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

Hot weather and scary, burned forest, but the trail was easy and North Matthieu was beautiful. No bugs!

on Broken Top Loop Trail

backpacking
4 days ago

Originally had planned to do the loop in two nights and three days, but pushed through to do one night/two days. I agree that clockwise would be my advice as well, maybe some additional climbing the first day going uphill, but I would not have had the physical and mental strength to do the last part on a second or third day. Skirting Broken Hand was a little unnerving but doable - happy to have gotten it out of the way on day one. Camped at Green Lakes which was beautiful and not super buggy. Lots of water sources along the way but also a lot of exposed trail pretty much the entire time. No Name Lake is gorgeous but I wouldn’t get water there due to the animals on the ridge (dead elk ). Not sure how long they’ve been there, but best not to take chances. We backpacked this on August 8-9, 2018.

Beautiful walk through burned forest, amazing views from the top. PCT was easy hiking in and not overly crowded.

Pretty good hike and fairly easy. Less that 1000 ft of elevation gain and the path is nice. Lots of burn area which is a little unsettling. Most trees look like they could tip at any time. Both lakes are cool and it’s fun to see the PCT hikers come through! Follow all our adventures on Instagram @themicrotourists.

WARNING!!! 16 DEAD ELK CONTAMINATED THE WATER AT NO NAME LAKE AT THE SUMMIT OF BROKEN TOP

Hiked August 7th-9th 2018

I REALLY would recommend CLOCKWISE or else you’re going to have a rough day three. It gets the hardest part out of the way and you start off the biggest incline hydrated, full, and with no sore muscles. If you went counter-clockwise it would be a slow incline the whole time until say where you climb Broken top with 2 days of day hiking Under your belt! People say the views are better counter-clockwise but it’s all the same trail, all you have to do is look behind you and then you’re facing the counter-clockwise view!

We hiked 10 miles the first day up to the summit of Broken top were we collected water and then down Broken top to small creek where we hammock camped and got more water.
On day 2 we made the short and Beautiful hike past green lakes to Golden Lake 6 miles away, there’s a stream right across the lake for fresh water and the views of Broken top are amazing! This day was for swimming, napping and relaxing as it only took 4 short hours to get there.
On the last day we hiked 8 miles to the beginning of the loop with a short incline at the end before walking downhill to the car. There were 3 or 4 creeks on the way for water but almost no shade. We finished this stretch in about 5 hours.

Hike is a little hard for beginners like us but anyone can do it with the right supplies!

What made it easy was my straw water filter I could screw on to water pouches, so I could fill them and drink right away from any stream. Also the self heating Omeals from REI were so cool, so yummy and self heats in only 5 miles with no supplies.

Great hike!!!

simply beautiful! it was interesting walking through the burned area from 2017 and the snippet of PCT was astounding.

hiking
9 days ago

Great hike around a beautiful clear lake. A bit rocky around the back side in bits but very doable. Definitely longer than 5 miles stated on the app. We clocked around 6.5 miles.

backpacking
13 days ago

Absolutely amazing loop! Hiked counterclockwise + spent first night at golden lake — lovely, a few bugs but nothing terrible. Spent night 2 at no name lake — WINDY, but not too cold and the sunset was unreal. Only part that was a little tricky was meeting back up with the tam mcarthur rim trail after heading cross-country from broken top on the third day. We skirted around the bottom of broken hand (not sure if that was the quickest way), but there was a tiny sort of trail marked with cairns. If you’re heading over this way, heads up that the meet up with the rim trail is right when you come up to the top of the saddle and broken hand/broken top are on your right — we started heading downhill through the rock field and had to scramble back up a bit to meet the trail. All in all a fantastic trip with no shortage of scenic views, would recommend to anyone!

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.

Total mileage is about 5.7 miles actually (tracked with Gaia). Beautiful easy hike. The burned out parts of the forest are stunning. Total loop took just under 2 hours. Nice way to break up the drive to Bend from Eugene.

Did the loop counterclockwise like most people suggest and it was the right call. The first 6 or so miles were a bit dry and boring (mostly burnt). Once you get some elevation it becomes much better. Plenty of creeks the entire way. After you pass green lakes it is beautiful. I did 20 the first day and camped at broken top and I’m glad I did. Sunset at broken top was perfect. camped overlooking the lake and it was great. Woke up and did the easy 5 down and am off to see more.

This was a lovely hike. This hike is super easy to access and starts right off US-20, no long dirt roads or high clearance vehicles needed. First three miles are through beautiful blooming wildflower meadows. The trail is a bit dusty and exposed as you are hiking through a previous burn zone. Vegetation is growing but most of the new trees are under 10 feet tall. Our intention was to camp around Duffy lake but once we reached Santiam Lake (about 5-5.5 miles in) we saw that there were only a handful of campsite still open. We opted to snatch one up versus betting that Duffy would still have some. We are SO GLAD we camped at Santiam Lake as the next morning we continued the hiked to Duffy. We found Santiam to be so much more serene and easier to access the lake. Both lakes were warm and great spots to fish (literally tons of fish jumping out of the water). The Rangers were very active in this area and visited our campsite 3 times, which we found slightly excessive, especially since we were abiding by all regulations. They would just stop to check in. There are a TON of mosquitoes in the area so make sure to pack good bug spray.

hiking
25 days ago

The views are amazing!

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.

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

backpacking
1 month ago

Discovered this trail after Three Fingered Jack was too hot (90s) for my pup. Even though the temperature still soared, there was enough tree coverage to provide adequate shade even through the burnt forest. Plus, the lakes are so lovely.

The trail is moderately easy with a minimal incline leading up to the south lake. There are at least seven campgrounds, one of which we stayed in. Don’t skip the northern lake as it has beautiful views of the surrounding area and a few additional campgrounds. Don’t be alarmed when you pass two blackened lakes on your way- those are ponds and are not the water feature.

Don’t forget your sunscreen. Two of the creek crossings were a bit more than anticipated but the views and serenity were well worth my wet shoes.

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

My family spent a lot of time here when I was a kid but I never got to hike around until now. Great little hike. A lot of places on the highway side for hiking buddies to play in the water. I don't care for walking through the camp sites but that's the trail.

The burned section was long. Views were fabulous on the way out. Bugs at the lakes

Hiked this as a day hike. Up and back in 5 hours is doable but definitely a leg burner. Amazing views, the lake is perfect. First few miles are through the pole creek fire aftermath. Once you get through that the hike gets better and scenery improves.

Was beautiful early June with minimal snow. Bugs were thick and good fishing in the lake!

Really good trail lots of amazing views

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

Epic views! Lots of burned areas but there were also a lot of amazing sights which made this short hike well worth it. Maybe it was me but it felt like much more gain than 900 ft. Could have been the elevation that had me more winded than usual. Surprisingly the mosquitoes were almost non existent today. A few annoying biting flies but even those were sparse.

backpacking
1 month ago

Did this as an overnighter the first week of July. As everyone says, counter clockwise is best. Mountains and lakes within view the whole time. Slept at Golden Lakes but up in the stone to avoid mosquitos. There were only a couple spots with heavy mosquitoes but we just kept moving through those parts. None at higher dryer elevations. Noname Lake was still covered in snow and ice so we did not sleep there but continued back to the trailhead using the Rim Trail. The Rim Trail was amazing! We skirted the rocks on the path around the butte which was a little sketchy but not too hard. The butte is the only hard part in trying to find a trail.

If I were to recommend this, I would say take three days and camp in Green Lakes area first night. Then take a day trip with only water and extra clothes to summit South Sister. With the last day being to climb to Noname Lake and Rim Trail home. :) Lots of Miles but two mountain tops and amazing views!

hiking
1 month ago

Great Hike. Nine Boy Scouts and three Scout Leaders did the loop counter-clockwise from July 6-8, 2018. Day 1 was Three Creeks Lake to Golden Lake. About 8.5 miles. Lots of down fall and a few streams to cross. Day two started at Golden Lake and ended below No Name Lake. About 11.5 miles. Great views at the saddle between Broken Top and South Sister. Started to run into lots of hikers are Green Lake. Last mile involved lots of elevation. Day 3 started with the hike up to No Name Lake. The lake is pretty, but the money spot is the ridge above No Name Lake. To the North, we had a full view of the Sisters, Mt. Washington, Three Finger Jack, Jefferson, and Hood. Many photos taken. From that point the trail along the ridge is very rough -- loose rock and snow fields on steep pitches. After about a mile, you link up to the main trail and it's smooth sailing back to Three Creeks. Overall, the hike's rewards vastly exceed its drawbacks. Highly recommended.

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.

backpacking
1 month ago

Pretty amazing loop. Agree that CCW is ideal. Get the burn out of the way first, many many downed trees on trail. I recommend skipping the little lake offshoots and scrambling the NW ridge instead. Even if you only just gain the ridge (8200ft) the views are epic and it’s much more peaceful than the highly trafficked lakes. Water ever few miles. And as of early July 2018 there is little to no snow on route. Most of it is near the rim portion and can be done in tennies. Would do a few weeks earlier (mid June) if done again, as the peaks are prettiest with ample snow. Beware of mosquitoes!!! Hoards of them anywhere below ca. 7500ft.

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