The Green Lakes/Soda Creek Loop is for those who are serious about trail running — 12 miles of it over smooth dirt singletrack. The trail starts 25 miles west of Bend, and it just north of Mt. Bacelor. It’s another route to hit early in the morning before the crowds arrive, but the crisp mountain air and the views of the sun hitting the high peaks are worth the early rise. Start out at the trailhead just off Cascade Lakes Highway. To do the route clockwise, take a left up Green Lakes, which heads up steadily for about 4.5 miles. The trail follows Fall Creek all the way out to the lakes (spectacular views here) before joining up with the Soda Creek Trail and heading down the mountain to the east. The last two miles are a relatively flat, with the opportunity to really finish off this 12 mile leg burner strong.
Note: This is a challenging trail run, and starts at 5,440 feet. Be aware of the altitude!