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Sep 21 2018
Lucyan
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 Routes 1
 Photos 20,765
 Triplogs 1,067

41 female
 Joined Jan 18 2011
 In the Wild
Three Sisters LoopNorth Central, OR
North Central, OR
Backpack avatar Sep 21 2018
Lucyan
Backpack52.25 Miles 7,528 AEG
Backpack52.25 Miles3 Days         
7,528 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
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2 archives
Sep 18 2018
keepmoving
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 Guides 34
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,196
 Triplogs 591

35 male
 Joined Aug 16 2006
 Portland, OR
Three Sisters LoopNorth Central, OR
North Central, OR
Backpack avatar Sep 18 2018
keepmoving
Backpack52.52 Miles 7,528 AEG
Backpack52.52 Miles3 Days         
7,528 ft AEG25 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Spent 3 days backpacking a loop around the Three Sisters in Central Oregon. Weather was really good, highs in the 50s and lows in the upper 30s. No rain. Clear/Partially Cloudy the entire time.

Tuesday, 9/18. Lava Camp Trailhead to Unnamed Lake. 15.6 Miles
Started up the trail a little bit before 1600. It took me much longer getting to the trailhead than anticipated. The first section of the trail goes through a heavily burned area, but its still fairly scenic. Passed North and South Matthieu Lakes, then started the long water-less stretch to Soap Creek.

I ran out of light about an hour before I reached the Soap Creek. Although I was tired and thinking about setting up camp at the trail junction, I could see lights inside a tent that was set up about 30 yards away and decided to keep hiking to find myself a more private camping location. Ended up going another or hour or so up trail and camping on the shores of a fairly shallow unnamed lake.


Wednesday, 9/19. Unnamed Lake to just past the Obsidian Limited Entry Area. 27.6 Miles

Got started around 0630. It got a bit chilly overnight, probably into the mid 30s, but nothing froze. Day started out with nice clear skies and as the afternoon wore on some nice fluffy clouds started developing.

The trail past Green Lakes and up to Moraine Lakes is probably one of the highlights of the trip. Although there are quite a few day hikers in this section it never feels overly crowded. Most of day #2 was dominated by views of South Sister from just about every angle. I will likely try to head back sometime to make the climb to the top, but that wasn't on the agenda for this trip.

Past the Wickiup Plain and back onto the PCT I started to hit a wall. I was toying with the idea of trying to finish the whole trail in 2 days, but eventually decided it wasn't worth the extra mental/physical stress. Once I finally settled into the thought of finishing in 3 days the stress of trying to push the pace faded away and I felt much better.

Along the west side of the Three Sisters the trail passes through multiple meadows and forested areas that were hosting a massive butterfly migration. Thousands of butterflies were being blown south with the wind. At one point I tried to count all of them that were flying past me, but I quickly gave up as there were just too many.

Passing through the Obsidian Limited Entry Area was also a real cool experience. I didn't have a permit to camp there, so I was racing the setting sun- but it was a really pretty place. There is a small basin directly above Obsidian Falls where the creek emerges from a spring at the base of some basalt cliffs. The sun was setting as I passed through and the walls were glowing in the light. I wish I could have lingered, but I had to find a camp outside the permit area, so I pushed onward.

Thursday, 9/20. North side of Obsidian Limited Entry Area to the trailhead. 9.4 Miles
I was really looking forward to having a nice short hike out. The trail here passes through some volcanic areas and multiple lava flows. It was quite a change from the mostly forested setting that I had experienced for the previous 40+ miles. There are a couple of areas where the trail climbs up a bit and afforded great views of Mt. Jefferson and Washington to the north, I could even see tiny Mt. Hood in the distance.
Named place
Named place
Green Lakes South Sister
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2 archives

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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