The high, snowcapped Three Sisters (North Sister at 10,085 feet, Middle Sister at 10,047 feet, and South Sister at 10,358 feet) embellish the eastern side of this Wilderness, the second largest in Oregon. If you include Broken Top at 9,175 feet just to the south, you have 14 glaciers offering perhaps the best example of the effects of glaciation in the Pacific Northwest. Collier Glacier, between North and Middle Sister, is the largest sheet of ice in Oregon. Here is a fabulous volcanically formed landscape of lava fields, waterfalls, alpine meadows, lakes and streams teeming with brook and rainbow trout, and a lush forest of Douglas fir, silver fir, subalpine fir, mountain hemlock, western hemlock, lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, and true fir. The headwaters of the Wild and Scenic Squaw Creek likewise emerge here. Only State Highway 242 separates Three Sisters Wilderness from Mount Washington Wilderness to the north. Waldo Lake Wilderness shares the southern boundary. You'll find about 260 miles of trails, including 40 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail running north-south, and human traffic in multitudes estimated to exceed every other Wilderness in the state. Green Lakes, Obsidian, Sunshine, Erma Bell Lakes, and the climbing trail to South Sister are especially used and abused. The Chambers Lakes Trail leads 7.1 miles from Pole Creek to Chambers Lakes, all the while encompassed by the dramatic glaciers of South and Middle Sister, where ice can appear year-round, the growth is limited to wind-twisted pines, and the rock-rimmed beauty will take your breath away.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Three Sisters Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Oregon Wilderness Act of 1984 - Public law 98-328 (6/26/1984) To designate certain national forest system lands in the State of Oregon for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation
System, and for other purposes