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Wonderful trip! Did this as a 4-day backpacking trip with my wife in August of 2017. Breathtaking views, wildflowers, historic shelters, and snow fields. This hike has a little bit of everything. If your itinerary allows, camp at Dollar Lake on the north side of the mountain. It’s a short climb from the main trail, but has excellent campsites, a beautiful view of the mountain, and a nice place for a swim or washing clothes. Water crossings vary significantly with temperature and rainfall. Sandy, Coe, and Elliott were the most challenging for us. It’s a fantastic and challenging hike.

Beautiful trail, really not to hard for the amazing view rewards. The road getting to the trail was fairly rough in sections, I wouldn’t have made it (with a Prius) if it was wet or muddy.

lots of people but great entry level backpacking

Fabulous hike with several types of terrain. Went all the way to the ridge just below Three Fingered Jack for a 7.5 mike trip. Fall weather was in full force. Saw both a calving glacier and a pronghorn sheep. The loop is pretty kid friendly and my little one (10) made it to Cirque Lake without too much trouble.

Beware though he road up has a few sandy spots that you will really want/need a high clearance AWD/4x4 vehicle to cross - especially after in rains.

hiking
4 days ago

Lovey trail. The meadows and view of Three Fingered Jack are stunning.

Amazing hike with some awesome camping sites surrounding the lake. Just got back and we had absolutely no problems with mosquitoes or flies. Went up on a Friday and there were only a handful of people at the lake. We will be going back to this gem. Can’t beat the views at the top either.

Some things to know before going.
The $5 fee deposit box can be found at the trailhead NOT on Forest Rd 12.
When you get to the lower canyon, go left to the unmarked trail that says “unmaintained trail”.

Great time of year to hike because of no mosquitos but we didn’t see three fingered jack because it was unfortunately socked in. Still a gorgeous hike. Signs and descriptions don’t quite add up, however.

Holy WOW! What a beautiful hike! 12.8 miles in 5 hours (moving). Not sure if one way is better than the other when you get to the loop. I went right. I’ll go straight if I do it again. I definitely would’ve preferred Scotty to beam me out the last 2 miles, but whatever. What an absolute joy this trail is!

Beautiful trail, but do not underestimate the last 3 miles as they are a thigh burner!

Whoever said this hike isn’t strenuous and is good for any skill level is trolling you. There is 1200 feet of elevation gain in the first 1.5 miles if you go clockwise from Berry Patch (or a terribly steep descent at the end of your hike if you’re coming from Snowgrass Flat). The ascent is pretty relentless until you reach the ridge, so I wouldn’t recommend it for brand new backpackers or anyone who isn’t in decent shape. Going out and back from Snowgrass Flat to Goat Lake would be an easier hike for those who can’t handle Goat Ridge.

Went Sept 2-3. Parking lot was overflowing but we didn’t encounter throngs of people until we hit Goat Lake (also saw goats!). I counted 20-25 tents around the lake. Other than the view, I don’t understand the appeal of camping there- it’s overcrowded, cold, and totally exposed to the elements. Found a better spot below the tree line. Didn’t encounter many people on the hike back and the parking lot was nearly empty— weekdays are definitely the way to go!

Spectacular hike, perfect weather (it gets cold at night- bring layers), no bugs, and still a few wildflowers in bloom.

Beautiful Scenery and a great loop hike.

backpacking
16 days ago

A couple friends and I did this loop and added Old Snowy and Hawkeye Point onto it. Incredible views of Adams, as well as Rainier, Helens, and even Hood in the distance. We did the loop clockwise from berry patch trailhead over two days, camping at goat lake overnight from August 31-September 1. Didn’t see a single mosquito, probably because it was a little cooler, but comfortable hiking weather. The hiking itself is not strenuous and any incline feels very doable for any skill level, nothing technical. We were each carrying packs that were about 35-40 lbs. The views of Adams are just incredible. The whole hike above the tree line is basically worthy of a postcard from any direction you look. Stop to eat huckleberries in the meadows, and enjoy idyllic views of mountain goats grazing on the cliffs and marmots scrambling around in the meadows. I recommend planning a trip during off-peak traffic times so you can get a good camping spot at goat lake to watch the clouds settle in the valley in the evening and wake up to an incredible view of Adams in the morning. I strongly recommend adding Old Snowy onto your loop. It’s an extra 5 miles that felt like 2-3, and despite the elevation gain of about 2000 feet was surprisingly easy (I dropped my pack at the turn off and enjoyed a packless ascent up Old Snowy). It’s worth the effort to enjoy getting above the ridges and seeing numerous others peaks and into other basins and valleys. At a minimum tack on Hawkeye for a similar, view as Old Snowy. I recommend this hike to anyone starting at even the most basic skill and generally healthy fitness level. Oh, and fun to interact with some thru hikers on a little bit of the PCT.

hiking
16 days ago

much easier than we anticipated and the landslide field was easier to navigate than other reviewers suggested. we had our 10-month-old and he was super content, too! great hike to do in about 3.5-4 hours. we’ll definitely be back!

Make sure you follow signs for trailhead and not GPS. You’ll lose 4 miles if you don’t.

backpacking
17 days ago

One star for a craptastic map of a five star hike.

This map is garbage. Do not rely on the author's way points (there are none, btw). The Sisters Loop is approximately 55 miles if you include a summit of South Sister. If you inspect this map closely you will see that it completely abandons the trail on the east side of the loop and appears to walk along the ridge line from peak to peak.

hiking
18 days ago

It’s a little on the tough side with boulder fields to scramble across and narrow over grown trails in sections.
The view at the top though, worth every step!

backpacking
22 days ago

A great overnight if you are used to putting in 10+ mile days. Went clockwise getting most elevation out of the way on the first day, then Camped at Wasco lake and cruised to the parking lot through the major burn areas on day 2. First day was almost completely caught in a cloud with a steady rain all night, but the second day was full of sun and incredible views of Three Fingered Jack, Black Butte, Mt. Washington, and even glimpses of broken top through the clouds!

hiking
22 days ago

This was a beautiful hike, and our small dog was able to make it the whole way. The description on this page is accurate, and I would highly recommend this hike to anyone wanting to see Three Fingered Jack. At the time of our hike (8/24/18), the forest fire smoke wasn’t impacting views for the hike too badly. Bugs were not a problem either.

When the hike gets between the upper meadow and the glacial lake, the red path lines on the AllTrails map don’t line up with the trail. However, that section is mostly a scramble over loose rock to the lake anyway.

The route to get there is pretty easy to follow, but sections of FR 1234 have some moderate sand to get through.

Tough hike, but so worth it! We went counterclockwise, departing the parking lot at 3:30 on Friday, stayed the night at Booth Lake, put in a tough slog on Saturday, and camped at Summit Lake Saturday night. A parking permit is required at the parking lot, but there didn't appear to be anywhere to buy one. We have a NW Forest Pass, but you could probably buy a parking pass at the Detroit ranger station (the lot is regulated by Willamette NF, but the trail is regulated by Deschutes NF). The second half of the hike was extremely dry - load up on water at Wasco Lake. Highly recommend dog booties - lots of hot sand and sharp rocks. Finally, for the love of god, PLEASE pack out all your trash. I came across used toilet paper and a bag of dog poo.

Great hike!! Did this hike in 2 days.

Great trail . People with dogs are the worst. Dog crap right on there trail .

backpacking
29 days ago

Absolutely stunning. Camped in Upper Meadows the first night and the wildflowers were incredible. The views from the Cirque Lake and the saddle were some of the best in Oregon. 2nd night we moved to Wasco Lake, which had good fishing, but every campsite was full on a Saturday night (we got the last one at 4pm on a Saturday). Trail was very well maintained and while we did see a number of people, the one-way traffic on the trail helped it feel less crowded.

Plenty of water, minimal mosquitoes in mid-July.

One of the best hikes I've done in Oregon and it would be great as a day hike, too.

hiking
30 days ago

Hiked this trail on 8/19/2018. There were lots of campers at Big Lake, but the noise disappeared after a short while. We went counter-clockwise-- after the trailhead there's a fork in the trail where you can go left or straight. Very pleasant hike, especially through the more forested sections where you get nice cover from the trees and more green things to look at. The distance is significant, with some elevation change, and we were definitely worn out by the end. The dog has been sleeping most of the day to recover! Took us about three hours. Mosquitoes weren't bad at this time of year. One of the lakes (about 4 miles in if you go counter-clockwise) would be great for taking a dip. Doggie loved splashing around. The end of the hike along Big Lake was a nice payoff during sunset. Beautiful views and lots of wildflowers.

hiking
30 days ago

Still some lingering wildflowers. Upper meadow was lush and green on 8/12/2018. No mosquitos, some butterflies. Parking lot was full, but trail wasn't crowded at all.

As a follow-up to the review by PhLo S just below...my group went August 10-12. There were some flies and mosquitoes at the lower elevations, but nothing close to plague-level. As a precaution we wore long sleeve shirts and long pants, with the option to wear head nets. While hiking these precautions weren't really needed, but during rest stops the bugs can get annoying. The views at the upper elevations are amazing. This was one of the best hikes I have been on.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy to find and mostly well kept trail. Picking through the rock slide was difficult as the trail there wasn’t well marked. Beautiful view and not busy on a Sunday morning! Sure I’ll be hiking it again

moderate hike, lots of tracks around the lake.

Instead of the TH marked here I came from the north, hitting the pct and made in with RT 5.2 miles or so. If you'd like details just message me.

First off, DO NOT follow the directions on AllTrails! Take FR 21 instead of FR 48 and search for directions ahead of time from somewhere else as the ones here are horribly inaccurate (wrong forest road and not 9.5 miles, more like 20 once on FR 21). If it weren’t for the payoff when you make it up to Goat Lake, I’d have a hard time recommending this trail. I went counterclockwise to how Alltrails has you do it (I went through Snowgrass Flats then onto Goat Lake) and the first 4 miles are brutal but not because the trail is incredibly difficult, but because of the relentless biting flies and gradual ascent. I pushed through faster than I wanted and when I’d stop for a break I’d be covered in seconds by dozens of flies, none of them caring that I had 100% deet all over. So then you just keep going and by the time I made it out of the forest I was exhausted. Once you clear the forest, Snowgrass flats is great. Crowded, but beautiful and with plenty of water sources so no need to carry a lot of water if you have any way to filter. The last push up to the lake is absolutely gorgeous though a pretty steady climb. Once at the lake, madness; it was a Friday evening and there must have been over 50 people camping at the lake (including a tent city with 6 tents all clustered together) so I pressed on to Jordan Basin and found a spot to hang my hammock for the night. Easy 5 miles into the Berrypatch parking area the next morning and then the short connector back to the other parking lot. Overall it was worth it but I won’t come back until the weather has turned in the fall when I think the bugs won’t be an issue and the crowds will have died down.

Pretty popular trail considering the amount of traffic I ran into on a weekday morning. Road conditions on the way up are fairly poor and there is a lot of rippling of the gravel. Good hike with some cool views along the way. Glad I went once but I probably wont be back for a while.

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