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.

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.

3 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.

3 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.

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.

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.

11 months ago

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

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.

This is my favorite day hike in Oregon.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016


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.

The lake is so beautiful! The trail that goes around the lake gives you great views of the lake and you walk through some cool lava fields. The water in this lake looks like the tropics, as long as you do not touch it as it is freezing mountain water!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Beautiful trail. I'll do it again

Thursday, December 10, 2015

This was a great loop hike. I would rate it in the moderate category rather then easy. I guess it would depend on how much time you have. Plan your trip carefully as there is no camping in the burn section.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Nice loop trip. I went counter-clockwise. There's no camping in the burn area on the East and Northeast parts of the loop, so be prepared for that. There's no water in the 6.1 miles between Matthieu Lakes and White Glacier Creek. Camped the last night at Sister's Mirror lake, which was lovely.

Enjoyed this trail a lot. Trails are well maintained, and well marked, making them easy to navigate. We found the waterfalls were crazy busy as was Tamolitch Pool, it's to be expected with easy access and a pretty easy hike to the pool. Looking forward to exploring more of the this beautiful trail.

Fun Hike! Just very long. We felt the pain going through rocky lava beds at points, but some parts were paved. lots of birds, beautiful water. friendly people everywhere too!

We hiked this area today and it was an absolutely gorgeous sunny day for mid-October in western Oregon. We hiked from the Clear Lake lodge north around the lake, down the east side and the waterfalls trail to the south, and then back up along the west side of the lake for a long loop. I had never been up there before, but I definitely want to go again. The lake was beautiful and the trails well maintained. The scenery was really nice and there were a handful of huge old-growth trees along the trail. Not a real difficult hike, even though it was fairly long, but there weren't huge numbers of people either. Quite a few more people were parked at the main trailhead for the waterfalls than were out hiking at the lake. Definitely recommend.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

One of the best backpacking areas that I have ever seen. You cannot have fires at Obsidian Springs, but camping nearby is a great idea because the water is the best I've ever tasted and doesn't need to be filtered! Absolutely beautiful every step of the way.

one of my favorite paces on earth! I have been camping at Clear Lake for all my life, and take my kids there every summer. we love to hike this trail. the most beautiful water, and falls in Oregon.

Awesome hike! Lots to see! Blue pool is amazing, looks like you are in hawaii! 4 miles in and 4 miles out crossing cool bridges and lots of places to stop and take photos! Highly recommend this one!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Forested trail until reaching the PCT/Junction to Linton Meadow. Still lots of snow covering the trails near the PCT. The ascent is steady and not cruelly steep. Not really a 'fun' trail. Bug nuisance factor is very high. This was an out & back hike.

Load More