snack breaks along the way and have lunch around noon probably in a dry spot. Bring a hot beverage and a sit pad as the ground is often soggy.

I anticipate we will be to the trail head no later than 4 pm and back to Wilkeson before 5 pm.


Carbon River Road

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  • Navigation
  • Headlamp
  • Sun protection
  • First aid
  • Knife
  • Fire
  • Shelter
  • Extra food
  • Extra water
  • Extra clothes
Trip Reports