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

Oregon Backpacking Loops Map
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A favorite!

backpacking
22 days ago

Took my six-year-old on his first backpacking trip here. Amazing spot considering how gentle of a hike it is for the little ones. Confusing signage, though, because it says no camping or fires, but what another hiker told me was that it only applied a quarter mile from the trail head.

Did this back in July 2016. Walked east and north on Summit Lake Trail #4014 past Square Lake and Booth Lake, and tent camped at Jack Lake. Most of this whole section of the trail was burned in the B an B complex Fire in 2003, but the resulting abundant wildflowers are striking through here. Also notable were large populations of mountain bluebirds using the dead snags for housing and resting. After Jack Lake we continued northwesterly bypassing the tarn spur and continuing on to Wasco Lake. North of Wasco Lake the trail makes a quick scramble to meet the PCT. Continued on the PCT south and back to the parking area. Thanks to whomever uploaded this!

backpacking
2 months ago

A few friends and I backpacked this loop last August. We entered at the Devil’s lake trailhead and proceeded counter clockwise from there. We made it as far as camp lake which is a amazing side trip and worth the extra distance. Unfortunately, we were diverted from there due to a large wildfire north of Camp Lake. Rangers had closed the entire west side of the loop and were rerouting PCT hikers east and then south to avoid problems. We ended up circumnavigating Broken Top and cut the trip short. I will most certainly be going back to finish this loop. Be sure to secure permits for the Obsidian area in advance of your trip, they’re limited.

backpacking
2 months ago

Loved Three-Sisters- although this trail is not 35 mi- it is 45-50 miles depending on your entry point. I hiked clock-wise over 3 days 3 nights beginning at Pole Creek- there is no camping in the burn area at Pole Creek until you reach your first unnamed lake. There was no campfires allowed in Deschutes when I was there- which was not long after the big fire. This may have changed but I would check before going. Green Lakes was amazing, I went swimming in the water and spent plenty of time enjoying myself there, as I suggest to anyone taking this loop! Obsidian Falls was beautiful as well, but again- you can't camp here without special permits. Collier Cone was a long ascent and had limited water- but we never ran out. Overall it was amazing and 10/10 would return.

Only did a fast in and back a few miles but great trail, fantastic scenery. Close to a good introductory spot for rock climbers

a must do. I love this hike. It's a great weekend hike. 2 19 mile days aren't that bad if you go ultralight. so many waterfalls. paint brush and other wildflowers are plentiful. trail is in great shape.

More like 42 miles around the entire trail.

Incredible loop trail.Hiked clockwise. Got a late start yesterday from Santiam Pass and camped at Jack Lake. Headed down into Canyon Meadows once descended the three switchbacks. Trail is pretty easy to find down but we lost it in the Meadows. Just kept heading east until reached creek and crissed to trail and then to Jack Lake. Lots of snow and exposure on PCT above 5500. Wind and ice this morning and wide open views thru Booth and Square lakes. Overall a great hike....loved it

read samantha's review - hardly "easy" if you have to "bush whack" your way through and have gps guiding you.

Had a great time backpacking the loop during eclipse weekend

My girlfriend and I completed this in 3 days from 8/19-8/21. Beautiful hike but difficult at many points. Try to plan major river/stream crossings for the morning. They get harder as the snow melts in the afternoon.

backpacking
8 months ago

Beautiful trip, about 12 miles of the same burn section that is long, hot, and boring. The views from the top make the trip completely worth it. Since there were multiple fires in the area, the smoke and heat will really get to you. Plenty of lakes to cool off in!

trail running
8 months ago

Beautiful trail!!! Very runnable for those trail runners out there. A lot of water access if you are not into carrying a large hydration pack (be sure to filter!!) I wouldn't say the views are amazing, but the trail, seclusion and the sound of the river make up for it.

Here is my trip report https://adventurecontinues.org/2017/08/19/timberline-trail/

Friday night- Saturday afternoon heat hike, recommend mosquito repellent, some section there were a lot of flies and in the morning lots of mosquitos.

backpacking
8 months ago

This is the most complete backpacking trip you'll find in all of Oregon. Truly something for everyone. Excellent trail conditions as of Aug 12th '17. No name lake is predictably crowded with very limited tent space, but anywhere just below the lake is equally impressive and I would argue more comfortable and peaceful. Designated camping spots at Green Lakes were sparse due to the fact that many are under restoration, but if you get creative you will find excellent spots in the vicinity.
Any camping at Park Meadow is excellent due to the proximity and level of the creek running through the meadow.

Ample water supplies every couple miles. We had one 32 oz bottle and one 3L bladder per person and never ran short or dry.

hiking
8 months ago

A VERY beautiful hike! A fair amount of incline going in (especially if you have heavier packs), but coming out a few days later was much easier. Ha!

Plenty of campsites within the first 2 miles and a few scattered throughout the rest of the trail.

Along the river most of the way if you're in need of water.

backpacking
8 months ago

Just completed this loop today.

Started at Three Creeks Trail. Camped the first night at Golden Lake. No problems whatsoever. No Snow. Approximately 7.7 miles though a burnt forest, meadows and a couple river crossings. Bring sandals for the crossings. This section was all soft sand on the trail. Much like walking on the dry portion of the beach.

Day two was a long difficult one. 10 miles from Golden Lake to the No Name Lake.

Day Three was out from the ice lake to Tam McArthur Rim and back to Three Creeks Lake. When leaving the lake it can be easy to lose the trail. Having said that, it's also very easy to find/follow the trail. Either set your compass bearing and aim for the end of Tam McArthur Rim, or just follow the AllTrails geotrack. Look for all the cairns to help guide you. Just make sure you hit the Tam McArthur Rim Trail at the very end. I walked passed it and had to climb 150 yards almost straight up in loose lava rock to get back on the trail.

There were multiple snow crossings both approaching the mountain and leaving the mountain. All easily passable.

The last few miles down from Tam McArthur to Three Creeks is very steep and harder than I expected.

Thank you to whomever uploaded this track. It was an incredible help.

Friday to Sunday (clockwise start and end at the Lodge). A truly spectacular hike! Absolutely perfect weather right now. The trail is in great shape overall. All river and glacial crossings are manageable day or night with some caution. Wildflowers are all on impressive display. Happy I brought the DSLR along. Fellow hikers on the trail were friendly and in high spirits. This was a weekend I'll never forget!

Trail ran the loop on Saturday. Weather was outstanding and the trail in great shape. All the crossings were good (Coe and Elliott were a little more challenging but fine). Wild flowers are in bloom which made the scenery that much more spectacular. We started/ended at Timberline lodge instead of Cloud Cap Campground. If I were to run this course again, I would start at Cloud Cap Campground and run clockwise (like we did). This would get the 'dry zone' out of the way while cool as well as the significant drop down to Zig Zag out of the way relatively early. Great day!

Did this trail 2 weeks ago. Left from Park meadows trailhead and after you hit park meadows you have to cut your own trail through the snow between south sister and broken top but just keep heading between them and you'll eventually hit a point where you will see green lakes. From green lakes we headed down to the soda spring trailhead and took that up to the broken top trailhead area and continued down. Too much snow between broken top and bald butte so we took a trail down and around that puts you right along some ATV roads. We ended up taking a horseback trail back to three creeks lake and hitchhiked the 2 miles back to park meadows trailhead. Great trip we camped at green lakes and somewhere at the east end of bald butte. Many water crossings that I took my boots off for. Super fun just have some directional awareness in the snow

Did the whole loop last week. Most of the creek and river crossings were smooth and we were able to rock hop across. Coe and Elliott were a little sketchy, but doable. There was one section on the north side where the trail was under snow and we got off route, but were able to find it using this app. It could be melted off by now. GORGEOUS wildflowers everywhere! I want to do this trail every year!

backpacking
8 months ago

perfect 2 day ripper for experienced backpackers, or a solid day for the adventurous day trip. Awesome views all around the loop. I recommend camping in upper Canyon Creek Meadow which is about half way through the loop (13ish if clockwise/11 if counterclockwise)
I started late afternoon and went counterclockwise towards Summit Lake. The first 8 miles are in the burn, so hitting this during the evening hours gave some respite from the heat. surface is sandy. If you get an early start out of Canyon Creek in the morning, you also miss most of the heat on day 2. As youll tuck in begind the summit ridge after climbing out of the canyon. Fill up your water at Koko, last chance for approx 6miles. You'll be on the PCT and will encounter some through hikers. Give em a smile and congratulate them on reaching a major milestone. Most will hit their 2,000 mile mark at some point along this stretch. This is a popular trail, so by timing your trip like I did, you'll end up with more hours of open trail.
Bring your pooch!

Bring bug spray the mosquitos and biting flys are bad!

backpacking
8 months ago

Really great trail! Unique terrain due to the fire, but it's really hot in most places due to the lack of shade. Lots of lakes to jump in on the way though! The PCT gives you a great view of the upper meadow and Three Fingered Jack. Make sure to bring plenty of water containers.

backpacking
9 months ago

Wanted to do a quick overnight backpacking trip. What a wonderful hike. Great for trail running, too. Lots of good campsites all along the way. Four stars: Few sites, vistas to see.

I did this loop clockwise starting/ending at Lava Camp on the North End over two and a half days, July 18-20. Mileage per day: 16, 22, and 10. Although parts of the loop were "easy", other parts were very difficult. Lots of snow and very easy to lose the trail. Thankfully I had a good map and used my phone for GPS. The East side of the loop is recent forest fire remains up till about 4 miles before Green Lakes and could be skipped IMHO. Main issue with the map on this page is the southern section connecting East and West doesn't exist; it's an unmarked and unmaintained user tail that I bushwhacked my way through using my GPS. Thankfully was able to find the PCT at the southern end and actually follow a trail for the last half of the loop. The entirety of the PCT as well as the Green Lakes Trail coming up from the South were easy to follow and absolutely gorgeous!!

Started at the Timberline Lodge and when counter-clockwise towards Cloud-Cap. Hiked starting 2-July-2017 and encountered some unsafe snow and ice conditions near Clark and Newton Creek. Hopefully trails have melted now with all the warm weather that will allow full access all the way around.

Cloud Cap and Tilly Jane campground were closed.

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