Tam McArthur Rim Trail

MODERATE 108 reviews
#8 of 127 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
1,276 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.

backpacking
3 days ago

What an amazing hike,
Theres a huge Creek and such geometrical forms on the trail,
It was the perfect weather and great sunrise to watch

hiking
3 days ago

Took us a little while to find the trailhead because we accidentally passed it and were looking past the campgrounds. The trailhead is right next to the first place you can get a wilderness pass. There's a second spot by the campgrounds which we made the mistake of going to. The trail was beautiful, just hard enough but not too hard and the view was amazing. Very busy trail though, lots of people to pass and let pass.

21 days ago

The views are great. The hike wasn’t actually as hard as we thought until the very end. Definitely a hike to do in the early morning as the end is in full song.

hiking
1 month ago

The views are amazing!

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail! 3rd time we’ve hiked it...normally we go in the fall but decided to try it today. We did find one very small snowfield which our dog enjoyed. Additionally we found several varieties of wild flowers in bloom which was a nice treat. The views were spectacular....Mt Bachelor all the way to Mt Hood! One of our favorite hikes in all of Central Oregon and highly recommend it if you only have time for one hike.

1 month ago

Stunning views and lots of butterflies! Bring water and bug spray

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike yesterday, a Wednesday. There was a lot of cars at the trailhead but they seemed to mostly be at the lake. We only passed three groups the entire hike! The view at the very top is well worth the climb, but go expecting a fairly consistent uphill walk for at least 2 miles out of the 3 up. Beautiful views, wildlife and flowers- but wear bug spray! We got eaten alive!

hiking
1 month ago

Such a beautiful hike! Start early and beat the crowd and the heat.

hiking
1 month ago

Completed this today with three kids and two dogs. The trail is straight forward and offers great views throughout the Three Creeks Lake region, the greater Sisters area, and up to 11 peaks. Today we saw into Washington and at the rim point had everything from Bachelor to Adams. The trail is dusty and exposed so better in morning or later afternoon. Bring lots of water and if you have dogs be sure they are leashed at the top due to the trail going right next to a 500+ foot cliff face. The hike affords great views and are awarded all the time. Once at the top of the ridge, it is flat until the final pitch up to the point. In the end, be sure to cool your feet in Three Creeks Lake. This time of year shows lots of alpine lupin, butterflies, and blue skies.

Beautiful views! Go early as it gets hot and the butterflies come out...like really come out!!

1 month ago

Stunning views at the top! And the butterflies were thick! Steady up not too strenuous. Very little snow to navigate. One of my favorite hikes to date.

hiking
2 months 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.

2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months 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.

3 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.

5 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
10 months ago

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

hiking
10 months ago

Mostly dirt, some snowy spots.

hiking
10 months ago

Great views

10 months ago

Stunning views, especially during early fall.

hiking
11 months ago

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

hiking
11 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.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

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
Wednesday, August 09, 2017

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

Sunday, July 30, 2017

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
Thursday, July 27, 2017

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.

Monday, July 03, 2017

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!

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