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Hiked this trail Labor Day weekend and there was not a lot of traffic on it at all. The foliage was grown up in several places that you could barely see the trail. It’s a a nice workout hiking back up and out.

Beautiful day hike!

Very pretty. Little slippery at parts. Good trail for this time of year.

Beautiful hike up and back (overnight). Will be doing this one again.

****THERE IS NO LOOP AT THE END POINT OF THE SHORT OPTION AS THIS TRAIL RECORDING SHOWS, don't waste your time trying to find it. Just turn around****

With that being said this trail was beautiful! Rocky and icy at points. There was snow when we reached certain areas of higher elevation, about an inch. Follows the river for quite some time, passing over many small streams that get bigger as you go on. Very green. Lots of dogs (which I love). We only went about 5 miles (10 total) in and didn't see any signs of any animals. Well saw some coyote prints at the end of our almost 5 mile inward trek, knew they were coyote because no other human footprints anywhere close. I recommend!

Wonderful day hike.

Just finished hiking this trail with my bf and his dog! lovely atmosphere even in the cold winter months. Awesome river spots to stop and take pictures and very calm and quiet paths into the deeper forested area. Love that its dog friendly and didn't have that many people if you go before 10am!

Absolutely beautiful PNW easy hike. The trail is so green and magical looking following along the Salmon River. The road is good and the forest keeps this hike more protected from the weather.

Trail begins across the road from parking area. Follow the signs for Snow Creek. It intersects Metolius Windigo. Good signage. Creek crossings significant for November and partially frozen but doable. 4.5 miles of surreal burn area with spectacular (though obstructed) views of Sisters. Did this on a blue sky day in November. Watch for the turn to Golden Lake. I missed it and had to backtrack. Golden Lake is worthy with scenic Broken Top as backdrop. South Sister view is also great from meadow.

on Green Lakes Trail

hiking
2 months ago

As spectacular as everyone says. Passed no more than 15 or so people in both directions with long stretches of solitude including at the lake itself. Conditions: Cascade Lakes Highway clear (from Bend) except for one snowy/icy hill just west of Mount Bachelor. Trail clear for first mile or so, packed snow for the next two (not slippery), some icy hills in the final stretch -- enough that I put on traction for the trip down. Tentative road closure date is 11/19 so enjoy this trail now!

hiking
2 months ago

Best hike I’ve ever been on. Went in August on a really hot Smokey day and it was cool. Walked next to a creek almost the entire way and took a dip in the lake at the top.

hiking
2 months ago

This was our first summit and it did not disappoint. Weather was foggy and misty. Lower section of the trail through the forest is gradual. When the trail meets with the PCT is when the steep grade starts. It only gets worse from there. The main trail is to the left on the mountain but is hard to find at times. Very rocky, do not trust your footing. Many loose boulders and slabs. You feel this one in your glutes the next day!

We did the pinnacle, on a very windy, foggy day with no experience. It wasn't all that bad. Took us a bit to scramble up- maybe 15 minutes. Hung out at the top for a bit and came back down. Came back down SO fast (not even 5 minutes). Including *many breaks* we did this hike in a little less than 8 hours.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail, with a gradual incline to the lakes. Great views of the valley from a ridge. Beautiful Fall colors around the lake. Had the whole trail and the lakes to ourselves. What a peaceful place.

2 months ago

8-18-18 western route. my fist time and made it! the hike through the woods is moderate and beautiful. There’s glimpses of Diamond Lake in front of Mt Bailey where we started. Once we got into the clearings it’s a gravelly hike up until we got to bigger and and more solid boulders and rocks which had better foot holds. At the base of the spire is an 80 degree rock climb to the summit. There’s plenty of good hand holds and even ledges that u can stand on to climb up to the summit. It took me 4 mins to get to the top and I had a friend at the base to give suggestions on which way looks better. The view is the best 360 I have ever had! The climb down was longer, ~15 mins. I had hiking piles until the rock scramble. I will do this again!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful walk along the river.

backpacking
2 months ago

Great to backpack, but it's a little extreme to call this one "moderate" in difficulty.

People talk about a rough road and 4x4s only, when there's no real reason to take the 4x4 road. Start from Shellrock Lake, and it's a dead-easy 6mi of friendly, even trail with minimal (mayyybe 1500 ft) gain. As of fall 2018, there are very few sections with roots/tough footing/blow-downs. Unless you're (mentally) unstable or have a new 4Runner you want to try out, there's no reason whatsoever to shave-off 1.9 dead-easy miles by attempting a Gresham "truck nuts" approach. I drove to Shellrock in a 40 year-old German convertible and it was fine. Your 1999 Honda Civic with the huge muffler, ground effects, and the 4ft fin on the back? It fine. Trust me. I mean, no one likes it and--contrary to popular belief--that bass *will not* get you women, but your sick whip?? It'll do just fine, bra.

So let's rate the difficulty, as these reviews make this wonderfully peaceful, friendly, and mellow trail sound like trying to do Dog, Defiance, and Devil's Rest in the same day with a 60lb pack (and yup, that's called the TripleD: only really bored Mazamas, tweekers, and--for whatever reason--mechanical engineers like doing that.)

So if the PCT from Mexico to Canada is an 11 on the 1-10 scale of backpacking difficulty, and you were bored/silly enough to want backpack Defiance (9), then this is maybe a 3.5. Maybe. Mind you, on this scale walking to PSU from the Pearl with your Jansport full of books is a 1, and Mirror Lake with a tent, a bag, a sixer, and Cheetos (no Tom/Dick/Harry) is a 2.

The Serene Lake backpack is great, easy to drive to, and most any first-time backpacker could make it. If you stopped every 30 mins for rest, you'd be fine if you started before noon: it's only 6mi to the lake. Also, so many little baby lakes and mellow camp spots are peppered throughout this hike. Even if the 8 or so decent lake spots were taken, there are a ton more cool flat spots within a mile of the lake that'd be great if you just ported h20 in your Camelback.

Oh, and take the wonderful "long way out" heading west out of Serene Lake on the return and use the Grouse Point trail to then head back east. It adds another mile or two and maybe an additional 6-700ft of overall gain, but is equally mellow given enough time.

Anyway, loved this backpack. It'd be a go-to for taking first-time backpackers who wanted to do something that was quiet and friendly, but gave you that (priceless) feeling of being more than 10 miles away from a Plaid Pantry.

For a challenge, might be cool as a snowshoe.

5 stars. And I'll include a complete trail map from the Shellrock Lake start point in my profile photos with a title if that's of use to anyone.

Hiked this trail yesterday (Sunday). It was a beautiful hike! Lots of fall colors, saw a couple salmon, some amazing views.

Just be sure to have solid hiking shoes as it’s a pretty rocky trail in some parts. I could be hyper sensitive since I rolled my ankle earlier in the year, but if you went with just tennis shoes, you could really hurt yourself.

We started around 9:30 in the morning and saw only a couple people on the way up, lots more people on the way back.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely beautiful trail. Didn’t make it all the way to the lake, but lovely by the creek all along the way. Gently sloping, not very technical.

hiking
3 months ago

Very well maintained trail with lots of picturesque scenery, including the river, waterfalls, forest, open space with obsidian boulders and of course - lakes and Mountain View’s. Went over Labor Day weekend, lots of other hikers but not crowded. The hike in was 2 hours. We took a 30 minute break to snack and take in the scenery then hiked out, which took 1.5 hours. Would recommend.

gets crowded, but great payoff

backpacking
3 months ago

Hard for me to completely rate this trail fairly. Started out hiking at 11p so it was pitch black. Very cold that night and to make matters worse once we got to the lakes the wind decided to get crazy. If I was to guess sustained 15mph with gusts all night up to 40. Powerful enough to have branches fall on our tent. In the morning the lakes were pretty but again very very cold mostly due to the wind. We did a loop with soda creek trail back to the trail head and decided to forgo no name lake that night given how windy it was the previous night at a lower elevation. The lakes were definitely pretty and so was the western side of broken top and the eastern end of sisters. Great overall trail system in this region no doubt.

backpacking
3 months ago

We backpacked mid-September and experienced a mixture of weather. The views were amazing and there were many trails we explored once camp was set up. Grab a good water filter so you don’t have to weigh your bag down with lots of water. There are many places to refill with the filter. Trekking poles were helpful as there are a couple spots once at the lakes where you can cross water on logs but they are slippery so be careful. There are lots of easily located designated camp spots and a back trail to hike South Sister if you wanted. Will go again for sure!

Great hike! Fall colors, light rain, mushrooms everywhere, salmon running. No one at the trail head at 9:30 busy by 3:30.

Spectacular views - creek, waterfalls, Broken Top, South Sister, lava, and lakes. Bring a camera and plenty of water. Fairly easy hike - moderate due to the distance.

backpacking
3 months ago

Kind of hard to find the trail but the lake is great with good trout fishing.

on Green Lakes Trail

3 months ago

Awesome hike for all ages. Did this late September, NO mosquitoes

We started at Indian Henry where there is no fee. If you start at Fish Creek you pay a $5 fee. We went to Pup Creek Falls and then back to Indian Henry for an 8 mile hike.
From Indian Creek you first come to Half Cave. That is a cool part of the trail where you have to duck under the rocky overhang to get through. Next are the Narrows. This is a nice place to take a break and have a snack. After awhile you will cross Pup Creek on a series of rocks that are lined up. Keep going on the trail, around the corner and up the hill where there is a trail to the falls only .2 of a mile off the main trail. I thought the falls were very cool.
We went back to Indian Henry here. Total hike was 8 miles. It's rated as moderate which is accurate. It's a good hike. The trail is easy to follow.

we took the whole family, all five kids and what a beautiful hike!

Perfect fall hike. Pleasant even in the rain. Make sure you pick up a Forest Pass before driving to the trailhead.

hiking
3 months ago

Great day hike. Look down into the crater lake bowl, great views of diamond lake and can see for miles. Pretty easy to the PCT junction then a fun rock scramble( just be respectful if other people around as lots of loose rocks) capped off by a fairly easy 80-100ft rock climb up to the peak. The climb down is a bit more challenging though.

At the top there is room for up to three people at the same time maybe so enjoy the views take pictures and leave your name in the metal canister there if you wish. Overall a good workout but more than worth it!

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