Seattle, WA: Greider Lakes

Climb two miles up the switchbacked flanks of Greider Peak to a pair of lovely lakes in a deep, glacier-carved basin.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
Climb two miles up the switchbacked flanks of Greider Peak to a pair of lovely lakes in a deep, glacier-carved basin.

The well-marked trailhead begins at Reflection Ponds, near the base of Greider Creek. A short loop trail circles this marshy area, but it is best explored in cooler, insect-free months. Once across the water, the trail begins a steady ascent on tight switchbacks, gaining over 1,300' in 1.5 miles. The narrow trail is rocky and root-ridden, but local volunteers have helped ease the climb by carving and hacking dozens of steps into the flank of 4,600' Greider Peak. The second-growth forest is dotted by the charred remains of a decades-old fire.

At the top of the switchbacks, the trail levels out and enters quiet stands of old-growth forest. Little Greider Lake appears in another half-mile, offering several campsites along the western shore. Continue around Little Greider for another half-mile, crossing the creek between, and passing a series of tumbling cascades, to Big Greider Lake. In contrast to the lower lake, the upper lake fills the bottom of a rugged, talus-lined cirque, scarred with avalanche chutes, with Greider Peak looming above. 

Hike this one in spring for the wildflowers, or summer for the huckleberries. And keep your eyes peeled for the resident bruins. Of the two lakes, Little Greider has the better camping, while Big Greider has the more impressive landscape, so plan your outing accordingly. Occasionally, the road to the trailhead may experience seasonal closures, requiring parking near the boat launch and a two-mile hike along Spada Lake to the trailhead.

Mapped by Nathan & Jeremy Barnes Hiking With My Brother

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 6.6

Waypoints

GRE001

Location: 47.973461, -121.613569

Park at the boat launch, also known as Site 3 when the gate to the trail head is closed. Head back up the road to the gate to start the hike.

GRE002

Location: 47.972068, -121.613932

Closed gate; turn left, around the gate, and follow the gravel road east toward the lakes.

GRE003

Location: 47.975895, -121.598143

Cross over a unique concrete bridge. Cement culverts make this structure look more like a dam than a bridge.

GRE004

Location: 47.979062, -121.597315

Spada Lake view point and picnic area.

GRE005

Location: 47.974691, -121.579801

Turn left into the official trail. The hike starts out at the south end of the parking area.

GRE006

Location: 47.97387, -121.578798

Stop and walk out on a small boardwalk at the Reflection ponds. These two marshy pools are nice break point, but bring the bug spray!

GRE007

Location: 47.963522, -121.583158

Little Greider Lake is lined with some very nice camp sites. The site near the bridge over Grieder Creek appears to be the best. The lake shore is mostly vegetation, and the avalanche chutes of Big Greider are visible to the south.

GRE008

Location: 47.95972, -121.584385

A closed an abandoned trail leads up to an old lookout point above the lakes. Continue down and to the left toward Big Greider Lake

GRE009

Location: 47.9591, -121.583266

Big Greider is impressive, and in stark contrast to it's smaller sibling. The talus filled shores are much more open and craggy and open. There are campsites here, but they aren't as numerous as at Little Greider.

Road Closed

Location: 47.972025, -121.61361

Marsh

Location: 47.972513, -121.610048

Spada View

Location: 47.979006, -121.59698

Greider Trail head

Location: 47.974553, -121.579835

Boardwalk

Location: 47.973893, -121.578666

Little Greider

Location: 47.963606, -121.58344

Shooting Greider

Location: 47.961652, -121.584663

Big Greider

Location: 47.959008, -121.583269

Big Greider

Location: 47.958376, -121.584213