Tam McArthur Rim Trail

MODERATE 78 reviews
#6 of 122 trails in

Tam McArthur Rim Trail is a 5.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back 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 July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1276 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

trail running

lake

views

wildlife

muddy

Hike in the Three Sisters Wilderness with a great view of Three Creek Lake. From the Three Creeks Lake trailhead, follow a winding switch back single track trail up the mountain out of the tree line, which tops out on the "Tam McArthur Rim" with a great view of Broken Top Mountain and the valley below. You then hike along the rim through a snow field (at least into August) and onto McArthur Rim at an elevation of 7732 feet. From here you have a great view all the way around.

hiking
1 day ago

Hiked yesterday and went about a mile and a half past the sign that says “Trail not maintained” to get to the spot where the view ranged from BrokenTop to Jefferson. Spectacular! So about 8 miles round trip. I’m sure we could have seen Hood on a clear day but threatening clouds were prevalent. Mosquitoes were a problem in the beginning and end of hike below tree line - bring repellent! Lots of snow fields on top but we only lost the trail once and were able to pick it back up without too much trouble. Only encountered a few other hikers.

14 days ago

Great hike. Still some snow but easy to navigate through and around. Mosquitos are brewing so come prepared. Amazing views!

hiking
20 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike! Still a ton of snow which made it difficult to stay on the exact trail but the adventuring was fun trying to find it as we went along. We brought snowshoes and poles and were super glad we did after we got about one mile in. Highly encourage you start early in the day as most of the trail is exposed to the sun.

2 months ago

Beautiful views at he top and it’s worth the hike to get there are see them. Easy morning is best in summer to avoid crowds. Will be doing this hike again, beautiful and fabulous exercise. Would plan 3-4 hours.

3 months ago

One of my favorite hikes! Went in early July, great views with lots of butterflies and blooming flowers! Bit of an incline to the top but it’s well worth it.

hiking
8 months ago

Oct. 16th 2017 Sunny nice day. Snow 2 to 3 feet at upper elevations, but snow on all the trail.

hiking
8 months ago

Mostly dirt, some snowy spots.

hiking
8 months ago

Great views

8 months ago

Stunning views, especially during early fall.

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing hike around the rim. Spectacular view point although the hike.

hiking
9 months ago

Hiked July 23rd: Great hike trail, little busy this time of year. The mosquitoes are bad just past the meadow near the top, BRING BUG SPRAY! This year the butterflies are beautiful and everywhere this year too.

10 months ago

Started hike at sunset. Spent night on trail to watch sunrise and catch some great night time / early morning sunrise colors. Great views and fun trail to hike and explore.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful and scenic even though smoke limited the view. Our dog loves the patches of snow.

10 months ago

This hike was amazing! We originally planned to do the 5 mile roundtrip hike. When we reached the top we continued what we thought was another half-mile past the "end of trail" sign and past the "not maintained trail" sign until we reached a viewpoint of the sisters and broken top. We had to do some exploring to find it. We realized how close we were to broken top and could see a trail beginning on a huge hill, we decided to make the trek since we were close. We followed the ridge line the whole way to the big butte-like formation that blocks the view of broken top for a while. You have amazing 360 views of the cascade range the whole way. The hike is easy with a couple of uphill stretches with snow that makes it slick. When you reach the big rock formation (not sure of the name) you will want to stay left of it and close to the top. There are some sketchy places climbing over boulders near the edge. Once you reach broken top you are able to follow the ridge all the way to where you could climb up broken top to see the views of sisters. We didn't make it down to the lake due to time, which was ok because the lake is still frozen over, and I think the view is more spectacular when the lake is thawed. We made the hike back in good time knowing the trail better, but be careful when you get close to the original trail because the snow can make you lose the trail very easily. The duration of our hike was from 2-7:30, that was with a lot of stops and exploring. Make sure you bring lots of water and reapply your sunscreen!!! We did not come prepared since we didn't know we would be hiking to broken top, so we got toasted. The hike is well worth it though. I highly suggest it!!

hiking
10 months ago

The drive to the Tam McArthur Rim trailhead was paved except for the last mile which was maintained gravel. The hike to the rim was nice. A couple small areas of snow in late July. Lupines were in bloom. The views were very nice. I'd give the rim portion of the hike a solid 4 stars. I continued on the trail to the base of Broken Top. It doubled the mileage and added some elevation, but it was more than worth it. Once you get up to around 8,000 ft you have truly amazing views of Broken Top, all three Sisters, and Bachelor. You also have very good views of Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, and Washington. I could also easily make out Hood and Adams. As a bonus, there were thousands of California Tortoiseshell Butterflies swarming. It was definitely a 5 star day.

11 months ago

Incredible views, but-as a trail runner-I had to turn around about half way through because I kept losing the trail in the snow...

hiking
Sunday, November 20, 2016

Did this trail today, pretty socked in with clouds at the top but some great views on the way up. Had quite a bit of snow. Will be doing this one again.

hiking
Monday, October 03, 2016

Breathtaking views with varying types of foliage. Perfect for the fall, we walked through some light snow but the walk is just difficult enough that we stayed plenty warm. The first 1/3 or so is a fairly steep climb uphill but it mellows out and makes for an easy journey back.

hiking
Sunday, September 11, 2016

We've read about this hike and couldn't wait for the weather to be cooler. It was a beautiful Sunday to hike Tam MacArthur. We knew the trail started at Three Creeks Lake, so we packed a picnic for when when finished the hike. The elevation of the parking lot is at 6550 feet. The first mile of the hike up was pretty steep. We then were up over Three Creeks Lake and it was beautiful. There was a point (and you'll see Jack pointing) where in the view ahead, you could see the Prow we were going to hike to and Jack was pointing to it. After that point, we reached the switchbacks which we were very appreciative of to make it easier going up. The hike up was moderate. We walked thru heavy forests above the lake and then a few meadows. The views were amazing. The one meadow we got to before we went straight up, there was a fork in the trail, but you wanted to take it to the left. Once we made that last trek straight up, we were on the edge and you could see we were very high high, 7732 ft. Once we got to the Prow, we continued west towards the snowfields about another 400 feet up to get a perfect view of the Sisters. Then we turned around and headed back to the Prow where we stopped and took in the 360 degree views. We could see Smith Rock and a lot more. This has been one of our favorite hikes so far. We were not ready to go down, but knew we had to. I always enjoy going back because you can see the hike in a different perspective. Once we got down, we got our picnic and headed to the dock, pulled our shoes off and let them rest in the the cool water. It was a beautiful finish to a wonderful day. By the time we got back to the car, we had hiked a little over 8 miles and over 20,000 steps. What a great day!

hiking
Thursday, September 01, 2016

This is a 5 star hike just for the ratio of hike to view. The overall trail is well-worn and easy to follow (although, at times there are multiple forks along the way). The hike itself is already at such a high elevation that you don't have to climb 1000s of feet to see a good view. Make sure to hike the extra 1.3 miles to the cindercone next to Broken Hand and see the grandeur of the Three Sisters along with a view up and down the Cascade Range. Extend your hike another 0.9 miles to Broken Hand to see the deep blue waters of the lake below Broken Top. Don't attempt to reach the trailhead too early in the season as the Forest Service keeps the road closed often times well into July or early August due to snow at such high elevation. Also, prepare for a substantial amount of exposure to the elements as there is very little shelter along the entire hike. Enjoy!

hiking
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Great hike with my wife and daughter, legs get a wake up right away but then some relief as the trail levels out some then back to steep and level out for most of the way. Can't complain too much about the trail as we saw a cross country team running up and down the trail. Got to the Rim and had a snack. I continued on for a couple more miles until the well-traveled trail ends and then it is kinda sketchy and much caution is recommended from there on. The view of Broken Top's icy blue lake is fantastic. It sits in Broken Top's crater.

hiking
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Great hike! Steep in some spots, and my legs are feeling it the next day, but it was totally worth the views at the top! I followed the path towards Broken Top at the end of the trail, which has an even better view of the Sisters about a mile in. You can follow the path even further towards Broken Top if you feel up for it.

hiking
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Excellent trail! The payoff is so worth it! A little steep in the beginning and at the end but not too bad. I would have rated it as moderate but the conditions were perfect when I went. Definitely doing it again soon.

hiking
Friday, July 08, 2016

Great hike. We went over July 4th weekend. There was still a little snow on part of the trail but still easily done in running shoes. We encountered A LOT of mosquitos. Beautiful view from the top.

hiking
Thursday, July 07, 2016

This trail is fantastic. It is a bit challenging but not too terrible and the rewards are views of nearly all mountains in Central Oregon. For those of you who, like me, are afraid of heights, the last bit of the trail is right along the edge of the rim. You can hike through the brush instead and still get to the top.

hiking
Friday, December 11, 2015

Beautiful views! The trail is great running through burned forests, lush canopies, meadows, and cinder. This trail has scenery for everyone

hiking
Friday, September 18, 2015

Amazing views but s steep hike. Very worthwhile

hiking
Tuesday, September 15, 2015

This is a great hike. Though there are a couple moderately steep stretches in the beginning once on top the hiking is pretty easy. Above treeline the views are excellent. We hiked over to Broken Top. There are views of all three Sister's. If it's going to be a hot day start early to get the hills done while it's cooler of course. There is little shade on top.

hiking
Saturday, September 12, 2015

I really enjoyed hiking this trail. I would suggest you use sunscreen if it is sunny when you go as most of the trail is in the sun. I also continued beyond the trail to the summit where you can see Broken Top's hidden lake. Once section of this later trail was somewhat narrow and foot placement was important.

hiking
Sunday, August 02, 2015

Great hike! Make sure wear high socks, plenty of water! If your knees hurt, the coming down with bug your knees. The hike to the top worth every step... Breathtaking and high!!!!! Bring lunch and stay awhile. Morning hike shade in spots.

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