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Black Crater Trail

HARD 106 reviews
#4 of 20 trails in

Black Crater Trail is a 7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sisters, Oregon that offers the chance to see wildlife and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 7.0 miles Elevation Gain: 2,355 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bird watching

views

wildlife

Trail is re-opened. Please check Forest Service web site for the most up to date information on trail and road closures/changes.

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
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.

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
2 months ago

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

hiking
snow
2 months ago

recorded Black Crater Trail

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

Excellent views along the way up, and even better at the top. Clearly defined trail was easy to follow, and not overly narrow. Took about 4 hours with spending 30 minutes at the top and going at a moderate pace.

hiking
4 months ago

7/23/19. This hike has a lot of character beginning through a burnt forest and moving through a green forest to views of Mt. Washington and the three sisters. It’s beautiful and was lightly trafficked when we were there mid week in July. We are fairly fit hikers and it took us about 2.5 hrs up and just over an hour down. It gets windy at the top, a layer is recommended if in the early summer or fall. Highly recommend!!

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked 7/22/19. There were some snow fields near the top, we were able to go around it. Views of the North Sister are amazing and worth every mile. The section through the burn from last year is starting to recover and there were little ferns, wildflowers, and butterflies everywhere giving it a magical feeling.

hiking
4 months ago

July 15, Hike up the mountain on overcast day with just a few sprinkles of rain. Black Crater hiking trail was in good shape, we had go around one snow patch. No problems! Windy at the summit, view were great even with a overcast day. Damage from the forest fire is going to take some time to recover. We met a few hiker on the trail, tough climb to the summit.

hiking
4 months ago

July 10: Only one large snow patch to cross at the top, and it does not obscure the trail. No bugs. First 2.5 mi is all burn area before it starts to improve slightly. Do on a cool day or early morning as no shade. Great workout as trail climbs 3.5 miles to a very cool summit with great Cascade views.

hiking
snow
5 months ago

Great hike, but still enough snow to make it hard to get to the top.

hiking
5 months ago

Super fun hike for two gals coming out of winter hibernation. Very steep in sections, but very doable. After about two miles, sections of the trail were hard to find due to snow fields. We made it to the summit and found the actual trail for the way back down. Windy and cold up top. Would definitely recommend trekking poles until snow melts.

hiking
6 months ago

NOTE: Didn't hike the entire trail. The main reason I am making a note here is to let you know that you need to add 3 miles, each way, to your hike if the gate is closed for the winter. My entire hike was 10 miles as I only ended up going up a mile of this trail, plan on doing so again as some point in the future.

hiking
Fri Sep 28 2018

Sad to see all of the burned out area, but if you stick it out to the top you will finally get to unburned area. Views from the top today were awesome. Actual up and back trail length is 7.2 miles.

hiking
Mon Sep 24 2018

I hiked this trail last summer, just a week before the fire. Really glad to have had the chance to hike through the forested areas and meadows before they burned. It took me just over 90 minutes to reach the top. Many of the other reviews here have mentioned the amazing views at the summit. Yep, I agree, although the day I went up it was quite smokey. Mt. Washington, for example, was barely visible through the haze. I'd love to go up again on a clear day. If you're reasonably fit and an experienced hiker, this isn't a difficult trail. Just as I was coming out to the parking lot, I saw a couple just getting ready to go up. It was already past noon, so they'd be hiking during the hottest part of the day. They were wearing light-duty sneakers and blue jeans and had just one small bottle of water for the two of them. For these hikers, the trail may have been difficult.... Just a minor correction on the trail info provided here: according to the info sheet provided by the Deschutes National Forest Ranger Station in Sisters, it's 8.6 miles roundtrip (or 13.8km for us Canadians) with an elevation gain of 2351 feet/716m.

hiking
Tue Sep 11 2018

The trail reopened recently after the Milli Fire in 2017, so we took the opportunity to hike it on Thursday. The trail itself was very defined, but a large portion of the forest is completely burned. Although an interesting sight to see, I was definitely more on edge worrying about snags falling..so I was eager to get past the fire damage. Unfortunately, it was hazy the day we went, so our views were very limited at the summit, but on a clear day this hike would be absolutely beautiful. There is something so cool about walking through the burned sections and seeing the wildflowers and nature growing back. We only passed one other person the entire hike. Make sure to bring sunscreen, as the tree cover is now gone. I had never hiked this trail before the fire, so I have nothing to compare it to.. but I think it is still worth doing now after the damage.

hiking
Sun Sep 02 2018

We did this hike on September 1 and the trail was open, albeit with a warning that snags could fall on your head. The bottom 75% of the trail is completely burned to charcoal and the trail, although obvious, is very dusty/ashy. Upside: It's marvelous seeing how small plants are already hard at work re-colonizing the ashes. Downside: The dirt is very fine and gets kicked up into a lingering cloud when hiking in a group. If you are sensitive to particulate matter you might want to bring a scarf or mask at least until the winter rains have gotten a chance to damp down the dust. However the view at the top is worth it if you can stand the slog! Clear views of Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Three-Fingered Jack, Mt. Hood, the Sisters, Broken Top, Little and Big Belknap craters, and some amazing lava flows. Great places to eat lunch with the views at the top. We're a moderately in-shape group of mixed ages and it took us 4.5 hours round trip included multiple geology nerd breaks and lunch.

Fri Aug 11 2017

Challenging hike, totally worth it once you get to the top! It's only 4 miles up, but you are going at an incline pretty much the entire way. I did this on a Saturday afternoon and only saw 1 other group.

Mon Jul 17 2017

great rewards at summit cool shaded trail

Wed Jul 12 2017

This hike was AMAZING! This was my first small hike section of the PCT which was thrilling. You start the hike into Alpine woods, then get into the lava fairly quickly. The views start beautiful and only get better. Didn't go all the way to the top because my family had to tap out, but I did get a few fun pictures of sitting in snow in July. Fairly dusty!

hiking
Wed Jul 05 2017

Hiked up on a sunny 80 degree day, medium shade most of the way. A few downed trees in the first mile or two. Last two miles still had snow. Brought Micro-spikes and poles (great for the descent in afternoon slush) and followed the dirty footprints in the snow up the trail and then straight up along the east edge a snowfield that lies to the west of the actual trail Incredible views of every cascade peak from Broken Top and Three Sisters to up to Mt Hhod (even the tip of Mt Adams) Bring optics if you have them, 10x42 enhanced the already stellar views. The summit was windy and clear of snow. Take the actual trail down til it becomes covered and it is easy to pick up the improvised route along the snowfield from there. Cheers!

hiking
Fri Sep 30 2016

Mostly trees and shade until the last 1/2 mile. Too steep to run down. Beautiful all around.

hiking
Mon Sep 12 2016

Shady trail opens up into beautiful view. Terrific summit with an excellent view of the Sisters

hiking
Sun Sep 04 2016

I really enjoyed this hike! It is fairly uphill the entire way there so a decent challenge, but the trail is very evident so no fear of getting off route. I did this hike on my own and had a wonderful time. The summit is windy and cold so remember layers. Took me 2 1/2 hours total and I spent a good amount of time soaking in the view before heading back down.

hiking
Sat Aug 27 2016

Good hike with amazing views at the top. The hike isn't exceptionally beautiful (although still nice) but the 360 degree views at the top make this tough hike worth it. Took about an 2.5 hours round trip. I read some reviews that said there were a lot of trees across the trail...it's all clear now.

Sun Aug 14 2016

Final view feels like you are on top of the world

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