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Black Crater and Collier Cone (2 day hikes with car camp)

  • Aug 25, 2012 · 7:15 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

PLEASE READ THE FULL DESCRIPTION BELOW!!!

PHOTO 1: Summit of Black Crater

PHOTO 2: Collier Cone

PHOTO 3: North Sister from PCT near Collier Cone


Hike rating: Difficult (long)

Elevation gain: Hike 1: 2500 feet; Hike 2: 2800 feet

Pace: Moderate to Quick (~2 mph)

Hike distance: Hike 1: 8 miles; Hike 2: 15 miles

Distance from Portland: 170 miles (a little over 3 hours) each way

Costs: Suggested $20 per person to driver for gas (may vary depending on each car's gas mileage)

What to bring: The 10 essentials; sunscreen; hat (for shade); gaiters (to keep rocks out of your boots); trekking poles; headlamp and spare batteries; tent; sleeping bag (to 30 degrees) /mat/pillow; an extra layer or two for a potentially chilly evening/morning; sunglasses; camera; at least 2 liters of water per day; food for 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, and 1 dinner, plus snacks for the trail; sturdy hiking boots or shoes.  Plan for warm to hot days and nighttime temps around freezing.  Leave the cotton at home.

Sorry, no dogs...


If you like volcanic landscapes, this outing is for you!  On two different day hikes, we'll be exploring the northern portion of the Three Sisters Wilderness, with excellent views of North Sister and Mount Washington along the way. No need for backpacks; we'll plan to car camp at Lava Camp Lake on Saturday evening, which is near both trailheads.

Day 1 (Saturday): Leave Gateway at 730am and drive to the campground, where we can claim a spot for the night.  We should be there by 11am.  In the afternoon, we'll have plenty of time for the 8-mile round trip hike to the summit of Black Crater (7251 feet), which will provide nice views of North Sister and the surrounding area.  Although the crater summit is open, much of this hike will be forested.  (Those with energy to burn may try to also bag nearby Belknap Crater (6872 feet), with great views of Mount Washington.)  Return to camp for the night.

Day 2 (Sunday): Pack up our camping gear & stash it in the cars by 8am, then head south on the PCT along the forest edge, past the attractive Mathieu Lakes and into the volcanic landscape towards Yapoah Crater.  We'll cross the unfortunately-named Opie Dildock Pass and walk the rim of Collier Cone (7534 feet), which should provide stunning up-close views of nearby North Sister.  (We can try a side spur to Four in One Cone if there's time.)  We'll retrace our steps to the cars, arriving in late afternoon.  With a well-deserved food/drink stop on the way back, we should be back to Portland around 9pm.

Be aware that significant portions of this outing will be in the open sun, so bring lots of water, sunscreen, and a hat to provide some shade and sun protection.

We'll stop for food/drink on the way back.  With the drive and stop, I'm guessing we'll be back to Portland around 9pm on Sunday.  Please do not sign up if you need to be back by a certain time the evening of the 26th!

If you have any questions or are unsure if this hike is for you, please contact the Assistant Organizer (Matt T).

 

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  • marianne h.

    Awesome, well organized

    September 2, 2012

  • Keith

    I feel bad about that poor defenseless spider, but otherwise it was a fine weekend. Thanks Matt.

    August 28, 2012

  • barbara s.

    Thanks Matt and everyone else for making my first camping trip in the twentyfirst century so much fun. The scenery was spectacular...it was like being in Switzerland, Alaska and Mt. Vesuvius in the same day.

    August 27, 2012

  • Robert R.

    Every hike I go on has it's own amazing views, this was right up there with the best! Fun people, Fun times, and a great experience.

    August 27, 2012

  • Pogo M.

    Thanks Matt, it was super duper fun. Now, maybe I should try hiking next time... Mucho gracias!
    Darren: Thanks for squashing that spider! It was mean!

    August 27, 2012

  • Matt T

    Thanks, guys, for a fun weekend! Saturday was a little smoky, but once the breezes cleared out the smoke overnight, Sunday was a gorgeous day. The hike out to Collier Cone--and the views from the top--were fantastic.

    August 27, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    6 stars!

    August 27, 2012

  • Keith

    If no fire restrictions are posted, it should be fine. We need to keep on eye on it and put it out well.

    August 24, 2012

  • Matt T

    Re campfires, there appear to be no current restrictions at Lava Camp Lake. I agree with Marianne, though, in that we need to be extra careful, given the drought conditions and fire danger. If anyone still wishes to have a campfire, please be sensible: keep it small, monitor it at all times, use a fire ring, have water nearby just in case, and make sure you can run your fingers through any coals or ashes before you abandon it. There are plenty of forest fires blazing throughout the Northwest already; let's be certain we don't add to the problem.

    August 24, 2012

  • marianne h.

    I would disagree about the fire. At this time of the year, Central Oregon is super dry and all it takes is a spark flying off . just my humble opinion.

    August 23, 2012

  • Rick L. J.

    Bring balloons! Nice idea Susan. These guys have travelled along ways. Ladies to.

    August 23, 2012

  • Susan

    ... on a side note, I just realized we'll be on the PCT both days, at the height of the thru-hiker migration. I plan to bring a stash of treats to give out to any thrus we come across, which can be pretty fun :-)

    August 23, 2012

  • Matt T

    Please note the revised meeting place and time! See you all on Saturday morning...

    August 23, 2012

  • Rick L. J.

    Ok ok. I will be down by tam mcarthur rim doing a exploratory backpack.

    August 22, 2012

    • Susan

      bring lots of water, Rick! :-) Tam MacArthur is completely dry between the trailhead and the little lake at the crater of Broken top. It gorgeous though! There are little creeks and nice campsites south past the crater if you're going counter clockwise. Have fun!

      August 23, 2012

    • Susan

      I mean clockwise, I think. If you're heading down the east side of Broken top, whichever "wise" that is.

      August 23, 2012

  • Rick L. J.

    Hey guys you all are overdoing the water thing. It sounds like your all bringing enough for showers to. Might start a list. Its car camping but.....

    August 22, 2012

    • Robert R.

      Let's see, 10 people, gallon of water each a day while on the trail = 20gal, cooking water, and maybe some wash-up water............can there ever be enough? Temps could be high and may necessitate more water too.

      August 22, 2012

  • Susan

    Both the Deschutes and Willamette NFs have extreme fire danger warnings posted. Deschutes says campfires currently allowed "only in certain designated campgrounds" but I couldn't find a list of which ones. It may be a good idea to call the district ranger if you have your heart set on smores.

    August 22, 2012

  • Keith

    I will be driving (42 mpg, so low fuel cost to share) with room for 2 or 3 passengers. Does anyone have firewood they can provide? I will bring smores ingredients.

    August 22, 2012

  • Robert R.

    I can be the SAG vehicle, bring a stove and fuel, and I have two 5 gallon drinking water containers that we can share. Seating for 4 or 5 people too including the driver, and I have a NW Forest Pass :-)

    August 22, 2012

  • Matt T

    Camping at Lava Camp Lake is free. No running water, primitive 'vault' toilet. If anyone has a NW Forest Pass, please bring it along for parking.

    August 22, 2012

  • Pogo M.

    Are there toilets at the campground?
    What is the campground fee?
    I can bring stove/fuel/pots to share. I'll also bring 2 gallons of water. I'm happy to share with 1-2 others.

    August 22, 2012

  • Matt T

    FYI, Lava Camp Lake Campground is where we'll be planning to overnight. Weather forecast looking perfect: sunny, clear, 0% chance of rain. Expect highs in the 70s and lows in the 30s. Mornings and evenings will be quite cool so bring a few layers...

    August 22, 2012

  • barbara s.

    Marianne,

    Yes, I am still on. I bought a tent and a sleeping bag but do not have a mat. I would appreciate you bringing a mat. Thanks so much.

    August 22, 2012

  • marianne h.

    I'm all set with a 2p tent, I'll bring my water filter.
    Barbara are you still on ? Should I bring a tent and a mat for you?
    General question: should we plan to leave a little earlier on Saturday, let say 7 am? ...

    August 21, 2012

  • Rick L. J.

    I see its hitting in the high 30's at night. So bring some snuggies!

    August 21, 2012

  • Matt T

    From what I read, there is NO running water at the campground (although there is a lake). I'll be bringing a big plastic cube of fresh water (20 liters, I think?) in the car for my use which I can probably share with 1 or 2 others.

    August 21, 2012

  • Susan

    I'll have my stove and am happy to boil water for folks. Is there potable water at this campground. Am also thinking of heading down to camp Friday and meeting you at the trailhead. I'll let you know by Thursday if that's going to happen.

    August 21, 2012

  • Matt T

    Is anyone planning to bring/willing to share a stove or jetboil this weekend?

    August 21, 2012

  • Matt T

    Early weather forecast for next weekend: Sunny and clear. In the town of Sisters, the forecast highs are 80 and the lows 40. Expect the campground to be about 10 degrees cooler (2200 feet higher in elevation), which means it may dip below freezing at night. Come prepared!

    August 19, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Krista, I'll be driving in from Tigard; I could pick you up on the way.

    August 17, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have a large tent that can sleep 4 comfortably if anyone wants or needs to share. I'll trade tent space for use of bug spray.

    August 17, 2012

  • Keith

    Hey, Opie Dildock is a good friend of mine. I'm going to tell him what you said.

    August 16, 2012

    • Matt T

      In case anyone else is curious about the name 'Opie Dildock Pass'...

      August 17, 2012

    • Matt T

      "It was named in 1932 by Dee Wright and Ralph Engels, then USFS District Ranger at McKenzie Bridge. They had had difficulty finding a good way down into White Branch canyon but finally found one small, practical passage. They were both reminded of a comic strip character of the early 1900's named Opie Dildock who always found some way out of impossible situations so they decided to honor the pass with his name."

      August 17, 2012

  • Matt T

    I'll be using my own single-person tent, but if any of you have a larger tent and are looking to share a tent with someone, please post a comment.

    August 17, 2012

  • Matt T

    Thanks for the update, James. We'll go prepared, but with the hot weather lately I think the snow won't be a real issue...and hopefully we'll be getting pretty late in the mosquito season as a result. We'll go prepared for whatever we face! Good reminders, though.

    August 16, 2012

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