US Department of Agriculture Forest Service
Willamette
National Forest

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McKenzie Travel Corridor

Photo of Three SistersThree Sisters Wilderness

Acres: 242,400

Elevation: 2,000' - 10,358'

Topography: Major peaks are: the North, Middle, and South Sisters (all above 10,000'), along with Broken Top, the best example in the Pacific Northwest of the effect of glaciation. Collier Glacier is the largest glacier in Oregon. Other geologic features include Rock Mesa, Collier Cone, and Yapoah Crater. Alpine meadows, waterfalls, lava fields, glaciers, and glacial lakes are abundant. Fish populations include brook and rainbow trout.

 Close To...

Dee Wright Observatory
Pacific Crest Trail
Foley Ridge Trail Area
Olallie Trail Area
Mink Lake Basin Trail Area
Scott Lake Campground
Alder Springs Campground
Limberlost Campground
Red Diamond Campground
Hard Rock Group Campground
Frissell Crossing Campground


 For more information...

For wilderness regulations and permit information, see the Wilderness page.

Contact the McKenzie River Ranger Station
More contact information

Trails: There are approximately 260 miles of trail within the wilderness. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail traverses the wilderness for 40 miles. Most trails entering the wilderness begin in dense forests of Douglas-fir on the western slopes of the Cascades and ponderosa pine on the eastern slopes.

Vegetation: Forest in this Wilderness consists mainly of Douglas-fir, silver fir, sub-alpine fir, mountain hemlock, western hemlock, true fir, lodgepole pine, and ponderosa pine. Alpine meadows are abundant.

Access: Three Sisters Wilderness can be reached from the Willamette Valley by the Old McKenzie Highway (State 242) and from Central Oregon by the Cascade Lakes Highway (State 46) and by various forest roads (19, 2643, 1957, 1993). Many trailheads access the wilderness.

High-Use Areas: Green Lakes, Obsidian, Sunshine, Erma Bell Lakes, South Sister Climbing Trail. Recreational use in Three Sisters Wilderness is the highest of all wildernesses in the Willamette National Forest. Use has doubled from 1982 to 1992.

Permits: Day and overnight visitors entering the wilderness are required to obtain a permit between Memorial Day and October 31. They are free of charge and must be self-issued at trailheads. Click here for more information about wilderness permits.. Exception: All visitors entering the Obsidian Limited Entry Area must obtain a limited entry permit from McKenzie River Ranger District (Willamette NF) or Sisters Ranger District (Deschutes NF).

Contact Points: McKenzie River, Middle Fork (Willamette NF), Sisters, and Bend (Deschutes NF) Ranger Districts.

Special Area Regulations:

Area Name Limited Entry Area Designated Campsites Fire Ban Camping Setback
Obsidian Area X   X X
N. Matthieu Lk   X    
S. Matthieu Lk   X X  
Golden Lake     X  
Husband/EileenLks     X X
Chambers Area     X  
Green Lakes   X X  
Moraine Lake   X X  
Sisters Mirror Lake     X  
Otter Lake   X    
Erma Bell Lakes   X    
Linton Meadows       X

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