Browder Ridge Trail to Heart Lake

HARD 17 reviews
#37 of 127 trails in

Browder Ridge Trail to Heart Lake is a 11.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cascadia, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

11.3 miles
2,900 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips




wild flowers


Directions from Sweet Home: Travel east on Hwy. #20 for 34 miles to Forest Road 15 (Deer Creek.) ravel 2.5 miles and turn left on spur road 080 and follow for 0.5 miles to the trailhead. For the eastern approach, follow the directions for Gate Creek Trail.

4 months ago

Hiked this trail today without my Sunflower and with the threat of rain for the afternoon.. Low cloud levels prevented good clear views.
Was on the trail looking for the U.S. Capital Christmas tree ornaments but didn’t find any. SweetHome ranger district lists 3 ornaments on the trail with one being close to Gale creek trail head but found no such trail head or marker. Turned around and headed back down at the 5 miles in.

6 months ago

Hiked it on 6-24-18 to the Ridge. Beautiful hike with moderate amount of wildflowers. Meadows surprisingly were more ferns than flowers, but still good amount of flowers along the way. Difficult elevation. Starts right off with switchbacks, but levels off for the middle of the hike before dealing with more elevation. Had to hike OFF TRAIL through the upper meadow, just past the cliffs, to get to the Ridge. Once at the ridge, continue up Rocky Ridge to grassy/rocky meadow at summit. Wasn't 360° view due to growing trees, but awesome view nonetheless. Mosquitoes were out, but I've seen worse, use spray. Was in the mid-80s, so I only had brought 3 water bottles; really needed more. Passed 5 other groups/people along the trail. Didnt go to the lake. Decent hike.

8 months ago

Great view of the three sisters.

Lot of snow drifts and the forest near the summit is still covered in snow so I would wait until summer.

It would be recommended to wear pants since the trail doesn’t appear to be maintained a whole lot.

Junctions are not marked on the trail so watch your GPS.

4 Parking spots near the trailhead and 2 spots further down the road.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Trail was in generally good condition, though in places it was overgrown. The "trail" to Browder Ridge Summit is absolutely worth the climb. From there there is a 360 degree view of the sisters, Jefferson and even the coastal range. There were clouds and melting snow made the trail wet and soggy. Still I highly recommend this hike.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Browder Ridge is extremely overgrown in places. Be careful in the meadows not to lose the trail or turn your foot in one of the holes burrowed in the dirt that may be hard to see. The scenery is outstanding, bursting with wildflowers right now. You can follow the trail to the summit for the best 360 degree views. Hiked from Browder Ridge trailhead to summit of Browder Ridge for a total of almost 11.5 mi.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

awesome hike. there re still a couple of snow patches , but very passable. I only did up to the ridge, not heart lake(will g back for that) less people on this trail , tons of wild flowers. it was very easy to follow. definitely one of my favorites now.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Great hike for those looking for a trail less traveled. Beautiful alpine vistas after you climb out of the forest, and then huge views around/at the top. My girlfriend and I tried to take the trail to Heart Lake from the main trail but there was still about 4-6 feet of snow covering the area where the Heart Lake trail should have been (mid-June). Overall, definitely a bit of a hidden gem.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

This is my favorite hike. Period. Steep sections, wildflowers, 360° views of the Cascades. Love it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hiked it in fall so it wasn't too overgrown. Good views of the 3 sisters and Mt. Washington. Connects to Heart lake trail and Gate Creek Trail. If you like this trail I would recommend Gate Creek as well.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

This trail is so overgrown. I will definitely wear long pants next time. The scenery was beautiful however.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

SO overgrown but totally beautiful. I would definitely recommend wearing long pants as you will be battling plants almost the entire way. Perhaps not the best option for children due to the insane size and height of the ferns you will be walking through. I did not see a single person the whole day which was totally lovely.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Although the trail description for this page says 7.2 miles, don't be fooled, I tracked it with my GPS and it's more around 8.4miles. This hike is definitely worth the uphill climb for the views you're rewarded with. Pack plenty of food and water (in fact bring extra). Also, be aware of black bears in the area.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I love this hike. It is mostly uphill, but when you get to the top you can see mountains in every direction. It is like sitting on top of the world. It is a good idea to hike with other people on this trail. Mountain lions and bears live up there and you see the scat on the trail or some tree where the bears were looking for bugs to eat.I have hiked it twice, once with another hiker and then as a group of 5 hikers. Bring water, some food, and make sure you hike all the way to the top of Browder's a stoney climb at the end. OMG - on a clear day you will see mountain ranges on both sides. It's so worth it! Not that many people hike this trail. Unlike Iron Mountain which is near this hike...enjoy it! Iron Mountain is nice too, but I think Browder Ridge is just a little nicer, especially at the top of the ridge.

2 months ago

4 months ago

6 months ago

Tuesday, February 07, 2017