Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Blue River with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
3 days ago

Went on this trail yesterday. Very little snow at this point put still lots of water for refills. I didn't feel that the bugs were terrible but bring bug spray anyways. Beautiful hike. Don't forget your permit, they were checking.

hiking
4 days ago

Don't forget the bug spray! Beautiful hike!

This was a great hike! Not super challenging even though it’s rated as hard. Snow was manageable and easy to find the trail again because of footprints in it. First few miles are really boring though and there are already so many mosquitos so be ready for that. I’d definitely go again.

The rock slide in FR19 is still there and it doesn't sound like there is a plan for clearing it anytime soon, so find an alternative route.

also, the trail is closed from the south entrance near Frissell Crossing Campground, so try to enter from the north.

pretty hike, though

hiking
20 days ago

Easily one of my favorite backpacking trips ever. Considerable snow on the ground, but nothing knee deep. At the very end of the first half of the trail, where it meets the PCT, there was a dangerous icy patch. If you plan on going that far to pitch your tent, would bring ice spikes to cross into that part. It freezes from slush to ice. Brought a friend who never backpacked before and she loved every second. Wouldn’t rate this as difficult. Rather...medium. The views are insane. You’ll have limited reception in some areas! Make sure you have a map. Some areas can get tricky, and you might find yourself on the PCT accidentally.

backpacking
21 days ago

Hiked the loop clockwise starting from the Green Lakes TH last week. The entire east side is snow-free from South Matthieu Lake until a good way up the climb to Green Lakes pass. The PCT is open again after the fires, but still under a lot of snow. We were only the second set of tracks, so if you hike it this early, bring a good GPS.

Beautiful, though!

Lots of people at blue pool but it's gorgeous!

This isn't a hike for those in search of amazing views along the trail. You will be in the forest for the duration of the hike until reaching the lakes. The lakes are awesome and well worth the hike. This hike does allow for the option of adding 2.6 miles to summit Scott Mountain. This will give you amazing views of the Cascades. I did this hike in mid June and didn't run into any other hikers. There is still a bit of snow, but its melting pretty quick.

Great trail! We did it on a Monday so there weren't any crowds, though after sitting at the Blue Pool for about 20min the crowds started coming from the opposite direction. Like one of the other reviews said, not a hard hike, but it is 12mi round trip so be ready for that.
We put our feet in the water at Clear Lake when we got back, had a beer and then hit the road. A great day!

backpacking
1 month ago

Did a quick overnight to Olallie Mountain. The road in is fine. I came in from 126 and took 19 down to the damn and crossed over, following 1993 all the way to the trailhead without any problem. The trail itself wasn't in too bad of shape for the early season. Some blow downs to traverse due to the fire here last year. The burn is patchy hear and there alternating with green. Views from the top were pretty spectacular as you can see the whole forest basin between Olallie and the three sisters. I'm sure this is why the lookout tower is here. There aren't many good flat spots on top to pitch a tent and the ground is really rocky making a free standing tent a better option. Quick hike with great views.

Was an amazing hike. Waterfalls, clear lake, and blue pool all in a day! What more can you ask for. All in all not very hard, but pretty long. Would recommend.

backpacking
5 months ago

A few friends and I backpacked this loop last August. We entered at the Devil’s lake trailhead and proceeded counter clockwise from there. We made it as far as camp lake which is a amazing side trip and worth the extra distance. Unfortunately, we were diverted from there due to a large wildfire north of Camp Lake. Rangers had closed the entire west side of the loop and were rerouting PCT hikers east and then south to avoid problems. We ended up circumnavigating Broken Top and cut the trip short. I will most certainly be going back to finish this loop. Be sure to secure permits for the Obsidian area in advance of your trip, they’re limited.

backpacking
5 months ago

Loved Three-Sisters- although this trail is not 35 mi- it is 45-50 miles depending on your entry point. I hiked clock-wise over 3 days 3 nights beginning at Pole Creek- there is no camping in the burn area at Pole Creek until you reach your first unnamed lake. There was no campfires allowed in Deschutes when I was there- which was not long after the big fire. This may have changed but I would check before going. Green Lakes was amazing, I went swimming in the water and spent plenty of time enjoying myself there, as I suggest to anyone taking this loop! Obsidian Falls was beautiful as well, but again- you can't camp here without special permits. Collier Cone was a long ascent and had limited water- but we never ran out. Overall it was amazing and 10/10 would return.

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing, especially if you like being up close and personal with a volcanic eruption zone! The field of obsidian at the base of the mountains sparkles like diamonds. Lots of springs & alpine meadows. Easy to medium difficulty. Walked the last four miles out by the light of a full moon, which I photographed rising over Middle Sister. Didn’t need a flashlight! Went mid-September, fewer hikers but cool and rather windy. Excellent hike!

just me and my wife hiked the trail till dark and pulled off the trail and camped for the night awesome time

I give this trail only four stars because of how crowded blue pool was. Even though it was beautiful there it made it seem as if you hadn't hiked all that way. Along the way though I saw no one not a soul !! It was beautiful and green and quite lush. The falls weren't as crowded as I had thought especially since it was a Saturday but I was there pretty early. I decided to make a camping trip out of it and it all worked out well. Oh and if you do go guard your stuff especially at blue pool I had my temper pad and my rain tarp stolen. Quite upset about that.

You can access this trail if you come in on FS Road 1993 from Cougar Dam. The road is located right next to the Echo trailhead on the east side of the lake. Five miles up is the Saddle Trail head which climbs about 1300 ft in 1.8 miles to the Olallie Trail just north of the Horse Pasture Mtn. junction.. You can also drive another 6 miles past this point (the road is in good shape) to the Pat Saddle Trailhead, The trail runs right thru here, and you can head south about 3 miles to the top of Olallie Mtn or north 6.5 miles back to Horse Pasture Mtn.

hiking
11 months ago

Dayhiked on 7/14. Pleasant trail, loved the lava section! Would rate as moderate, as no real strenuous parts. Completed in 5 hours, some slowness due to snow. The upper loop (after hitting the meadow area) still has a LOT of solid snow on the trail, mostly easy to walk on, but we lost the trail quite a few times.

great day hike, might be busy with people hitting the blue pool and water falls along the way, I got out there early before every started showing up. would definitely do it again.

backpacking
Friday, June 16, 2017

INACCESSIBLE!! there are two huge landsides 6 miles before the trail head. we went over the first.it consisted of a rockslide.huge boulders. but we made it threw alright. about half a mile up from that there is another huge rockslide at least twice the size and going over the edge of a steep cliff along with a crap ton of mud.we were very disappointed but it simply wasn't safe to go around. all the trails up that road are closed. they need to update these trails more often

backpacking
Friday, May 19, 2017

my dad and i have done this, i think it was a little longer then 32 miles, i think it was more around 50. Best area ive seen i love it and look forward to going back in july.

Did part of this trail after hiking all day would like to go back and finish the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Great trip make sure you have a lot of daylight especially if you do the whole loop! Great views of Scott Mountain , Mt Washington, north and middle sister , and three fingered Jack!! I would reccommend it to anyone wanting to take a challenging but rewarding trail!

backpacking
Saturday, November 05, 2016

This hike requires a permit which you must get online. The geologic features made this hike worth doing. The PCT stretch sports great views of North and Middle Sister.

This is my favorite day hike in Oregon.

hiking
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

We did go on a cloudy day and didn't get to see the Middle and North Sister at trot best. Make sure you pay the 6 dollar fee online otherwise it's 200 bucks a head if caught. Arrowhead lake is a mile off the lollipop loop but worth it.

hiking
Saturday, August 06, 2016

We hiked this trail with our 12 year old son who just loves any kind of rocks, especially Obsidian. Started early after getting the right permits the day before. It was a gorgeous day. However, the first several miles are pure boredom with nothing to see but the path and trees. Not very motivating for a youngster. Once it joins the PCT it gets way more interesting with views and the famous obsidian rock flows. The sun was just perfect to capture the light off the obsidian rocks, it looked like black glass. But of course you have to hike back to your car again, thru the boring parts. I don't think it wa really worth the 11 mile effort. Especially not for a youngster.

hiking
Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Awesome!

I hiked the trail as an out-and-back, parking at Trail Bridge (trailhead for Tamolitch blue pool) walking up to Clear Lake before turning back.

It was a beautiful day in late May and it wasn't too hard for me to give the trail 5 stars. In eight miles (one way) the trails passes by 4 amazing sites: Tamolitch blue pool, Koosah falls, Sahalie Falls and Clear Lake. Not to mention the McKenzie river itself.

The relative short hike to the "main attractions" means, of course, that traffic is moderate to heavily depending on day of the week and time of day. I started early (7:45 am) to enjoy the "out" part of the hike almost all by myself.

At Trail Bridge (ample parking along the road), the trail starts with a short descent to the west bank of the McKenzie that it then follows closely over relatively flat ground for about half a mile. This section ends after crossing a side stream over a wooden bridge,

After that, the trail becomes a bit more "technical" as the following mile or so weaves through lava rocks and gains elevation over the McKenzie, offering some nice views of the river from a series of cliff-top overlooks. If you look upstream, you will start seeing the bend in the river that indicates the location of the blue pool. This section ends at the blue pool that obviously deserve a few minutes to take this unique feature in.

The next section goes from the Blue Pool to the Carmen reservoir and it is the only section were the river is "missing" (as it works its way underground via lava tubes). Towering cliffs to the East, across the dried up river bed trace the curved edge of the ancient river bend. The disappearance of the lava makes for easier footing and a thicker canopy with even some old growth as the trail gets closer to the reservoir. The trail goes over a few (4?) log bridges before reaching the edge of the Carmen Reservoir that it follows for a quarter mile.

Past the reservoir, the trail climbs more noticeably as it approaches first Koosah falls and then Sahalie. A side use trail drops to the edge of the McKenzie to provide frontal views of the Sahalie falls amphitheater. The view of the falls are not a "open" as from the East bank but they have the advantage of being a bit less crowded.

Past Sahalie, the trail levels to follow the side of the McKenzie before crossing the river over a large wooden bridge. A short distance after, the trail crosses OR126 and the turn-off to ColdWater Cove on NF770.

The last leg of the journey climbs to the edge of Clear Water Lake where it merges with the Clear Lake trail (4341) at an intersection. I took the right branch to the ColdWater Cove Camping and Boat Ramp (after crossing a last lava flow on a paved section). A few good spots along the lake for a bit of rest, lunch and a soak of sore feet in the startlingly cold water before the 8 miles journey back.

Three thousand year old trees stand preserved at the bottom of this lake. Melted snow from Mt. Jefferson takes twenty years to filter through lava beds as it makes its way to the lake. You can rent row boats and kayaks to go out on the water and for a full day of fun. Nice camps sites also.

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