Matthieu Lakes Trail is a 5.7 mile out and back trail located near Sisters, OR that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible from May until November.
Nice day hike near Sisters Oregon in the Three Sisters Wilderness Area. The trip up to South Lake has an elevation change about 800 feet over 3/4 a mile. The trail is great for backpacking. If you're out of shape this can be a little tough.
From Lava Camp Lake walked to South Matthieu lake then to North Matthieu lake, returning to Lava Camp Lake via the PCT. Almost no mosquitos the entire walk. Heading north on the PCT from North Matthieu provides some grand views of lava fields, a few wild flowers, and some Cascade peaks. Nice short day hike.
Beautiful little lake with easy access from Lava Lake. Barely any mosquitos and few other over nighters on a Thursday and Friday. We did see a number of day hikers and met numerous people hiking the PCT, one couple had even started from Mexico back in April and was heading on to Canada hoping to arrive in September! Amazing group of hikers. We took a day hike to Opie Dilldock pass and were rewarded with incredible views of the mountains, varied terrain (from forest to lava flows and open alpine meadows) and wildflowers in their glory! Weather was perfect, not too hot and it was an incredible experience!
A long-ish day hike on a cloudless Saturday in October. Easy parking at the Lava camp area, right at the trail-head. (trail #4060 "Lava Camp LK"). This quickly leads to the PCT Trail #2000 (or "PCNST" on the signs). After about .75miles on the PC(NS)T the North Matthieu Lake Trail (Trail #4602) continues on the right, staying close to the lava flow wall. Both lakes were quiet and deserted when I reached them at about 9:30 AM (the North lake had quite a few campers getting ready for the night when I returned to them at 4:00 PM). The North lake has 7 designated camp sites; the South lake (smaller and more exposed) has only 3. Shortly before reaching the South Matthieu Lake, the trail merges back with the PCT. Since I had visited both lakes early in the morning I continued on the PCT first to skirt the Yapoah Crater and then on to a scramble up Collier Cone. The views (especially to the North) between South Matthieu lake and Collier Cone are stunning. The strenuous climb to the lip of Collier Cone is well rewarded by up-close views of North Sister, the Collier Glacier down Middle Sister and finally, to the right, Little Brother. This hike made for a long day (starting at 8:30am and returning at 4:30pm) ... but it was well worth every step. I gave 5 starts to the whole hike; maybe 4 or 4.5 just getting to the two lakes
Good but not spectacular. Easy to get to from Sisters. I recommend following Tru Denton's instructions to the trailhead.
This relatively easy loop includes stops at both North and South Mattieu Lake. There are also views of the central Cascade volcanoes, including Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington, Belknap Crater, and the northern Three Sisters. The lakes were bright blue, wildflowers were out, and the trail was in great shape.
Highly recommended if you are in the area.
Photos from the trip can be found at my website: http://ianfaulds.com/shots-and-stories/the-oregon-whirlwind
Great views of the Sisters from the PCT portion of the loop going up to the south lake!
Directions to trailhead incomplete. Trailhead is off SR 242, 13.9 miles west of Sisters. Look for Lava Camp Lake/Pacific Crest trail sign, there is NO Mattieu Lakes sign on 242. Drive .3 miles over rough road to campground-this road will split; take the right fork and park in campground parking lot. Trailhead starts here. The Mattieu Lakes trail is about a six mile loop that takes you past both the North and South lakes. As you hike in, you will come to a junction where you can either go left to South lake or right to North lake. Some people hike just to the North lake and back, but the beautiful views are found on the trail to South lake and South lake has a wonderful view of North Sisters. North lake is pretty, but no views. Some websites describe this hike as easy, but there is a definite climb and the trail is more accurately described as moderate.
We took the south lake trail and came down by north Matthieu Lake. It was a long uphill on the way up but not steep. Beautiful views at the top! Finished our trip by driving up to the observatory.