Broken Top Loop Trail is a 27.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Sisters, Oregon that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
This was an amazing backpacking trip. Me and my partner started out at three creeks lake and hiked up the tam mcarthur rim trail until we reached a sign saying "unmaintained trail", however the trail was just as good as any maintained trail I've been on. From there we continued towards broken top. When we started gaining elevation closer to the mountain we turned off trail just before the knob named broken hand, this is the small peak right before broke top. We walked in the direction between broken top and ball butte where eventually we found the next trail (not hard to miss). From here we hiked broken top trail (there are no signs saying it is broken top trail but you will know it when you get to it). On broken top trail we continued to follow the signs that say to green lakes which will eventually take you all the way around broken top. Green lakes sits between broken top and the south sister. Up to the point where we reached camp at green lakes we hiked close to 14 miles. The next day we hiked north on the green lakes trail until we reached a split in the trail. At this point we got onto park meadow trail and hiked through the burnt forest to the park meadow tie trail (this trail takes you back to three creek lake just follow the signs saying "to three creek lake"). This section we hiked was close to 12 miles.
P.S. Bring bug spray, sunscreen, and a warm sleeping bag or something warm to sleep in. We only brought hammocks and 2 blankets each and froze all night. Have Fun!
Amazing views with lots of places to find clean water.
This was my first backpacking experience. We started just north of Three Creek Lake at the Park Meadows trail head. The first 4-5 miles are fairly level as you walk through the remains of a forest fire from 2012. Very surreal. You can get glimpses through the burned out trees of the Three Sisters which you wouldn't get if the trees were alive. 8-9 miles in made it to our first stop for the night, Green Lakes campground. On the way we did a 1 mile side trip to Golden Lake which was very beautiful. Green lakes is pretty too as it sits right below South Sister. Unfortunately the mosquitoes were very aggressive here.
Day two led us south on the western side of the mountain and then we turned east between Broken Top and Mt. Bachelor. After 4-5 miles we had a decision to make; either continue east/south east and loop around Ball Butte or cut north through a gap in the hills towards the mountain and shave off 5-6 miles. We decided on the latter and I'm glad we did. You go up and down several ridges and find yourself in the bowels of the mountain. There are several snow fields to cross. At the top of one ridge you can bear left and go up to see the glacier lake and a nice view from the rim. After that we made our way back down and skirted Broken Hand to the south and east. I guess there is a trail high up on Broken Hand but instead of climbing we went more to the east and around multiple ridges making our own trail. We tried cutting north as much as possible to catch the Tam McCarther trail but were unable to find it before the sun started to set. Made camp in a stand of trees and melted snow for water since there were no creeks in this area at all. Awesome rise and setting of the super moon this weekend. Sunday we started out again looking for the trail and found it only about a quarter mile away...so close. Glad we didn't try to make it down the night before. The decent was about another four miles and parts were very steep. Overall we did roughly 24 miles in 45 hours-start to finish.
Broken Top Mt./Tam McArthur Rim was my first day hike experience and I handled it like a pro. It wasn't too hard or too easy. In fact, after we finished, I wanted to go back up to the top again. There was a bit of snow left on the ground still which we were not expecting and made it a bit of a challenge. The scenery was absolutely breath taking. When we reached the rim, we were able to see the entire cascade range in front of us, the lake down below, and Broken Top, our destination. And I have to say, although it was a bit cold, jumping in to the lake was a perfect way to finish the hike!