Explore Deschutes National Forest - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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

hiking
6 hours ago

This hike was A LOT harder than I had initially planned and it is a lot longer than the trail signs lead on. I wore my FitBit while hiking and it tracked upwards of 19 miles by the time we got back to our car.
This hike was absolutely gorgeous, however. I wore plenty of layers. My recommendation is to pack layers, food, but pack light. You’re gonna hate your backpack by the end of it, haha.

Incredible views!

we did the 15 Mile out and back hike and considered it very easy but well worth the trip.

Great scenery, hike isn't as hard as in description. One of my favorites. Road to upper trailhead is very narrow and Rocky.

Nice! Great little fall hike.

Definitely need a high clearance vehicle for the upper trailhead. If you can make it past the first half mile you’ll be fine. All the elk are still at the top but they look like rocks from a distance until you get close. Awesome hike.

love love love. Summit 2 times in a three week period. love this place

Absolutely breathtaking hike with a HUGE payoff.
Unfortunately I lost a wedding band somewhere on the hike between the lake and the parking lot on September 11th. It would have been in a red silk zipper bag. Please please please let there be a good person in the world!

hiking
8 days ago

This hike is TOUGH but well worth the effort. We went on Saturday with no views at the summit except for the beautiful smiling faces that were thankful they made it. Started around 8:30am and made it back to the car by 4:00pm with a long stop for lunch. If there’s clouds at the top when you start, don’t count on them to burn off. The views up to the clouds were great though, broken top, a few glacier fed lakes, and the endless trees surrounding. Bring warm clothes and plenty of food and water and it’s a great way to spend the day!

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.

hiking
9 days ago

Two week back to back hiking at South sister trail. First week with great weather but we didn't manage time well and had to stop at the glacier, one mile shy of the top. I went there again yesterday. Weather was good initially but changed quickly. It was freezing cold with thick fog and gusty wind while climbing up. Even the rocks started to frost. Stayed at the summit all by myself for 15 miserable minutes with absolute no view and a shivering body. Finished in 7 tough hours. Will go again!

hiking
9 days ago

First time hiking South Sister and wow, what an experience! I expected it to be cold at the summit as warned, but not 6°F with 30-40mph winds! Clouds blanketed the summit, but the reward was just making it up. Although I had my Nano Puff jacket to keep warm, next time I'm bringing some heavy insulated gloves.

Saw many hikers, about 200 I'd say. Some made a u-turn before the last 1-2 miles to the summit. I think that was the right choice as the weather at the top would have just made it unbearable. Trekking poles are a life saver on knees and slippage, so don't leave home without em!

hiking
9 days ago

Garmin InReach tracked this at 5.9 miles. This hike is a great workout, unfortunately it was cloudy and I didn't get to see what the views were like. Scree makes it fun, but I wouldn't recommend this trail for dogs.

I saw some hikers walking up the road at the beginning. Not sure if this was on purpose or they didn't see the trail. There is a trail, it goes to the right and into the woods. Don't take the road, that's lame and not as scenic.

hiking
9 days ago

This was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done! I’m so stoked to say I made it to the top. This is absolutely not for beginner hikers. Be prepared... plenty of water, a day’s worth of food (you won’t believe how many calories you will burn) and layers of clothing. We hit all the elements on this one. It started out sunny but the last half we hit 35 mph winds and low visibility. At the top there were snowflakes and icicles on our clothes. I highly recommend packing gators so dirt and rocks don’t get in your socks/shoes. I can’t stress enough about packing your trekking poles. Sooo glad I did it!!

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.

I take issue with the AllTrails description saying that it is near the Klamath River, it is not. The closest river would be the Deschutes.

If you leave from the Broken Top TH (not Todd Lake) you’ll want a high clearance vehicle that you don’t mind beating up.

That said, Broken Top, the Bend Glacier and the amazing lake is by far the most rewarding hike in Central Oregon.

hiking
10 days ago

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

hiking
11 days ago

We took the Pine Marten Lift to the PM Lodge, cut across Sunrise to Summit Trail and scrambled to the top. The spectacular views at the top were worth the hike which was definitely “arduous.” It was very rocky (essentially, the hike was entirely on lava rock), exposed, and occasionally quite steep. Trail was fairly easy to follow in spite of very little signage.

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.

hiking
12 days ago

Beautiful views, strenuous hike which is worth every step.

we loves this hike and constantly said wow for all the views.

hiking
14 days ago

Hiked this with a friend on Sunday. There was a nice break in the hazy weather and the views were mostly clear the whole day. This was the 4th time I have been up South Sister, and the views and experience never get old. The first few miles through the forest always seem difficult, but I think it's because it is early in the morning and it immediately starts climbing without much of a warm-up. Once you get through the forest, it levels out for beautiful views of Bachelor, Broken Top, South Sister, and Moraine Lake. The last 3 miles are over rocky, loose terrain, so it takes more time to get adequate footing. We had lunch at the false summit down at the glacier. The last mile is slow moving due to scree and loose cinder rock. The views at the top are unlike any other and everyone should experience it. Definitely recommend hiking poles, sunscreen, bug spray, and LOTS of water (I took 4L and had about 1L left over.. but I have run out of water up there in the past). It is a strenuous hike, but doable if you have enough mental grit and perseverance.

We hiked this a few weeks ago, and it was a great experience. It was hazy in the valley and views were limited at the summit, but it was still awesome. It was so fun to point out the runs that we normally see during the snowy season. We read somewhere that the trail is marked by orange flags, but we only saw 2-3 of them tied to the trees. The trail is very well maintained and easy to follow from the Sunrise lift. There were several other people on the trail. We pretty much followed the chairlifts up the entire way. Our group consisted of 4 women and 2 girls-age 7 and 9. The kids did great and stuck with it the entire time. Bring a good supply of water and sunscreen on a warm day. Will definitely do this again!

After taking the trail all the way to the summit, I have to say that this is a very intense hike! I probably took longer than anyone else did that day. Lots of breaks! I wish I had brought some walking poles and a bit more water, but it was amazing! I found the hardest part of the hike to be the return trip. I used most of my strength to reach the summit, but the walk back down.... Well worth the time it took! I'm 46 and I'm out of shape, so it took me 8 hours total walking time. Again, well worth it!

hiking
15 days ago

Great trail , really easy beautiful area
Lots of trout in the creeks

a little steep but completely doable and only 1/4 of a mile.

hiking
16 days ago

Hiked on 9/8/2018:

The trail head is full of activity all night long and very difficult to get any sleep in your vehicle - bring ear plugs. Many people hike out during darkness, at all hours of the night but especially an hour or two before sunrise. The trail is VERY easy to follow and using head lamps is VERY easy. The first approx 3 miles is without rocks to navigate (unlike the next 3) so night travel is not bad at all. Plenty of places to pitch a tent or cowboy camp on the lower 3 miles. Next to no place to camp at the tear drop lake. The terrain is some of the worst around, slippery sand and lots of large loose rocks to navigate. The last mile from the lake to summit takes about 2 or 2.5 hours round trip (not counting time on the summit). Major burn on the legs coming back down.

If your legs are not conditioned for the constant uphill climb on some of the worst sand and rocks and ruts then you'll be hurting. Start early if you want to reach the summit.

I hike everywhere with my dog. She's in good shape, only 4 years old, golden retriever. But I left her home on this trip and glad for it. Some have said here about wearing booties, personally i think they need the traction on this one and booties might actually be more dangerous. Just my 2 cents.

Great hike! Seriously on of the more physically challenging trails that I've ever been on. Next time I plan hike out the first 3 miles in the evening, spend the night, and summit first thing in the morning.

DO NOT TAKE DOGS ON THIS TRAIL!!! Unless you for sure know your pup can handle it. This hike is HARD and HOT. Don’t be cruel. I saw several examples today of what I would deem ignorant animal abuse and it was heart breaking.

What a hike this one is. I wouldn’t recommend taking your dog.. it’s definitely not a hike for the faint of heart for sure.. bring plenty of snacks and water for this all day hike. Can’t wait to don’t again.. hiked on for the first time ever on 9-1-2018

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