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the south sister has a middle sister

In Central Oregon are several mountains that dominate the horizon to the southwest as one drives southeast from Portland on Highway 97. Mount Hood, Mount Washington, Mount Jefferson, Three-Fingered Jack, and then the sisters Three Sisters and then Broken Top and Mount Bachelor further along.

One of the more exciting trails to hike in Oregon is the Timberline Trail which circles Mount Hood. It is approximately 40 miles. Another trail, not as well known but about the same distance, is the one that goes around the Three Sisters. Like the Timberline Trail it includes a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail.

DSCN0087Even less known than these two routes is the trail through the saddle between Middle Sister and South Sister.

It can be very difficult to find if one approaches from the south. No signs exists and relying on rock cairns is not wise. A map, compass, and a GPS device is recommended. After leaving the Pacific Crest Trail toward the divide between the Middle and South Sisters, one can often find the trail or simply continue cross country through the divide between the two peaks.

The alternative route would be to hike to the Chambers Lakes in the Three Sisters Wilderness area. Afterward one continues into the saddle between Middle and South Sisters.

The preceding pictures show the terrain in the saddle between South and Middle Sisters. One looks forward to the saddle and the other looks back. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

The hiker comes out of the saddle to a basin above Chambers Lakes. Camping here is difficult; one is too exposed. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)


Above is the Pacific Crest Trail that passes the spur trail that goes through the saddle. It is the same path that circles the Three Sisters. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

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