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.

wonderful trail, wish we budgeted more time to explore more at the top, it really is one of those hikes that starts off pretty mellow and then provides more and more amazing sights as you near the end

hiking
5 days ago

The burn was impressive. The views were great. Hiked up to substitute point the trail was hard to find but a little bit of know how and tracking other people’s foot prints we were able to keep on the trail. It was a amazing view!

Take the loop left (glacier trail first) for awesome views of he mountains. Otherwise you hike down with them at your back. Awesome trail not to steep but a steady hill up/down.

backpacking
26 days ago

Absolutely beautiful. Did an overnight hike - went south on the PCT and camped at Eileen Lake. First day on the Obsidian Trail featured bright blue skies and gorgeous sun. The next day was classic NW fog, mist, and moody skies. It was like an entirely different trail. Both days were stunning. Pretty easy hike - no major climbs! Spooky burn areas - very surreal!

We were amazed by the clear blue waters of the river not to mention the beauty of Sahalie Falls. We absolutely loved it!! We definitely would hike it again next time we are in the area. :)

I’ve hiked to the falls 3 times now, never been disappointed. Go in early September for less snow, more wildlife/LESS MOSQUITOS!

backpacking
1 month ago

One star for a craptastic map of a five star hike.

This map is garbage. Do not rely on the author's way points (there are none, btw). The Sisters Loop is approximately 55 miles if you include a summit of South Sister. If you inspect this map closely you will see that it completely abandons the trail on the east side of the loop and appears to walk along the ridge line from peak to peak.

We camped at ice cap campground, from there it was a short hike to koosha falls about ten mins, easy to moderate hike to Sahalie Falls about twenty- thirty minutes. The trail is well maintained and the views are picturesque, but only from a distance. It’s not designed to get you right up to the water, but if you’re semi skilled you can scramble down some slick side trails for a closer look. Just use your head. This water is cold. Not swimmable.
From there we decided to go to Blue Pool. We turned around and headed down and South along the river. It pops out at a reservoir. Beautiful blue, exposed and you can see the fish it’s so clear. The correct way is to bear right, go across the bridge along the gravel road you’ll pass a trailhead sign on the right, but keep going towards the bathrooms that’s where the trail picks backup and you head back into the woods. If you go left, you end up going around the whole lake and the only way to cross is a water crossing, freezing above knee fast moving water. Then bushwhacking for about ten minutes bearing slightly left, slightly up hill. You’ll hit the trail, but keep a close eye out for it. From there it is shady forest with a few quick views of the river. The trail is downhill mostly for about 2 1/2-3 hours with breaks and no rushing. You pass people but in general it’s quite and beautiful. Five wooden log bridges, single rail. Give space between people crossing you can feel the logs bounce with too many people. When you arrive at blue pool be prepared for people. Lots of people in swimsuits, not swimming. I felt bad for them because it looks so good, you want to, but you’re going to freeze your butt off. Every once in awhile you’ll hear or see a person get in and immediately start to suffer. This water is 37 degrees, it’s hypothermia heart stopping cold. Don’t be a fool. There are better places to swim. This is for looking. And there is no easy way down to the water.
Be advised the return trip is uphill somewhat and about 3 hours back. There are other ways to hike to blue pool that are much shorter, that’s why so many people.
So our total trip was about 8 miles with the side trips to the falls. I would have given it 5 stars, but the trail signage was extremely lacking. There were a lot of people who gave bad advice on which way to go. So trust the map you bring. Happy trails!

2 months ago

At the top, Obsidian Falls is worth the grueling hike. Good entry to 3 Sisters Wilderness for backpacking

hiking
2 months ago

The most beautiful hike I have been on in the States. Requires a reservation, which is a pain to get but worth the trouble. I’ve done this twice, both times in August. There is nothing on earth like the obsidian fields, they glow in the sunlight, absolutely worth the trip. Plus Middle Sister looms directly overhead after you punch up out of the forest. This is full of cliffs, peaks, dells, forests, lava rocks and obsidian glass. Stunning, do not pass up the opportunity.

There is a pretty nice little stream right before the loop at the end. Easy refill if you have a means for purification.

Bugs were not an issue, and I hit no snow.

It’s pretty remote as the permit only allows 30 people a day (70 campers I believe). Rangers do check for permits. In 4 hours I saw 2 hikers, and one ranger, otherwise I had the trail to myself.

This is labeled moderate but if you are not pushing the pace I’d say it’s easy for an adult. I jogged it when I was 18, I did it in 4 hours last week at 40.

2 months ago

Now this is what a get away should be all about. We hiked in and did an overnighter in our hammocks. Plenty of camp spots up around from Obsidian Falls. Spring water out of the shale rock was awesome. Crystal clear. We had our own little private lake for a dip at Arrow head lakes. Too much to see for a day hike. I recommend an overnighter to soak it all in. Sunrise and Sunset were picture perfect.

Not a lot of views, but this trails offers a second option for getting into Tenas Lake and Scott Mountain. The day I did this hike (2017), there was a horse club coming down in a an attempt to add a little definition to the trail and it seemed to be working. Overall though, the trails on the backside (north) of Scott Mountain get very little use and are not in the best of shape - especially the Hand Lake Trail #3513 (Fire Damage) - and are almost impossible follow.

hiking
2 months ago

Good trail to get out to the PCT from the McKenzie Bridge area. As a day hike, I highly recommend taking this trail to Substitute Point - about 5 miles each way with spectacular 360 Degree views of the entire area at the top. There was fire damage in 2017, but Forest Service was working to clear the trail June of 2018. Would check on progress just to be safe.

Happy to park a car at both ends without a permit. Not too many hikers between the falls and Blue Pool. Not many bikers either. Love the log bridges along the way. Hiked it again this year. A real treat!

amazing

hiking
3 months ago

I loved it. Great for a long get day hike. I will be going back for sure, but want to bring overnight gear to explore even further.

hiking
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
4 months 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
8 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
8 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
10 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!

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