Matthieu Lakes Trail

MODERATE 47 reviews
#13 of 127 trails in

Matthieu Lakes Trail is a 6.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Sisters, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
849 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

Nice day hike near Sisters Oregon in the Three Sisters Wilderness Area. The trip up to South Lake has an elevation change about 800 feet over 3/4 a mile. The trail is great for backpacking. If you're out of shape this can be a little tough.

1 day ago

Hot weather and scary, burned forest, but the trail was easy and North Matthieu was beautiful. No bugs!

2 days ago

Pretty good hike and fairly easy. Less that 1000 ft of elevation gain and the path is nice. Lots of burn area which is a little unsettling. Most trees look like they could tip at any time. Both lakes are cool and it’s fun to see the PCT hikers come through! Follow all our adventures on Instagram @themicrotourists.

5 days ago

simply beautiful! it was interesting walking through the burned area from 2017 and the snippet of PCT was astounding.

hiking
14 days ago

Total mileage is about 5.7 miles actually (tracked with Gaia). Beautiful easy hike. The burned out parts of the forest are stunning. Total loop took just under 2 hours. Nice way to break up the drive to Bend from Eugene.

backpacking
29 days ago

Discovered this trail after Three Fingered Jack was too hot (90s) for my pup. Even though the temperature still soared, there was enough tree coverage to provide adequate shade even through the burnt forest. Plus, the lakes are so lovely.

The trail is moderately easy with a minimal incline leading up to the south lake. There are at least seven campgrounds, one of which we stayed in. Don’t skip the northern lake as it has beautiful views of the surrounding area and a few additional campgrounds. Don’t be alarmed when you pass two blackened lakes on your way- those are ponds and are not the water feature.

1 month ago

Epic views! Lots of burned areas but there were also a lot of amazing sights which made this short hike well worth it. Maybe it was me but it felt like much more gain than 900 ft. Could have been the elevation that had me more winded than usual. Surprisingly the mosquitoes were almost non existent today. A few annoying biting flies but even those were sparse.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike to North Matthieu Lake. Well worth the effort and gorgeous views as you go. A few things others haven't mentioned yet -
1) Don't take your first right if you have joined the hike from the Lava Camp Lake parking lot. If you do that first right - you will end up hiking on a lava trail to the Pac Crest Trailhead. This trail however, has a lot of amazing views of the mountains that you may not otherwise see - but is very hard if you aren't sure footed.

2) MOSQUITOES - Lots of them. Maybe there was just a hatch, but WOW. Take your repellent. Along with the swarms of mosquitoes you will also experience dive bombing and head circling big flies. Miserable if you aren't prepared. Our baby wore a buff to cover his head, ears and neck to stop the complete meltdown.

3) The trail feels like you will never make it to the lake and keeps going up - but don't give up. Once you feel like you may have gone the wrong way, and you will never get there - it will be right around the corner. :)

4) Dogs - off leash everywhere. Just be aware if you have your dog with you - and are using a leash - that almost everyone else isn't. Bummer for those that care and leash their dogs.

We will be doing this hike again - and will get to the South Lake the next time - as well as to see the crater everyone talks of.

Go for it!!

hiking
1 month ago

Worth hiking! I have never been so close to the North Sister. Also, I enjoyed snow near the South Matthieu - the 2nd of July!

hiking
1 month ago

This was a REALLY beautiful hike!! Went on 6/29, We started on the PCT at hwy 242, took the lava fields to the trailhead, it added an extra 2 Miles total to the hike but it was well worth it. Then we followed the lava wall all the way for the most part and you could also just follow the PCT the whole way to the south lake, then follow the lake trail all the way back for the loop. Both lakes were gorgeous!! The signs and directions seemed backwards to us, so we added some extra miles, but still fun and found another hike for another day! The directions on some of these trail signs are misleading to say the least. Easy to follow the lava wall. That is the reason for only 4 stars. And it was steeper than I anticipated. I’m not in terrible shape, but it was definitely a good up hill workout

hiking
1 month ago

Make sure to take the Lake trail up and the PCT down to maximize views! Watch your steps coming down. Trail has slippery rubble. Burnt forest is strangely beautiful. A good reminder of how fragile our forest ecosystems are. The lakes are beautiful not too many people but the bugs are out.

3 months ago

Hiked this last season was so beautiful

3 months ago

This was such a beautiful hike

hiking
Friday, August 11, 2017

Fun quick hike to pretty little lakes. the water was quite warm and surprisingly, no mosquitos.

hiking
Saturday, July 22, 2017

Great day hike. Not too tough, not too many mosquitoes, and very pretty

hiking
Monday, July 10, 2017

The kids and I really enjoyed this hike. The first 1.25 miles or so are unimpressive and were mosquito-ridden when we hiked, but that changed once we approached N. Matthieu Lake. The mosquitos disappeared at that point and the views became gorgeous. Both Matthieu Lakes, though quite different, are beautiful - and the water surprisingly warm. Hike around the east side of the south lake for a view of Bend in the distance. On the way back we hiked the PCT branch, which offered spectacular views of the lava field around Dee Wright and the mountains to the west including Belknap Crater and Mt. Washington. The parking lot was full when we arrived at Noon, but was mostly empty by the time we left at about 4:30pm.

hiking
Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Gorgeous hiking! Several small meadow edges still had paintbrush & wild aster. I took the north lake trail (& forgot to turn on record until much later). I was on a photo shoot hike so didn't quite make it to the lake. Got lots of great painting material though. My painter's eyes were delighted & my feets were happy. Trail follows the south side of the lava flow, so lots of interesting formations & out croppings.

I'd call this one on the easy side of moderate. Not as tough as Black Butte but not a stroll either.

Tru Denton's review has the most accurate directions. I drove straight to it. Signage is for Lava Lake Camp, as he says.

hiking
Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Another fun hike with some great views and even better ones if you feel like scrambling up the hill above one of the lakes. Great fun for the whole family.

hiking
Sunday, August 14, 2016

From Lava Camp Lake walked to South Matthieu lake then to North Matthieu lake, returning to Lava Camp Lake via the PCT. Almost no mosquitos the entire walk. Heading north on the PCT from North Matthieu provides some grand views of lava fields, a few wild flowers, and some Cascade peaks. Nice short day hike.

backpacking
Monday, August 08, 2016

Beautiful little lake with easy access from Lava Lake. Barely any mosquitos and few other over nighters on a Thursday and Friday. We did see a number of day hikers and met numerous people hiking the PCT, one couple had even started from Mexico back in April and was heading on to Canada hoping to arrive in September! Amazing group of hikers. We took a day hike to Opie Dilldock pass and were rewarded with incredible views of the mountains, varied terrain (from forest to lava flows and open alpine meadows) and wildflowers in their glory! Weather was perfect, not too hot and it was an incredible experience!

hiking
Monday, October 13, 2014

A long-ish day hike on a cloudless Saturday in October. Easy parking at the Lava camp area, right at the trail-head. (trail #4060 "Lava Camp LK"). This quickly leads to the PCT Trail #2000 (or "PCNST" on the signs). After about .75miles on the PC(NS)T the North Matthieu Lake Trail (Trail #4602) continues on the right, staying close to the lava flow wall. Both lakes were quiet and deserted when I reached them at about 9:30 AM (the North lake had quite a few campers getting ready for the night when I returned to them at 4:00 PM). The North lake has 7 designated camp sites; the South lake (smaller and more exposed) has only 3. Shortly before reaching the South Matthieu Lake, the trail merges back with the PCT. Since I had visited both lakes early in the morning I continued on the PCT first to skirt the Yapoah Crater and then on to a scramble up Collier Cone. The views (especially to the North) between South Matthieu lake and Collier Cone are stunning. The strenuous climb to the lip of Collier Cone is well rewarded by up-close views of North Sister, the Collier Glacier down Middle Sister and finally, to the right, Little Brother. This hike made for a long day (starting at 8:30am and returning at 4:30pm) ... but it was well worth every step. I gave 5 starts to the whole hike; maybe 4 or 4.5 just getting to the two lakes

hiking
Sunday, August 24, 2014

Good but not spectacular. Easy to get to from Sisters. I recommend following Tru Denton's instructions to the trailhead.

hiking
Saturday, August 09, 2014

This relatively easy loop includes stops at both North and South Mattieu Lake. There are also views of the central Cascade volcanoes, including Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington, Belknap Crater, and the northern Three Sisters. The lakes were bright blue, wildflowers were out, and the trail was in great shape.
Highly recommended if you are in the area.
Photos from the trip can be found at my website: http://ianfaulds.com/shots-and-stories/the-oregon-whirlwind

hiking
Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Great views of the Sisters from the PCT portion of the loop going up to the south lake!

hiking
Sunday, August 19, 2012

Directions to trailhead incomplete. Trailhead is off SR 242, 13.9 miles west of Sisters. Look for Lava Camp Lake/Pacific Crest trail sign, there is NO Mattieu Lakes sign on 242. Drive .3 miles over rough road to campground-this road will split; take the right fork and park in campground parking lot. Trailhead starts here. The Mattieu Lakes trail is about a six mile loop that takes you past both the North and South lakes. As you hike in, you will come to a junction where you can either go left to South lake or right to North lake. Some people hike just to the North lake and back, but the beautiful views are found on the trail to South lake and South lake has a wonderful view of North Sisters. North lake is pretty, but no views. Some websites describe this hike as easy, but there is a definite climb and the trail is more accurately described as moderate.

hiking
Monday, August 13, 2012

We took the south lake trail and came down by north Matthieu Lake. It was a long uphill on the way up but not steep. Beautiful views at the top! Finished our trip by driving up to the observatory.

hiking
2 days ago

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hiking
16 days ago

recorded Laura’s birthday 2018

hiking
29 days ago

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