Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Three Sisters Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

11/11/19: GPS/Apple Maps was spot on. You cross Cougar Dam and follow 1993 for over 12 miles. The road is paved and then turns to gravel. It is surprisingly good with just a few potholes. There was one downed skinny tree. I was able to drive over the top branches of it easily by clinging to the side of the road. Some loose rocks from small slides. The trailhead has two trails departing from it. When facing the sign, take the one to your right. It is a gentle climb for two miles until the signed intersection. Take the Walker Creek Trail going up. The interactive map goes a bit batty around this point. Just keep climbing the switchbacks until you get to the top of the ridge. You will then look for a series of cairns to lead you through meadows (mostly dirt) to the viewpoint.

Dope

Fun hike with great views and even made our way to the top of the crater (no real trail to the top). More awesome views from the crater rim. Walked around the crater rim and then headed down to meet up with the PCT. We made this a loop (lollipop) by hiking the PCT to Sisters Mirror Lake and then hiked back to our car via trail 12.2. We parked at Devils Lake. Mostly flat except for the hike up and down the crater. Amazingly warm day for November 7th! Hiked in shorts! There was snow on the trail in the shady spots.

hiking
snow
24 days ago

It's such great pay off at the end of a lackluster and steep hike. When you top out onto the plateau where the lake is, it's open and exposed with an amazing view of Broken Top and South Sister. I feel so isolated and in another world when I'm up there. Also, this place is much prettier with snow.

hiking
1 month ago

Great views at the top. About 2/3 of the hike goes through scorched forest, gets old after a while.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Great trail and views.... finished just ahead of a storm, and almost got blown off the top....had trail and view of the rainbows all to myself at the top! Worth the chapped lips...:-) Burnt trees add to the interest of the trail.

hiking
bugs
snow
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

I love it when I find another trail to add to my list of favorites. Light snow in the first mile through the burnt forest melted by the time we got back to the car. Wished I had gaiters for the 5 or so inches of snow at the upper elevations, but the snow capped 360 degree mountain views at the top were worth the wet socks.

hiking
1 month ago

The Milli fire definitely took a toll on the Forest, but to our surprise, it was still beautiful. Wonderful hike overall. The views at the top were amazing.

backpacking
blowdown
icy
muddy
off trail
1 month ago

Did this loop in 1 night, and was a pretty easy hike. We started at Tam McArthur Rim hiking clockwise, and camped at Golden Lake. Short easy hike out the next day. I will say the distance provide here is off quite a bit.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Fantastic backpacking trip!! Super snow fall for this early in the season. Campsites seem to be under construction. But was able to get one and stayed the night. Explored the surrounding trails the whole next day. Beautiful views. Super cold at night, but sunny and warm during the day. The trail to the lake is mainly uphill. Lots of incline and downhill most of the way down. Prepare to get wet shoes lots of slushy snow and some packed ice. Bring spikes or traction shoes if you plan on doing South Sister. Pretty and worth the trip.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Black Crater is an enjoyable seven mile, non-technical hike. The trail was snow covered from the two mile mark to the top. The trail was easy to follow, it was packed down. The views are really spectacular. This is one to put on your list.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

10/05/19 It took over 2 hours to the top and almost half of the hike was in snow which slowed us down. The views were incredible as it was so clear. Definitely the most challenging hike I have ever done.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked the last week of September. The steep uphill kicked my low-elevation MN lungs’ butt, but the whole hike was 100% worth it. We hiked this in the rain and some parts of the rocky trail were a bit slippery in the way down. Gorgeous views from the top, even in the rain and fog. Hiked over 50 miles of trail on a recent trip to Oregon and this trail stands out above others, really enjoyed it!!

hiking
1 month ago

One of my new favorite hikes. It was definitely challenging, but worth it for the amazing views

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Nice cool and shady September 2019 hike. Lots of cut trees from the fire, but easily navigated until the 2 mile point. You have to scramble across the Creek there and the trail is harder to follow.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful and quiet trail in late September.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

I probably would not have gone to this lake as a destination but it was a godsend to have a cold lake nearby after summiting South Sister. I highly recommend soaking your feet and checking out all the cool geology (I.e. cool rocks galore) when you’re there. I took a two hour nap while my socks dried from a very snowy wet summit descent and it was 1000% worth it. WOULD RECOMMEND FOR CAMPING!!! Then summit South Sister :-)

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was a lot of fun, but very crowded. We had to park on the highway and we arrived a little after 9am, which added about a half mile onto the hike. Stunning views of South Sister & Broken Top. Moraine Lake is a nice spot to rest and have lunch while enjoying the amazing scenery. Next time we'll leave the dog at home and hike to the top of S Sister. Speaking of dogs--they are allowed off leash starting 9/15. Also not a single mosquito.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

The trail is every bit of difficult as advertised. Left the trailhead at 440 am and got to the summit at 930 am, beautiful views could see all the way to St Helens. Used microspikes once hit the snow line and definitely made it easier tho they weren’t necessary. Tons of traffic coming up as we were making our way back down. Took a detour and hung out at Moraine lake for an hour and iced our ankles in the cool water. Hitting the trail early definitely made it easier avoiding the foot traffic and the exposure of the sun. The red mile from hell is about as steep a climb as you can find, bite down on your mouth piece and enjoy!

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Started from the todd lake trail head because we wanted to get over No Name lake before the bad weather hit and go counterclockwise(adds about 7.5 miles total) The weather up top was pretty bad with wind and snow making the unmaintained trail a little difficult to find. There was cold wind and rain the entire way until camp at three creek lake so it was a rough night. Originally were going to camp at green lakes the second night but were so wet we just finished the loop instead. Most of the trail is exposed, but it was beautiful even through the burnout. Would highly recommend.

on Black Crater Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail to take if the mountain tops are clear. Otherwise it is a good exercise.

hiking
2 months ago

I enjoyed this trail more than I expected to. It was definitely a challenge for the first mile. The last mile was a bit eerie to me, because I was the only one on the trail and it was extremely quiet. I also didn’t realize I would be so close to the South Sister. I will do the hike again on a clear day and go all the way to the South Sister.

The trail as listed here is not possible. As noted by another reviewer, this route just follows the boundary between two national forests. This boundary happens to go directly over the summits of the three peaks. This is not a possible route. If, instead, you were to take the Green Lakes Trail on the East side of the mountains, you could put together a real loop. I have done a route similar to this, which will put the trip at roughly 60 miles. Absolutely outstanding views. Plenty of water along the entire way. You go through some burned areas on the east side. Tons of pika, marmots, and crazy mushrooms on the west side. Incredible views of Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Bachelor, and Broken Top throughout.

At about two miles in the trail crosses the river but is very hard to follow on the other side. We found something that looked like the trail but ended, then we found another section after wandering around a bit, which also ended. After more wandering we found a third section that blended in with the rest of the vegetation after a bit. At that point we decided to returning that trail but it just ended at the river without a crossing. Last year a big forest fire raged through the area so the original trail may have been severely damaged and not been restored.

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